It seems all of us fathers have something in common: We are always short on time. Whether it is fixing things around the house, coaching your kid’s sports team, or just going to work each day, it can be tough to get a workout completed without interruption.
Alternating workouts between strength training and cardio is the perfect way to stay fit and lose the dad bod, but it is difficult to find an hour every day to do so. But what if your cardio workouts only have to last ten minutes and can still provide you with all the fat-burning benefits?
The Problem With Long Distance Moderate Paced Cardio
I’m guessing I am like a lot of you fathers out there. Cardio is not our favorite workout to do. We would rather be pushing around dumbbells in the weight room instead of mindlessly running on a treadmill for half an hour.
About ten years ago or so, I was asked to join a slow pitch men’s softball team. The team was pretty horrible and we won very few games, but I ironically picked up some valuable training ideas.
At the time, I was doing the ordinary cardio of running on the treadmill and using the recumbent bike once or twice a week. I always did these half-heartedly though because I already knew the problem with this type of cardio. Long distance cardio does burn fat as you sweat away with your arms and legs pumping up and down, but it just doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t discern between fat and muscle in your body. So once it gets tired of burning away fat, it will also burn away your muscle mass. And muscle mass is tough to acquire so the last thing you want to do is eliminate much of it.
A few of my teammates on the softball team were sprinters. In fact, they were former college sprinters that had ranked as some of the best in the state. They couldn’t hit the ball more than ten feet, but they could beat almost all of the throws to first base. Plus, they had a solid amount of muscle mass and hardly an ounce of fat on their body. They were lean with muscles and abs and everything.
They had kept up with the training that they had learned through the years and did one or two short sprinting workouts at the track every week. In addition, they hit up the weight room only once or twice a week as well. In any case, it was the perfect combination as it left them pretty well shredded all year long.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
If you look at professional sprinters you will notice how different their physiques are from the long distance runners. Sprinters still have muscle mass but their body fat percentage is super low. Their physical appearance is one of a lean bodybuilder instead of a runner.
There is a reason for this. Their short high intensity workouts attack the fat and leave the muscle mass intact and where it should be: Still on the body.
Not only does HIIT cardio take less time to do, but it produces better results than long-distance cardio that is completed at a moderate pace. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that HIIT produced 28.5 percent more weight loss when compared to those much longer cardio sessions. HIIT will give you better results in less time!
Besides the fat loss, HIIT will also make it easier to add on more lean muscle mass. HIIT cardio will raise your testosterone, human growth hormone (HGH), and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) naturally through these short and intense workouts. When you combine this effect with strength training, you should be able to add on a few pounds of lean muscle mass and perhaps improve on your personal best lifting records at the gym.
Lose Fat and Gain Muscle: Win-Win
If you are truly interested in losing your dad bod once and for all, make HIIT a regular part of your lifestyle. As high-intensity cardio can wear you out, it is best to set a program in place that won’t increase your risk of injury.