The Loop

Fitness Friday: Is your cardio routine a waste of time?

Treadmill run.jpg

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If you dread cardiovascular/aerobic training or are simply bored with the 30- to 45-minute routine you've developed on the treadmill, stationary bike, rower or elliptical, renowned strength-and-conditioning coach Mike Boyle has a message for you.

Stop doing it.

People have been theorizing for some time now that steady-state cardio training—such as going for a 5K jog or a 20-mile bike ride—is an inefficient way to achieve the desired health benefits of an active lifestyle. But now there's proof. A recent study performed by Martin Gibala and his team at McMaster University in Canada determined that one minute of interval training had the same health benefits of 45 minutes of "moderate intensity continuous training." That was not a misprint. They found that in a 12-week period, three sets of going 20 seconds all-out on a stationary bike, then just plodding along for two minutes, had the same health benefit as those who went 45 minutes on the bike at 70-percent of their maximum heart rate. You can read more about it here.

So if you're ready to dump your cardio routine and want to know more about what you should be doing, click on the video and listen to Mike.