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Aerobic Exercise for Dummies (If You Are Still Spending Hourly Sessions on the Treadmill and Hoping to Lose Weight)

Updated on February 17, 2014

I'm still amazed when I walk around a fitness center and see exercisers (mostly women) pounding it out on a treadmill. Usually, they spend an hour or so reading magazines, books, talking on the phone, texting, or watching TV. They maintain basically the same pace.

I can remember one overweight woman in particular who performed her ritual on a stationary bike several times a week for at least a year. She probably felt great after her hour biking, but surprisedly did not lose any weight in a year's time.

C'mon people - you're wasting your time!

What if you could cut your time by 40 minutes (67%) or more and get the cardiac and weight loss benefit you're looking for? Can you give up the phone or magazine to make progress toward your fitness goals?

Double Your Results in 1/3 to 1/4 of the Time

The table shown below is an example of interval training which can be done on a treadmill, stationary bike, spin bike, using steps, or even running. The total time is 18 minutes, a reduction of 70%.

The information in the table is merely an example. You could vary the routine by substituting 30 seconds for a high intensity interval time and 90 seconds for recovery (low intensity), but use 8 instead of 4 intervals. The warm up and cool down time can be reduced to two minutes for a total of 20 minutes, a time reduction of 67%.

Time (min)
Warm Up
High Intensity (all out)
Low intensity
High Intensity
Low intensity
High Intensity
Low Intensity
High Intensity
Low Intensity
Cool Down

Very Impotant - Keep Track of Your Heart Rate

A very important activity you must do during interval training is to track your pulse. You are trying to get into your aerobic zone (80% of your max heart rate of 220 minus your age).

For example, if you are 30 years old, this number is (0.8 times (220 minus 30)), 0.8 times 190, or 152. That's where you are aiming during the high intensity parts of the interval.

If you are exceeding your max heart rate, don't! Lower your activity level to slow down a little.

Bottom Line, you absolutely have to track your heart rate to get the best results for your efforts.Most of the time, that means you need to wear a heart rate monitor. The two monitors shown below are highly rated monitors by Consumer Reports. They are somewhat pricey.

In the past, I've used the monitors shown below.

The garmin is a multi-purpose fitness tool, so it costs more than the Omron. You can use the Garmin for fitness tracking.

So You're Skeptical . . .

Yeah, interval training can sound unbelievable to skeptics.

But, guess what, you can't beat scientific proof. Here's the doctor's article that supports the scientific basis of this hot fitness trend:

The Major Exercise Mistake I Made for Over 30 Years...


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