Say goodbye to those days on the treadmill! Sound too good to be true..?

What a slog: You hop on there, maybe there’s a TV to entertain you, maybe there’s not, and you’re supposed to just walk or run in place for at least 30 minutes. like a hamster on a wheel! Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the efficiency?

For most of us there is none!


Steady state cardio (AKA, what I described above) was created for people under the assumption that the best way to lose weight, to burn fat and to tone up is to burn as many calories as possible when exercising.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

In this day and age, most people have some type of heart rate monitor or fitness watch. How many calories can you possibly burn while running in place at the same pace? The answer: Not many. If your average pace on the treadmill is between 6.5-8 miles-per-hour, you’ll burn anywhere from 279-355 calories in 30 minutes. Is that enough to burn off your overly-sugared coffee beverage in the morning? Maybe if you only get a small, but still not by much!

What is the best cardio for weight loss? The answer: Interval training

What are two of the most common complaints people have for not getting enough exercise? Lack of time and lack of motivation.

How can you be motivated running in place with no aim but the clock to hit zero 30 minutes from when you started? And who has 30 minutes to do something so mind numbing? With interval training, you’re a lot more invested in your workouts, you can add a lot more variety and you can get a lot more done in a lot less time.

Whether you’re using a piece of cardio equipment like a treadmill, or are performing a circuit containing a series of exercises, utilizing interval training is definitely the best cardio routine for weight loss.

With interval training, you alternate between both high and low intensities, usually at a 2:1 ratio of high-to-low, moving your heart rate between zones, which enables you to get a lot more done in a lot less time.

Additionally interval training helps you burn fat for hours. Have you ever seen the acronym EPOC? Short for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, and better known as the ‘Afterburn Effect’, this is what happens to you after performing an interval training workout.

Best cardio for weight loss

With interval training, you can rev your metabolism for hours post workout by performing a workout like this. There are many forms of interval training, ranging from Tabata to HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. See below for a sample workout of each:

Cardio Equipment Interval

Rower – From 0-20 seconds, go as hard as you can. Then, when the timer hits 21 seconds, row gently from 21-40 seconds. At 40, pick things up again, and continue this 20 second on, 20 second off progression. To make things more challenging, cut your low intensity time in half, going hard for 20 and light for 10.

HIIT Circuit Instructions: Set an interval timer for eight sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Go through the below circuit twice, and take 40-60 seconds of rest once you’ve completed both rounds. Then set your timer for eight sets of 30 seconds on, 15 seconds off.

Again, go through the circuit twice at this interval, and again take 40-60 seconds rest upon completion. Lastly set your interval timer for eight sets at 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off and perform the below circuit twice.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Exercise Interval

Mountain Climbers. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, then Bodyweight Squats 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, then Push Jacks 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, then Ice Skaters 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

I hope this article has helped explain why interval training is the best cardio for weight loss.

If you’re interested in trying either of the above sample routines out, please leave me a note to let me know what you thought of it.

Until next time!

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Peter Weintraub


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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans