The Best Cardio Workout: Which One Burns The Most Calories?


the best cardio workout

Which Activity Is The Best Cardio Workout?

We’ve been trying to unearth the best of the best in some of the previous few blog entries. I have answered questions about the best leg exercises, best stretches, and so on. This time, I’ll attempt to answer the question of what is the best cardio workout. When seeking the best exercise for cardio, we have to ask the prerequisite question of, for what purpose are we asking about? Is it for better cardiovascular endurance, or for weight loss as they are 2 diametrically different things.

If you are trying to increase your stamina, you don’t need to be going at an all out pace in any activity. If you want to increase your cardiovascular endurance, you’ll want to go at a slower pace, and for longer durations. Bit by bit, you will lengthen either the time you are doing whatever activity it is you are trying to get more endurance for, or the length of the event. For example, if it is for cycling that you are trying to increase your stamina for, you’ll want to increase your time on the bike. You will end up with more miles by doing so, but it is up to you how you want to quantify the parameters you’re expanding.

If you solely interested in caloric expenditure, that is a different story. You will simply chose from an array of activities from jogging, to swimming, to cycling, and so on, but which of all of the possibilities is the best cardio workout? The winner in terms of outright caloric expenditure is interval sprints. You can burn a lot of calories by running, or doing anything at a certain steady pace, but once you step on the accelerator for short bursts, you get far more bang for your buck. As a longtime personal trainer in Austin, one method I used for certain clients when we had to have them look good for the big screen, was to sprint all out on the road behind my gym for 90 seconds, followed by a brisk walking pace for the next 30 seconds, and then repeat for a total of 6 minutes. You can up or lower the times in the formula as need to be for the individual, but those were the certain numbers we used in the most recent episode.

If you are not someone who sees themselves blazing down the road in a full on sprint, and are still pondering the best cardio workout, you may consider rock climbing. This is not the most intuitive activity for weight loss, but when you stop and consider what happens when you are rock climbing, be it on a rock wall in a climbing gym, or out on a real cliff somewhere, you realize that you are contracting and releasing virtually every muscle in your body as you not only control your ascent or descent, but hang on for dear life as well!

Those folks who are still looking for the best cardio workout, but are not interested in scaling granite walls, or setting the roads ablaze, can also consider trying a methodology known as Tabata training. It is the same idea as sprinting, in that it is interval training, but they are incorporating weight training in various forms such as bodyweight exercises, instead of running. Their protocol is that you go as hard as possibly can for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest period. Rinse and repeat 8 times and there you have it. 20 minutes of this will soak your shirt, and have you skinny as a rail in no time.

Ultimately, the best cardio workout is the one you enjoy enough to do on a regular basis as the reality of it is, like anything else in fitness, you have to do it consistently with a good sustained effort if you want to see any results. Jogging, swimming, skipping rope, power walking, cycling, rowing, etc, are all great options, provided you don’t have any prohibiting imbalances that would raise the risk of injury by partaking in whichever activity you choose.

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Andy
My name is Andy Bruchey and I founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition and sports specific training.
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The Best Cardio Workout: Which One Burns The Most Calories?
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The Best Cardio Workout: Which One Burns The Most Calories?
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Longtime Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey reveals what he thinks is the best cardio workout for caloric expenditure.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270