T Nation

Cardio programs for women

I was just wondering what other women or men would suggest as far as doing cardio to burn fat? What are the most effective programs? I am currently lifting weights 4 days per week, split training (two body parts per day). I have been doing AST’s Max-Ot Cardio, but the results are tapering off. I was wondering if anyone has any input on more successful fat burning cardio programs. Also, I keep an accurate food log, am eating 6 meals per day, have a high protein intake (1600 calories), and am currently using Hot-Rox. I want to lose about 65 pounds, and have already lost 35 pounds.

congrats no the fat loss! personally, i mix up my cardio. I’m also sort of obsessed with triathlons so as soon as the spring hits i’ll be back to mixing in some swims/bikes/and runs. that alone tore off a LOT of fat for me.

right now i’m doing a mix of elliptical trainer, 30 min intervals after the weights…or i jump on the Gauntlet (stairmill) and do interval training for 20 minutes. personally, i hate treadmills. i’d rather be propelling myself forward on concrete. spin classes are GREAT too.

all this is 5-6x per week…i have to keep my cardio lvl high to burn it off or it just won’t happen.

and i think the fat burner is just an extra. . .it’s not absolutely necessary but good luck. let us know if it kicks you back into gear :slight_smile:

Check out Christian Thibaudeau’s “Running Man” article in the previous issues (should be able to find it in the search engine). He has three different methods to do cardio that are all very effective.

Here’s a link to the Cardio Roundtable. Lots of good cardio ideas there. This is part 2, but part 1 is linked within the article.

The reason why your results are tapering off is because your body is becoming more efficient at burning fuel, hence the many articles out there about not doing aerobics. You now need to either train harder or train longer for the same results. Or alternatively change the program. Which is obviously what you are asking about. Without knowing the max out cardio you are mentioning (so I’m hoping it is not similar to what i am going to suggest), you could do HIIT e.g. run 30 secs walk 30 seconds. This is the same sort of thing that I do, but I run for 1 min at 10miles and then rest 30 seconds and run for 60 seconds etc, for a total of 25 minutes. However, a passive rest means that you do not clear the lactate acid buildup as well.

Good answer, BourbonBoy;

Congratulations on the amazing fat loss already! Your transformation photos will be fantastic. Remember that every person is different too, and you may find that doing HIIT will work, but keep in mind that some fitness leaders don’t recommend “too” much cardio due to the “muscle wasting” that it may cause. Keep up the resistance training, and I find that doing 20-30 minutes of cardio at 65-70 % of maximal rate does wonders (after the weights, that is)

best of luck and keep us posted!

darcy, TSC

I tried the stair stepper machine today during my cardio session. Its a great change of pace from the EFX or the Recumbrent bike. I think that I tried a little too hard today and am beginning to feel obsessed with losing weight because I went to the gym three times today (once to train my shoulders, another time to do some cardio, and another time to do some more cardio). I feel like I want to cut the fat, but am being way too impatient about it. Any suggestions?

Amy, slow down. Remember, fat loss the healthy way is not immediate, its a gradual process. You’ve already shown you’ve got the persistency and motivation to meet your goals because you’ve already lost 35 pounds and you’ve joined T-nation. If you need to, take a look at the “How to Build a T-Vixen” article. Its a place to start. If you over do your cardio sessions too much, you’ll start to wear away lean muscle mass, which you need to maintain to keep your metabolism up, and also to give you an athletic figure. You’ve already know the basics. You may want to try cutting back on the cardio for a couple of weeks to let your body refresh itself. If you’ve hit a plateau, you may be overtraining.

Ease up on the coffee and mini-thins!
Kidding. I think everyone that has been overweight at some point in life gets a little “obsessive” about losing it. The tried and true method is slow and steady for real world results that will last.
Good luck to you!

Yeah, I think that I will go longer on my cardio sessions from now on. We will see. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Amy, I just have to ask this question. What’s your lifting program like?

i know how ya feel amy…i have a bit to lose and i get obsessive about it also. i never forsake the weights tho…i know how important that is to building the body i want.

right now i’m doing a high volume figure comp type workout…lifting 5x a week and cardio 4-5x a week. my next program will probably be a 5x5 and i might try GVT 2000 after that. i’m still playing with ideas.

in the past 1-2 months i’ve lost 3 inches, lost 5 fat lbs, put on 11 lbs of lean mass, and lost 2 inches on my chest. i hope i can keep up that kind of progress :wink:

just keep up the good eating, and lifting and like folks have said here just mix up the way you go about cardio. keep your body guessing.

Same as what MD is asking and also:

How’s the diet?

My diet has been pretty steady for the most part, except for the fact that I wasn’t aware (until today) that to get the proper measurement of food content, you have to measure the food before it is cooked (such as chicken). Therefore, my nutrient count has been wrong this whole time. What gives.

What do you mean, steady? “My diet is hardcore” or “steady” doesn’t provide such specifics as total calories. Nor have you provided such info as stats (BF%, ht, wt) and again, what’s you weight training like?

These things are important on such “faceless internet boards” so that we can receive the WHOLE picture and then provide you with better advice to assist you.

Also, provide a sample day or two out of your food log.