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How Much Cardio to Lose Belly Fat

While it is widely known that doing cardio can help you lose fat, a lot of people do it wrong and fail to get results with it. In addition, some people spend hours each week doing cardio, mainly in the hope of losing body and belly fat. Is this really necessary? How much cardio do you need to lose belly fat? In this article I’ll try to answer this question.
People in gym on treadmill running

When you read this article, you’ll learn some excellent cardio tips and will be able to save a lot of time while maximizing your fat loss results. If you don’t read it, you won’t lose fat as fast as you want, from your belly or from anywhere else.

The Cardio Myth #1

One common belief that I find that a lot of people have is that the longer your cardio workouts are, the better they are for you. This is the wrong way to think about cardio. It’s the stupid way.

Thinking about your workouts in a one dimensional way: the time they take, is worthless. You have to get a broader perspective. Think of a fireplace. How much wood you will need to burn to keep the fire going in the fireplace does depend on how much time you want the fire to burn but it also depends on how big the fire needs to be. If you’re only looking for a small flickering flame you’ll need very little wood. If you need a big pulsing fire, you’re going to need a lot.

Your workouts are the same way: the more strenuous they are, the more calories you need to burn. In fact, if your workouts are a big pulsing fire, you’re going to burn more calories (wood) then you will with a much longer but less intensive workout. This is just how our body works.

So, if you’re wondering how much cardio you need to lose fat as fast as possible know that you shouldn’t judge your workouts by how long they take but by how intensive they are. You need to make a real effort for them to count. One way to do this is to engage in high intensity interval training workouts as a way to save on time and maximize calorie burning.

Cardio Myth #2

Some people actually look at cardio as their one an only way to burn off fat. While I love to do cardiovascular workouts myself and I believe that this is an effective way to lose weight, I would never base all of my efforts on cardio alone. This is ineffective.

To lose lots of body fat requires more than cardio. You need to turn your body into a fat burning furnace, an oven that burns more calories throughout the day and night whether you’re training at that moment or not. This will not happen by doing just cardio workouts and anyone who tells you this is mistaken.

In fact, there are many fitness trainers and experts (such as Craig Ballantyne) for instance who will tell you that proper strength training will be far more effective then cardio for any kind of fat loss.

Strength training doesn’t just burn fat when you’re doing it but also boosts your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass tissue. This helps you to become a better and faster fat burning machine.

So, don’t believe that all you need to lose weight are cardiovascular workouts. It’s simply not the case. What you do need is a combination of intensive cardio and strength training.

So, the question of how much cardio to do to lose belly fat is problematic. You need more than that.

Cardio Myth #3

Some people simply believe that they need to do a cardio workout each day to be able to get results. This is again not true. While I do advise being active each day, and one way to do so is to take an evening walk, this does not need to be an actual workout.

When you do cardio to lose weight, you have to focus on intensity. You need to make sure that you’re burning off lots of calories for the time you put in. Otherwise, you’re wasting time.

If you’re able to do a workout day after day, it can only mean that you’re not making enough of an effort on your workouts as you’re doing them now. You need to work harder than that. This is just the reality. I believe that you only need 3-4 hard workouts each week to lose belly fat and become fit and lean. Each of those workouts, however, need to count. They need to challenge you. The idea that doing what you believe is a hard workout each day will work is wrong. It just means that your workout isn’t hard. Quality is better than too much quantity.

In conclusion

While I haven’t discussed the importance of your diet in your efforts to get ripped abs and lose abdominal fat, I believe that my case is clear. I advise to go ahead and do cardio and have fun with it. However, don’t neglect your strength training as well. If you’re looking for a workout program that can show you how to use strength training to burn lots of body fat, I recommend Turbulence Training.

So, do cardio but do it smart.

Date published: July 4, 2010. Last modified: August 10, 2012

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