Article Feature: Burn Baby, Burn: HOT Cardio Tips for the New Year! By Julio A. Salado, NSCA-RCPT*D

bodybuilding close up dumbbells equipment
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Warning: The following HOT cardio tips may result in a NEW leaner you.

Do you spend forty-five minutes on the treadmill three times a week or log 15,000 steps a day, and eat healthfully but see no progress toward your weight-loss goal? Or worse, have you gained weight while doing “all the right things”?

Before we go any further, it’s important to give yourself kudos for putting in the time to reach your fitness goals. You are light years ahead of those who are “thinking” about starting a body- sculpting program. It is important to stay active and educate yourself about how to be more efficient with your time.

Effort is important, but knowing where to channel your effort makes a big difference.

To that end, it is necessary to understand how to select cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity to overcome weight-loss plateaus.

My advice will help you channel your energy and understand how to select and set cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity for overcoming fat loss.

Let’s begin with a review of universal principles used by all weight-loss programs, which includes energy balance, energy expenditure, and caloric deficit.

Without a continuous caloric deficit from either food consumed or physical activity (or a combination of both) that measures below your personal total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), you will not lose weight.

Healthy weight loss may vary from half a pound to two-plus pounds per week. It will depend on your current weight, average caloric intake, and/or caloric expenditure from exercising prior to initiating a weight-loss program.

Body transformation results arise from your consistency and adhering to the guidelines of the diet that are designed for a caloric deficit and physical activities geared for specific energy expenditure.

Fine-tuning your cardio workout by choosing the most effective settings will fast-track your weight loss.

Most of the cardio equipment (treadmill, arc trainer, ellipticals, rowers, spin bikes) will measure your energy expenditure either in “METs” or “Watts.”

an on treadmill
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METs (Metabolic Equivalent of Tasks) is simply a measurement of how many units of energy is required for the duration of the activity.

For example, walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes at 4 mph equals 5 METs, according to the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

Watts is a unit that measures the power you generate during an activity.

You can use either of these measurements for your cardio exercise.

Here are the steps to jumpstart your weight-loss goal using “The A.I.M. Method”!

What is The A.I.M. Method?

A program that teaches you about your innate potential and helps you optimize your results

  • Assess your goals and use science-based tools to personalize and create a realistic and measurable program.
  • Initiate the customized nutrition and exercise prescription with a purpose.
  • Motivation will be gained from learning how to overcome your own challenges and avoid common setbacks.

We first need to Assess your baseline of Watts or METS for your normal duration of cardio.

  • Write down how long you use a particular piece of equipment and your average Watts or METS.

The next step is to Initiate your cardio program!

Do the following for the next two weeks:

  • If you use METs, then increase your average by 1.5- 3 METS.
  • If you use Watts, then increase your average by 15-30 Watts.
  • You do not need to change the duration of your cardio routine.
  •  However, you should explore other cardio equipment that will result in the MOST METS or Watts used for the same duration. Usually this is equipment that utilizes both the upper and lower body.

Lastly is the Motivation to continue daily efforts conducive to your goal.

  • At the end of two weeks, compare the average to your baseline. Note your progress!
  • Decide whether to keep the new average or incrementally increase it for the next two weeks.

The A.I.M. Method is from my book, “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even”, 3-Step Method for PROVEN Long-Term Results.”

The A.I.M. Method is NOT a diet, nor is it a linear weight-loss process. Any setbacks will become learning experiences about how to overcome challenges whether you have sugar cravings, can’t find the time to work out, or feel unsure how to begin. Let The A.I.M. Method navigate you through your weight-loss journey and become the compass to help you reach your goal.

Most people can lose weight; however, keeping the weight off for the long term tends to be more difficult.

With “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even” you will no longer lose or gain weight without knowing why and learning how to overcome it!

blue tape measuring on clear glass square weighing scale
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Julio Salado, a native of Boston, is the founder of (, a leading online resource for health and fitness. For more than a decade he has been helping individuals achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. He was recently voted Boston’s #2 best personal trainer by Boston A-List. He is the author of Break out of Breaking Even!

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