There’s a lot of conflicting information going around about cardio. Is it good or is it bad? I am going to clear up any confusion and tell you the real deal. First of all, if it elevates your heart rate, it is technically a form of cardiovascular exercise. Well guess what? Strength training can elevate your heart rate, so cardio can’t be all that bad. So what’s the problem? The problem is doing aerobic cardio. This form of cardio burns energy mostly by increasing the demand for oxygen primarily by the lungs. It is also performed for an extended period of time. While this can result in weight loss, it’s not the type of weight loss you should want. The more aerobic cardio you do, the more muscle you lose (which slows down your metabolism). That means you now have to work much harder and longer to burn off calories over time. It is also a slower process of losing weight. Examples of aerobic cardio would be jogging or spinning.Strength training is a form of cardio, but it’s anaerobic. Oxygen demand is still increased but mainly from the muscles instead of the lungs. This type of cardio burns off more calories while promoting muscle development. It is typically done in short intervals. Circuit strength training workouts, for example, typically consist of stations that last for one to two minutes. Science has already proven that this is by far superior to aerobic cardio for loss of fat and weight. But there is a catch. A good fat loss program will require that you train five to six days per week. You can’t do a strength training workout that frequently because your muscles won’t recover. So how to you solve this dilemma? On days that you aren’t strength training, power cardio should be on the menu. When you combine aerobic and anaerobic cardio, power cardio is the result. Sprints, brisk incline walking, plyometric circuits, and jumping rope are just a few choices that fit the bill.If you replace aerobic cardio with one of these or any other power cardio exercise, your results will come faster and quicker. You’ll also be stronger and have a better looking physique because you are not burning off so much muscle. This is critical because due to it’s positive effects on your metabolism, muscle is like gold when it comes to losing fat and weight. The battle of the bulge is tough enough as it is, don’t make things more difficult by working against your body’s natural programming.To do power cardio effectively you must push as hard as you can the entire time. Each session should last ten to thirty minutes, based on how fit you are. Ninety (90) seconds should be the maximum length of any break. When you link this with a circuit training routine and good nutrition, you’ll have a great fat loss program. Calories will continue to burn long after your workout is over, which speeds up fat and weight loss. Don’t forget to track the details of each workout routine and be sure to push a little harder every time.Now I realize that some of you won’t believe me, and that’s ok. You may be a die hard fan of long duration aerobic cardio. Just humor me and consider one more point. Wrestlers, running backs, and sprinters have jobs that involve power cardio. What type of body do you see on these guys? Think about it. Remember, losing weight and fat is not an easy task. Give yourself every advantage you can.