I have been working out at home for the past few months or so and my workouts consisted of dumbbells and doing Insanity: The Asylum for my cardio needs. However, I wanted to get back into the gym and since my alma mater offers memberships for so cheap, I took the plunge and just bought one a few weeks ago. The first few weeks were spent doing a moderate amount of lifting to get my muscles back (push ups don’t prepare for the soreness after the first chest workout) and getting acclimated to the cardio workouts found in Visual Impact Cardio. Visual Impact Cardio is a fat loss program designed by Rusty Moore who has been involved in the fitness industry for years and has put out great men’s and women’s programs in the past few years. Visual Impact Cardio, on the other hand, was specifically written to achieve fat loss quickly through 8 week cycles of cardiovascular exercise.
Testing out the workouts in this program has been tough but in a weird way they have been fun. It has been a Thanksgiving holiday schedule at my gym this week, so I’ve had to make due with home workouts, but I am already looking forward to my Visual Impact Cardio workout tomorrow night. Yes, I am looking forward to getting on a treadmill tomorrow, I find myself loving the challenging lactic threshold intervals. Also, I like the specificity of the workouts because when left to my own devices I may come up with some random cardio workout, if I do any at all. This way I have a set workout that I know going into the day I must get through and so I just put in my headphones and get to work. For this post, I want to lay out what information is included in Visual Impact Cardio and what to expect if you are considering undertaking it.
After a brief introduction, Rusty breaks down two heavily cited studies that people often use as evidence that shorter cardio sessions are more effective at burning calories than steady state cardio. The first study, Rusty writes, called the Tabata Study, wasn’t even a measure of calories or fat burned. The Tabata Study was a measure of VO2 max (aerobic capacity), and while it increased a participants VO2 max, it was not the most effective way to burn fat. (He breaks the whole thing down in the book, much better than my short attempt).
The second study, Rusty cites, presents a measure of the so-called “afterburn effect”. Simply put, the amount of extra calories your body burns after you finish exercising. The point being, that the people who subscribe to doing only the short interval cardio training, are misinformed about how many extra calories they are really burning. He says that the participants in the study who did these high-intensity intervals for short periods of time, only lost 0.2 lbs in 15 weeks!
Also, while high-intensity exercise does produce a greater afterburn effect, it amounts to roughly 14% of total calories burned during a workout. Meaning, a 30 minute high-intensity workout burning 400 calories, ends up with a 56 calorie post-workout burn versus roughly 49 extra calories burned for an hour of steady state cardio.
While this program certainly uses and advocates high-intensity interval training, Rusty is pointing out that the afterburn effect and short cardio craze are both overstated. Visual Impact Cardio utilizes a multitude of intensity levels and time intervals.
The next few chapters introduce the idea of the lactic acid threshold and what Rusty likes to call the “Average Intensity Level”, which is extremely important for understanding the amount of calories burned during steady state cardio versus high intensity intervals. He does a great job at explaining these concepts in layman’s terms but they do serve as the basis of the thought behind the program so it will be important to really understand them. He introduces more information on how fat is burned and the role of glycogen. Rusty also explains that this program is designed to fit as a lifestyle and not simply a quick-fix diet, which is why you get to have the weekends off to have fun.
After laying the foundations and introducing the thinking behind the program, Rusty, introduces the day by day guide of the beginners cycle. Followed by the 8 week cycle at the intermediate level, and the special 8 week hell (haha) of the advanced workout cycle. You get to choose the type of cardio you do (I run some days and use the elliptical on others) but the program presents to you the amount of time spent total on that days workout, the interval timing, and the intensity in terms of lactic threshold you need to do. Each day in the schedule is accounted for, you get rest when there needs to be a rest day and you push harder when it’s called for.
Here is a breakdown of the chapters found in Visual Impact Cardio:
1: Calories Burned After Exercise Don’t Amount to Much
2: Focus on Calories Burned During the Workout
3: Calories Burned: Intervals vs. Steady State
4: A 1 Page Interval Training Summary
5: How Interval Training Actually Works
6: Calorie Deficit, Calories Burned, and Fat Loss
7: Burning Stubborn Body Fat
8: Calories, Food, and Workout Timing
9: Improving Popular Fat Loss Programs
10: Separating Fat Loss and Resistance Training
11: Visual Impact Cardio Preparation
12: The Beginner’s Cycle
13: The Intermediate Cycle
14: The Advanced Cycle
15: The Maintenance Plan
16: Final Thoughts
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Answers to Some Possible Questions About Visual Impact Cardio
How Long Does it Take to Receive Visual Impact Cardio?
It’s an ebook program so once you’ve paid it will be emailed to you. You can start the program, immediately, if you want to.
Is This Program for Advanced Trainers or Can it be Done by Beginners?
The ebook features three workout cycles: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each of the three cycles lasts 8 weeks. So, any level of experience can take on Visual Impact Cardio. The advanced cycle is an 8 week cycle to take someone who is already lean and get them really cut for a special event. You can use the intermediate cycle consecutive times to get leaner if the first go round wasn’t enough. The beginning program gets you shedding fat fast and building up the endurance necessary for the intermediate program.
Does it Include a Diet Plan?
Visual Impact Cardio also goes into some detail about how you should eat but not necessarily what you should eat. While Rusty does gives some examples of dieting schemes and principles behind them, this program is not a diet plan. Visual Impact Cardio is a program designed to teach you how to lose fat and its three 8-week cycles certainly delivers on that.
Do You Need Access to a Gym for Visual Impact Cardio?
Not necessarily. However, cardio equipment is important for this program so whether that is at the gym or in your home, won’t make a difference. You can still do this program without cardio machines but it won’t be as effective because there is a need to keep track of intensity levels and measuring your lactic acid threshold. I think you’d still get good fat loss without machines though.
Does It Actually Work?
Yes, it works. All exercise burns calories, the key is burning enough calories, in an efficient way to promote fat loss. Even those abdominal machines you see on TV probably work (at strengthening abs) but they don’t burn the necessary calories to get rid of that belly fat. What’s the point of developing your abs if a layer of fat is covering them up? Also, any reasonable exercise plan will work based on the amount of effort and consistency a person puts into it. Some exercise plans will work better because they are based on science and are undertaken in an effective manner. Visual Impact Cardio lays out the reasoning behind the entire program and then offers you 24 weeks of workouts and how to maintain your results after whatever cycle you finish with.
How Many Workouts per Week?
The program is on a Monday-Friday schedule, so either 4 or 5 days per week depending on that week’s level of intensity. Each workout last from 30 minutes to an hour.
Can You Lift Weights Along with Doing Visual Impact Cardio?
I don’t see why not. I’m still lifting weights three or four days a week but I’m not going crazy with it either. Rusty Moore also has the original Visual Impact Muscle Building program, which could be stacked with the cardio. You’d probably have to re-configure the workouts though. If you have your own weight training routine, I doubt you’d gain very much muscle while doing Visual Impact Cardio but you would probably get great definition. If you want to gain mass, you might consider doing a bulk using something like the original Visual Impact, and then follow that up with Visual Impact Cardio to get really cut.
There you have it guys, a basic introduction to the Visual Impact Cardio program. Like I said before, the results you get will reflect the level of dedication you had during the program. These 8 week cycles will definitely help to shed the fat and after that you can easily maintain your results with a decent diet and a few workout sessions per week. Rusty says in the book, if you slip up after you’ve finished the program and gained 10 pounds, then simply start a new cycle to get back to where you want to be. If you are looking for a challenging workout that will burn off the fat fast, then you should definitely consider giving Visual Impact Cardio a try.