5 Cardio Workout Myths to Avoid

You may have heard of the best ways to burn fat or various fat burning techniques using cardio workout during your entire fitness routines. But did it ever crossed your mind to think which one of them are true and effective and which ones are just myths or misconceptions that were believed to work really well?

Different fitness experts have different opinions and beliefs to which techniques works really well and all of them can be conflicting to one another.  Before it can cause you further confusion, you have to know how the different types of cardiovascular training affect fat burning.

  1. Long cardio workouts at low intensity are the best

Doing long cardio workouts at low intensity does not make your heart rate high enough to be considered that it is working out.
What to do instead:
Interval training where you sprint for about a minute then walk for two minutes are more effective to burn fats.  Remember that higher  heart rate burns more calories. It will boost your metabolism long after the workout, meaning you will still be burning fats and calories even after you have finished your workout and left the gym.

  1. Not entering your proper weight/height into machines

Improper information means improper result.


What to do:
Take your weight first thing in the morning before you take any food or drinks.  Then enter that weight and your height on the machine to get a personalized and more accurate results.

  1. Quick cardio workout burns fat cells

You will start burning fat cells after about 20 minutes of cardio workout.


What to do:
After warming up at low intensity on a treadmill, stationary bike, StairMaster, or stepper for 2 minutes, up the speed to moderate intensity for 10 minutes, then do 2 minutes at lower intensity, then 5 minutes at high intensity, then close with 5 minutes of moderate intensity, and 2 minutes of low intensity as a cool down. Total cardio workout time: 26 minutes.

If you are trying to lose fat, you need to do more cardio than if you are trying to gain weight. For fat loss, 20 to 40 minutes of cardio 3 to 5 times per week is plenty. Start conservatively if you are just beginning training (e.g. 3 times weekly at 20 minutes per session).

  1. Eating energy bar or drink before a cardio workout

You will just end up burning the calories you just ate first before you hit your target fat cells. Remember that energy bars and drinks were designed with endurance athletes in mind, therefore may have hidden sugars and fat which give them high calorie content.

energy drink

Solution: Instead, have a low-calorie snack about an hour before the workout (allowing enough time for digestion), such as an apple and a half-cup of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese. You won’t sacrifice energy for the workout, and those minimal calories from the pre-workout snack will be burned quickly during a 20- to 30-minute, moderate- to high-intensity cardio session.

  1. Doing cardio workout on an empty stomach

People have the misconception that by doing so, you automatically start burning fatty tissue.

empty stomach

Solution: Cited in the book The Men’s Health Guide to Peak Conditioning (Rodale Press, 1997), Ellen Coleman, R.D., nutrition consultant with The Sport Clinic in Riverside, California, has this to say about fasting before a workout: “You don’t have to starve yourself, but it’s wise to avoid eating 45 minutes to an hour before exercising. Even carbohydrates take at least an hour to digest. Fats take even longer: two to four hours. When your body diverts energy to digestion, it’s robbing muscles of power and making your workout less effective.”

The bottom line? Don’t starve yourself before a workout and, of equal importance, make sure you are properly hydrated. Training on an empty stomach or with minimal fluids is akin to a car trying to get from point A to point B with no gas. You won’t get very far into your training without any “fuel in your tank” after fasting for 5 hours or more; especially if you want to burn fat with a 20-minute high-intensity workout.

Don’t make the same mistakes professionals and beginners alike have made…



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