Forty Minutes Of Interval Cardio? Don't Do It

Yesterday, I did 40 minutes of running interval cardio on the treadmill. I recommend, and usually do, 20 minutes of intervals. On some days, I will do 20 minutes, rest 10 minutes, and do another 20 minutes. I have also done 20 minutes in the morning and another 20 minutes at night.

Doing 40 minutes of running interval cardio is, well, too much at one time. I was quickly running out of energy at about 30 minutes. Why did I keep going? Three reasons: I was feeling pretty good, I was running on a treadmill (easier than running on land, which I usually do) and I was watching "The Office" (Michael falls into Koi Pond episode). Don't do 40 minutes of intervals in one session!

Twenty minutes of running cardio intervals is enough to burn plenty of calories during and after your workout. Doing two separate 20 minute cardio sessions is even better.

Research proves that two 20-minute workouts will burn more fat and calories than one 40 minute workout. Doing a second workout during the day (even a short one) keeps growth hormone levels high throughout the day. This will give you even more body fat burning.

So, here is how I usually do a 20-minute running cardio interval session on a treadmill:

--Run fast, 1 minute
--Walk, 1.5 minutes
--Do this rotation for 20 minutes

When I run intervals outdoors on grass or astro-play turf:

--Sprint 60 yards
--Walk back to starting line
--Sprint 60 yards
--Do this rotation for 20 minutes

Running outdoors is much tougher because you do all the work and you have to go against wind and generate your own momentum. My preference is to exercise outdoors. Run hard, run safe.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Nutritionist, Dietary Strategies Specialist, Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist and Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.