WE CAN’T BEAR TO watch even one more guy put hours into counterproductive cardio workouts and get almost nothing out of them.
1. Your workouts are too long
The longer the cardio session, the less intense it is—and high-intensity is best for fat loss. Do 15 to 20 minutes of all-out intervals with a work-rest ratio from 1-to-1 to 1-to-5, with less rest for low-impact work (machines, swimming), and more for high-impact ones (sprints, explosive jumps).
2. There’s not enough variety
You lift using many diverse moves, rep ranges, and rest periods—then do the same cardio you’ve always done. Sound familiar? “If you don’t switch things up, you hit a plateau,” says Ryno. “Instead, mix it up with steady-state, HIIT, and CrossFit-style metabolic conditioning.”
3. You use the machines as a crutch
Another way to plateau: Rely only on machines. For the best results, do at least one or two weekly man-powered (not electric-powered) sessions. Changing up with nonmachine cardio provides a different stimulus, and leads to new results.
4. You multitask
Try to do multiple things at once and you won’t do any of them very well. But keep your focus on one task at a time and you’re likely to be pleased with the results. “Reading or nonstop texting while on a machine just doesn’t allow you to work with any real intensity,” says Ryno. Half-assed workout from half-hearted messages—what’s the point?