Monday, June 9, 2003

Personal Trainer

Planned cardio work can help get you lean

By Dave Patania

Question: I lift weights religiously and eat right but can't seem to get lean. I know I don't get enough cardiovascular work. How can I fit more of it into my routine?

Answer: Getting high-quality cardiovascular work is the key. However, if you are already lifting weights and eating right, you don't need to get in hours of cardio; you just need to have scheduled, planned periods that are focused on utilizing as many fatty acids as possible.

To do this, go to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier, get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier in the morning and perform a cardio session before you eat breakfast. In the morning, your glycogen (what carbohydrates stored in the body are called) levels are low because of many hours of sleep without eating. With a low supply of carbohydrates available for use, your body will use fatty acids (fat) for energy, thus promoting significant fat loss. After a few weeks of doing this, your body will be highly efficient at utilizing calories (especially from carbohydrates) for energy production and highly resistant to storing calories as fat.

If getting lean is the goal, you should make the time for cardiovascular work and its many benefits. One benefit is the fact that cardiovascular training increases the amount of supply routes in the form of more and bigger blood vessels. These new supply routes carry more nutrients and blood flow to working muscles, thus producing more lean muscle mass, more definition, and the ability to perform harder workouts.

To make sure that you are training in the right training zones for your level/ability, purchase a heart rate monitor. This device is cheap ($40-$50), easy to use and ensures that you are safely in the correct training zones to accomplish your goals without the guesswork. They come with easy instructions on how to determine your training zones.

Getting lean requires a system, so use proper nutrition, weight training, cardiovascular work and stretching to give you the best chance for fitness success.

Contact personal trainer Dave Patania by e-mail:

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