Best cardio


Kit Reviewer
I have shit knees and can't run. I also need to shift weight quickly. What's the best exercise in my situation? My obvious options are cycling, rowing, cross trainer, incline walking... the usual gym fodder. Which is the higher burner? What else could I do in the gym?

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I'm quite enjoying swimming, 3 lengths breast stroke then 1 length front crawl. Though I don't suggest it will be a complete solution.


War Hero
Kayaking... in particular, long distance sea kayaking worked well for me when in similar circumstances. Off to the Devizes-Westminster with you!
Have to agree on the swimming. It will shift the weight and provide a good cardiovascular exercise regime. What Werewolf said about being kind on your joints.

Surely cycling will antagonise any injury you've done to your knees?

Canader do you find kayaking is helpful in exercising your lower body cause so far it isn't working for me? I find it great for the upper body and a cardiovascular benefit but apart from that can't see it as an effective weight losing option.
If you have access to kettlebells check out Kettlebell swings. My knees suffer if I run a lot so I tend not to run more than twice a week these days. The workout I did tonight was 35 2 handed swings followed by 10 burpees followed by 1 minute rest. Repeat x 10 and you will be blowing out your hoop. Failing that, intervals on the rower, tabatas (evil, have a look on google), punch bag even.


It's not all about cardio, don't forget about resistant training. Re cardio anything that gets you in the aerobic zone, this is where you need to be to burn fat. Use a heart monitor your looking for a heart rate of 60-75%. To calculate your max HR is easy. 220 - (your age).


Kit Reviewer
Thanks guys. I had a suspicion swimming would come up! There is a pool at the gym but it's usually full of kids and classes. I'll have to check the timetable.

Kayaking and other fun sports are out of the question as I'm looking for simple, gym-based things. Definitely need to Google some of M2G's ideas though :)

Final point on resistance and heart rate: I'm doing bags of weights as well, so no problem there. Also, are you saying that anything that keeps my heart rate around 140 (I'm late 20s) will burn it, regardless?

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Book Reviewer
There's not much you can't do with a decent rowing machine (ie. the type you get in a gym, not the the type that costs £50 from Argos). CV, strength... you name it. Don't just whack the resistance up to 10 and try to be all macho; when I had a period when I couldn't run, I used to do 10k a day on a resistance of about 7 and that's plenty good enough. Get some advice from an instructor.

There are some very competitive websites for times, etc, on the Concept II rower that you can get involved in. Again, get some instruction - posture is important for the lower back - and then learn to hate the bloody things; they're an all-over workout. But they're very good for round the middle and lower back.

Of course calories out need to exceed calories in, so look at your diet - especially the beer monster. There's little point in training like a demon if you're just filling yourself up with rubbish.
Kayaking combined with cycling then nordic walking. The more undulating the ground the better. (XC skiing on xmas holidays?) There is actually a GP referal scheme with nordic walking as one of the options. You can do it anywhere and it's cheaper than going into a gym to breath recycled air. Swimming is also excellent, obviously, but studying the tiles at the bottom of the local swimming baths can get a bit monotonous after a while.


Got to agree with rowing- I tend to do intervals of 750m at about a 2:00/500m split, with sprints of 250m at about 1:40/1.35; I'm usually hanging out by the third split, but if you can keep at it for around 5 splits then it's a pretty good workout.
I have a slipped disc in my neck - whiplash injury.

I had to give up running because it was antagonising the injury and causing it to bulge into the spinal nerve bundle. I used to run around 6 - 8 miles a day so that I would'nt become a fat knacker civvy. I now cycle for around 2 hours a day to try and burn a similar amount of calories.
I am planning to start doing morning cardio,
and i'am wondering if it is good or bad,
should i take protein before ???

There is plenty of research to suggest that running, or exercising BEFORE you eat first thing encourages your body to use fat stores rather than glycogen. best to take the protein drink along with a breakfast of porridge within 20 mins of finishing.
Swimming, swimming and more swimming. Then try a bit of swimming. Front crawl is the best unless you have a specific condition that prevents you doing it. Dont try to go for speed when swimming, just set out to swim constantly for a set time or number of lengths. If you have never done much swimming before, it is worth getting a lesson or two to ensure your technique is good - it doesnt need to be perfect.
RS, exercising before you eat in the AM needs to be taken carefully. The reason your body is encouraged to burn fat at that time of the day is that you have almost no free carbohydrate reserve left after a good night's sleep.
True, I suppose I am used to it now. I usually swim before eating in the morning and also do the odd run as well. 70 lengths of crawl with 10 of breast stroke to cool down is my current regime 3 times a week.
if your gym do spin bike classes get on one of them and try it out (also get a spot near the back so that on the uphill sections you can stare hungrily into the birds ass crack which is hovering 2ft in front of you).

i've been having knee problems on and off for years (had surgery last wk so hopefully more off now) and the last time i had to sack running completely this is what i was doing as its low impact but you can really beast yourself. i image once i'm up to it i'll be doing quite a bit of it in the coming months.
Swimming and gym work are great but take up a lot of your time just getting there and changed etc , none sporty types never stick it and it also costs, I lost 2 stone in 3 months by walking 6 mile at a brisk pace every other day and reducing carbs , ie rice crackers instead of bread and potato`s , tinned fish instead of pies and other shite ,fill up with fruit. Get a dog and get fast walking, it works.