Doing long-duration aerobic exercise (“cardio”) for weight loss is inefficient and often ineffective. But that may not be the worst thing about it.

According to Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer in Santa Clarita, CA, “Research has shown that aerobic exercise programs result in injury – in fact, one study found a 50 to 90 percent injury rate in the initial six weeks of training.” And yet, the typical weight-loss cardio program for an overweight person almost always includes thousands of repetitions… which almost inevitably leads to overuse injuries.

According to Cosgrove, “A superior system would be to use strength training to prepare the muscles for more exercise. By reducing the rest periods between sets of strength exercises, you can still achieve the same calorie-burning and cardiovascular-boosting benefits.”

A bodyweight circuit of squats, push-ups, and step-ups will help strengthen the muscle groups of the entire body. Do a set of 10 repetitions for each, resting as little as possible between exercises. Once you have finished the circuit, rest one minute, and then repeat two more times.

[Ed. Note: Craig Ballantyne is an expert consultant for Men’s Health magazine. If you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle, and quickly step into the body you have always wanted with just three workouts each week, check out Craig’s fat-loss system, Turbulence Training for Fat Loss.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at

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