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Do you still feel that the local gym fraternity overwhelm us with rows and rows of cardiovascular machines when you walk into their facilities? Is this almost the major sales pitch of any sales consultant walking a new prospective member through the facility? “And this is the cardio section where you will burn fat and and (pointing to a skinny girl with virtually no clothes on) you will look like that.” (With an idiotic grin on his/her face) See this is where it already becomes pear shaped. This self-righteous sales consultant that does not even care a small ounce about the real well being of this poor person with all the great intentions of changing their lifestyle, is already leading him/her down the path of cardio doom!

Why do we hate cardio so much but why do we keep on torturing ourselves by doing it? It has been ingrained into our brains that cardio is what burns the fat. For decades we have been bombarded by advertising, gym know it alls, television, articles new cool machines that this is the be all and end all of fitness. So we believe it is the right thing to do and we jump on the cardio bandwagon and never change our body shape, ever. We also believe that we must spend between 40 minutes to an hour on the machine and in a certain heart rate range, usually very low, to see real results. We get bored, we stop. We are right back to square one.

So with no motivation to get on the machine in the first place and nothing to do while on it and nothing to show for your efforts, why bother? That is exactly the first reason why cardio is an evil and time consuming monster. Now, cut that 40 minute session to 20 minutes, set that machine to roll a bit faster and the incline a bit steeper, alternate that with a bit of resting time in between and there you have it, an interval session. This session will not only burn more fat and much faster than the 40 minute counterpart, it will also keep your metabolism high for hours after your session. Now that you have the interval idea in your head, start playing around with different intervals. Change the resting times, play with the serious hard work interval. Make a little circuit interval of fast, steep, fast and steep. There is no wrong way to do interval training, it will keep you motivated for the next session because now you actually think about the session before you go do it. Not like normally where you just get on the machine, push start and go. You will get in and out of the gym quicker, so the time issue is not an issue anymore and you will actually see results!

Now you can also do your heart racing “cardio” workout without even getting on the conventional cardio machine. Really? Yes, you actually don't even have to leave your living room to do an absolutely fantastic fat burning workout. Think of a couple of exercises you can do without using any equipment, push ups, squats, lunges, planks. Put them in sequence of your choice and do them one after each other without any rest, about 10 reps per exercise. Give yourself a breather between circuits and repeat for 2 – 5 times, depending on your fitness levels and there you have it, a living room cardio workout, much better than the generic fitness club workout!

It is all about being smart and using your time to the best of your ability. Stop wasting your time on noise, always broken, wobble pieces of cardio machines and go to the next level of fitness. Be strong and train hard!