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Doing Cardio? Start Off Fast, Finish Nice and Easy

Whether you're running, biking, or swimming as your form of cardio, you want to get the most out of your workouts. When some people are training, they incorporate negative splits into their routines. It involves moving faster in the second half of your workout than you did for your first half. This warms up the muscles slowly, which helps reduce your risk of injury, and it also helps you finish strong when you're racing.

You can also work out in the opposite way, where you start off fast and intense and end your workout slower and with moderate intensity. Researchers at the College of New Jersey found that after a short warmup, "cyclists who punched up the intensity during the first half of their workouts and then cruised for the second half burned about 10 percent more calories than those who started slow and finished fast." Not only will you burn more calories, but when you give it all you've got in the beginning, it feels so good to reward yourself with a more relaxed second half of your workout.


Join The Conversation
livetolove livetolove 8 years
lydialee I'm just like you, I'm a runner too so maybe that's why
lydialee_home lydialee_home 8 years
Actually my normal workout is more like a pyramid - start slow, peak at the middle, and then slow down at the end. The start fast - slow at the end is more in the race. I have a hard time to pace myself with all the runners around me.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I agree with Runningesq. Personally, when I do cardio, burning calories is NOT the main goal. For me, it's more about cardio-pulmonary conditioning -- working my heart and lungs. Also, it's about building bone density, too (putting some demand on my skeleton to fortify itself). Generally, because of this, I have an even-pace throughout my workout (with a warm-up beforehand, and cool-down afterwards). Also, I find that an uneven pace (starting off face, finish nice and easy, or vice-versa, as mentioned) leads to injury. I know this article touts otherwise, but from my experience and observation, that's untrue. JMHO.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Okay ... if your goal is to just burn calories.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 8 years
Interesting - I like this better. I always start fast when I am full of energy, and then slower at the end. Having said that, I always have some warm-up - slow jog before I really go for full-speed.
xtinabeena xtinabeena 8 years
i wouldn't go fast until after a proper warm-up and stretch!
pinkmermaid23 pinkmermaid23 8 years
cool! I'm going biking tonight and I think we'll try to go really fast in the beggining, hit the bridge, do an incline and then cruise all the way down and ride into the sunset. I'm excited!
poptart-princess poptart-princess 8 years
hmmm. this is interesting. for me personally, though... it takes, like...25-30 minutes till i actually start to get into my work out and feel like pushing myself.
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