How do I get my cardio fix without shrinking too much?
March 8, 2009 3:34 PM   Subscribe

What are some good cardio workout videos for someone who is not trying to lose weight?

I'm looking to get back in shape cardio-wise for my health, and like to workout at home with videos. I currently do Pilates and yoga, which are great for strength and flexibility, but don't really get my heart pumping. The only video I have that works well for this is a Cardio Pilates video, but it's pretty short and since I like to do Pilates other days, would like something different. It seems like all of the cardio videos I see at stores and on places like Netflix are geared toward people who are looking to lose weight/burn fat. I don't need/want to lose any weight, and I can't afford to burn too much fat (I've been slightly underweight/low body fat % my entire life because I can only eat small amounts of food at a time and have a fairly fast metabolism to boot, but I'm going to try to add a little more to my diet if I can handle it).

Any suggestions for cardio videos with 30 min+ workouts geared towards people who are mostly after the heart and lung benefits, rather than any sort of weight-loss goals?
posted by fructose to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The thing is, a cardio workout is going to burn calories, which is how you lose weight.
posted by Airhen at 4:23 PM on March 8, 2009

Response by poster: I understand that. I don't want a video that is specifically geared toward that, as in, the types of moves they do are created to burn fat in certain areas of the body, which is what I've found to be the case on the ones I've checked out online. I'm wondering if there are any cardio videos geared specifically toward maximizing the heart and lung benefits, I guess.
posted by fructose at 4:25 PM on March 8, 2009

For what it's worth, these videos may claim that they are supposed to help you burn fat in certain areas, but they can't do that. All they can do is help you tone muscles in certain areas. If you burn enough calories and don't replace them, you will lose weight, from wherever your body sees fit.

That being said, I can understand that it may be nicer to watch videos which aren't going on and on about "lose that fat!", and instead are talking about "get your heart in shape!" or whatnot. Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions for you there...
posted by wyzewoman at 4:31 PM on March 8, 2009

Yeah, that's not the way fat loss works. They might be targeting certain areas with strength moves at the same time as a cardio workout, but you can't burn fat in particular areas. Cardio is short for cardiovascular, after all.

Maybe look for cardio workouts for other athletes - runners, weightlifters, dance, etc. I'd bet those don't focus so much on the "kiss that ass goodbye" routine. Or cardio for men. Or the wii :-)
posted by barnone at 4:42 PM on March 8, 2009

Oh I bet a cardio kickboxing video would be good - tends to be high-energy and strength versus losing weight.
posted by barnone at 4:43 PM on March 8, 2009

Best answer: You could try asking at the Collage Video Forums. Collage Video sells every exercise video known to man. They also divide up videos by goal and one goal is Heart Health.
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:55 PM on March 8, 2009

Many of the CrossFit compound exercises ought to send your heart rate through the roof. Dumbell thrusters, box jumps, Tabita squats, medicine ball cleans...good stuff. If you're worried about losing mass, you could always drink a protein recovery shake after you're done.

Speaking from experience, any cardio kickboxing workout routine done on a rebounder/mini-trampoline is going to build leg muscle like crazy. I suppose this would be true of other high-energy videos, too...good luck!
posted by aquafortis at 5:33 PM on March 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's another cardio/strength combo exercise you might like: WallBall "Karen" (Idiotic music alert: video much better with the sound off!)
posted by aquafortis at 5:38 PM on March 8, 2009

Seconding the Tabata intervals. Basically, you go all out for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and do eight sets altogether (8 x 30 sec. = 4 min of hell). The key, though, is that you really have to push yourself for those 20 seconds--going 100%.

More info: Tabata Intervals by Ross Enamait and T-Nation

Essentially, it's high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.), which is what you should be looking to do.
posted by hobbes at 7:31 PM on March 8, 2009

Yes, definitely check out the crossfit videos:
posted by tiburon at 9:21 PM on March 9, 2009

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