Cardio Acceleration for Rapid Fat Loss

Looking for a way to get more from the gym and to accelerate your weight loss and fitness benefits? A relatively lesser known technique may just hold the answers. Cardio acceleration as it’s known is an approach to working out that effectively interweaves your cardio sessions with your weightlifting in order to save time and increase the potency of both approaches.

The general principle is simple: you approach your weight lifting routine as you normally would using sets and repetitions in order to enable yourself to keep building muscle, to lift heavier weights and to maintain your time under tension to trigger maximum growth. The difference is in the rest periods in between. Whereas you might normally sit on a bench in between sets (or perform a different exercise ALA supersets) you will instead do some extensive cardio for about a minute.

Written down, this might then look like this:

10 x 12kg bicep curls

1 minute run

10 x 12kg bicep curls

1 minute run

10 x 12kg bicep curls

1 minute run

10 x 12kg tricep kickbacks

And so on. Essentially, this then is similar to performing a superset (where you use two exercises ‘back-to-back’) but the key difference is that you are using cardio instead of another movement.

How it Works

That’s the theory but does it work in practice?

According to at least one study, the answer is yes (1). Here it was found that using cardio acceleration could cause greater weight loss as compared with cardio (up to 99% according to some unverified reports) as well as increasing hypertrophy, flexibility and strength.

Why does it work? Well for starters, it allows you to perform something like 30-50 minutes of cardio without taking extra time out of your day. No longer are you forced to choose between lifting weights or running; now you can do both at the same time and reap the benefits.

At the same time, when you perform cardio acceleration, it keeps your heart rate higher throughout the entire workout. This then means that you’ll be getting extra fat-burning benefit from your curls, bench press and other exercises that would normally be focused squarely on building muscle.

This also increases circulation and that means that you’ll be getting more blood pumped more efficiently around your body. This supplies your muscles with more oxygen, more nutrients and more of what they need in order to work and to grow.

The Challenges

Now the savvy among you might well be asking: what’s the catch?

As we all know, if there was really such a simple way to burn more calories and increase muscle mass then everyone would be doing it. The problem in this case, basically comes down to the difficulty.

For starters, jumping from bench press to treadmill every minute is a practical challenge. You’ll be getting in people’s way and you’ll be spending time simply crossing the floor of the gym. You could always skip rope or jog on the spot instead but even that is going to look rather odd in most gyms.

Moreover, intensive cardio used this frequently alongside weight lifting is simply exhausting. What you’ll find is that after the first few ‘sets’ of running, you’re gasping for air and feeling somewhat sick. Sure, you can lower the pace, but it still becomes intolerable very quickly and it’s likely to impact negatively on the quality of your lifting. Still think you can manage those 12kg after sprinting for three minutes?

The Solution

The solution is to try a halfway house. This is what I’ve been calling and I’ve dubbed the technique ‘cardio upregulation’.

How it works is simple: instead of performing cardio at every point during your workout, you instead perform it three times during the routine. That’s once right at the beginning, once in the middle and once in the end. If you use your cardio for about 10 minutes at each juncture, you’ll keep your blood pumping and still manage to sneak in 30 minutes of exercise. If you train two body parts during a single session, then you can easily use this in between your lats and your biceps for instance.

Obviously if you prefer you could use 2 minutes after every workout. Or if you use a heart rate monitor of some kind while training, you could simply add some cardio each time you notice your heart rate start to drop.

This way you can get the benefits of cardio acceleration in a format that’s much easier to stick to and that’s still highly effective.



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Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics.

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