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Is cardio the best way to burn fat?

Most people think that to lose weight and get in great physical condition they need to do endless bouts of cardiovascular exercise. I do not see this to be true. Too much cardio can increase cortisol levels (a hormone that can burn muscle and make your body hold fat stores), takes a long time, and is very inefficient when it comes to burning fat.

Since I work with many clients that need fast results in a small amount of time, I have them perform what is called “metabolic conditioning training.” This type of training consists of various strength, power, and core exercises in a circuit or interval type training method.

This allows me to increase my client’s metabolism, burn a ton of calories, and increase their VO2 max (in easy terms, increase their conditioning) in a very short amount of time. If you want some science to prove my method, read the kettlebell study by Truman University that supports my methods by using the kettlebell swing exercise. A staple here at State of Fitness to get our athletes and clients in shape.

A recent study came out of Truman State University and looked at the metabolic effect of kettlebell training. The subjects were asked to swing a kettlebell as many times as they could in a 12 minute period (sets, reps and rest period it seems were frees tyled — the subjects rested whenever they wanted).

The researchers found that the subjects completed between 198 and 333 swings in the time frame (265 swings average) and worked at an average heart rate of 86% of max and at 65% of their previously measured oxygen consumption [VO2max]. They concluded that,,”Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max. Heart rate was substantially higher than Vo2 during kettlebell swings. Kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes.”

Next time I will be talking about why metabolic conditioning training is safer, more effective, and an example of how to do it!

Justin Grinnell is the co-owner of State of Fitness. Check out the State of Fitness web site here.

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