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I am so sorry to everyone that I have been away for the last month.  I am back for good now 🙂 We all know how time consuming it is to do long cardio sessions.  This could be news to you, but unless you are training for a long distance race, there is no real need to spend 30-60 minutes on a machine if you are looking to burn fat.  When you do the drawn out cardio sessions, your body will continue to burn calories for maybe 2 hours after you finish.  If you spend up to 24 minutes performing intense interval training formats, such as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata Intervals, your body will enter this state of EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), and then you will continue to burn calories for up to another 48 hours all due to the intensity of your workout. Exercising in this manner creates a greater muscle demand, which forces your body to build more muscle.  When you have more muscle, at rest, your body naturally expends more energy.  Based on your eating habits, you will likely be pulling that energy from any stored fat.  When you do steady state cardio, you are not building any muscle.  If you are trying to lose weight, this form of cardio will be detrimental, because your body will begin to breakdown muscle for energy rather than breaking down fat.  This in the end will reduce your metabolism, not increase it.  Think about the local gym that you go to.  You may have seen a few people in your gym, performing steady cardio on the elliptical or treadmill, that have done the same routine for years.   If you really think hard about it, you likely have not seen a change in their bodies over that period of time.  Why?  Because they are breaking down their muscles and slowing their metabolism.  If you are trying to make your body more efficient in terms of fat loss, you need to add muscle.  Here are great examples of the differences in body types that occur due to steady state cardio and sprinting intervals: Sprinters.       image Steady state runners image If you notice, in the first picture the athletes have more developed thighs and hips.  In the second picture, thigh and hip development is diminished.   Below you have a side by side view. image Yes the pictures I posted are of trained athletes, but the premise is the same for everyone, male and female.  If you are trying to lose weight, continuous steady cardio will make you look like the marathoner, except you likely keep a bit of fat on your body for a while longer as you attempt to lose weight.    Performing interval training using sprints or interchanging various exercises will get you towards the body of a sprinter.   In my next post, I will tell you how to perform interval training.  If you enjoyed reading this post, you can follow me on twitter @sheer_drive or like Sheer Drive on Facebook. Until then!  Eat well and be healthy!