Zone 2 Cardio: Why You Should Be Doing It


Cardio is a controversial topic in fitness.

You can get lean without it, especially if you are young.

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The problem is that as you age…

Your body becomes less efficient at burning body fat for fuel.

A specific intensity of cardio, called Zone 2 cardio, can strengthen your body’s ability to burn fat.

A world renowned expert on cardio. Iñigo San Millán, was interviewed for 2+ hours on a podcast recently about Zone 2 training.

It’s awesome information but REALLY technical.

I’ll simplify this info in a short blog post, mixed in with funky tunes (to make the world a more colorful place).

The music theme?

Underrated mid-1980s New Wave dance songs.

Here’s my attempt at summarizing the newest findings in cardio.

Fat can only be oxidized in your mitochondria.

  • Aerobically fit people have strong mitochondria
  • People who are out-of-shape have weak mitochondria

Mitochondria function can weaken as you age.

One of the causes of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes is tied to poor mitochondria function.

The opposite of this is endurance athletes.

Elite endurance athletes have the highest mitochondrial density… so they have the greatest ability to burn fat.

You don’t need to train like an endurance athlete.

Zone 2 cardio will get the job done and it is the intensity level of a fast walk.

This isn’t slow walking intensity.

That is Zone 1.

It also isn’t a fast bike ride that creates a burn in your thighs.

That is Zone 3.

Dr. Iñigo San Millán breaks exercise into 6 training zones.

Zone 2 training burns fat and improves mitochondrial function without fatiguing your strong Type 2 muscle fibers.

This won’t interfere with strength gains.

Dr. Iñigo recommends one-hour sessions of Zone 2 training done 3 times per week for most people.

It can be done more than this.

This works on any type of cardio machine.

You can obviously just walk outside as well.

Try to get in 3 one-hour sessions of cardio each week done at a Zone 2 “fast walk intensity” level.

I love walking on the beach in the sand.

I need more beach in my life!

The co-author of our kettlebell course, Chris Lopez, lives right next to the beach in Costa Rica.

Totally envious of where Chris lives.

The cool thing is that the videos from Visual Impact Kettlebells are all filmed on the beach in his remote surfing village.

There are obviously health and fat loss benefits to HIIT and more intense cardio.

The nice thing about Zone 2 cardio?

It won’t mess with other workouts.

Ideally, try to fit in 3 hours of Zone 2 cardio each week on top of your resistance training workouts.

This can be in the form of an easy bike ride or fast walk, etc.

Many young people stay lean without cardio.

The problem is that as people age their mitochondria can begin to function poorly.

Zone 2 training can fix this.

Dr. Iñigo has found that Zone 2 training isn’t just about burning calories or fat… it improves your body’s fuel partitioning.

People with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes often use glucose for fuel when their body should be using fat… and vice versa.

Their mitochondria isn’t operating properly.

Zone 2 training can address this problem.

In the interview, Dr. Iñigo points out that higher intensity training is also useful for aerobic fitness and fat loss.

He simply believes that people often quit workout programs if they are too intense:

“You haven’t exercised in a long time to start with and you get into this high intensity programs. They may not suit you or they might injure you and many people give up. We see the rate of people giving up from gyms is about 50% or so within X amount of months.”

I have a detailed course on mastering cardio for fat loss.

Visual Impact Cardio

My cardio course is intense and intended to be done just 1-2 times per year along with resistance training.

It will optimize your body’s ability to burn fat.

The majority of the year I recommend some type of resistance training, a bit of HIIT and Zone 2 training.

Attempt to make 3 hours of “fast walking level” Zone 2 cardio a constant each week.

Zone 2 cardio will enhance your current workout.

It doesn’t matter if you train with resistance bands, free weights, bodyweight HIIT, kettlebells, etc.

You will be leaner and healthier leaner if you add Zone 2 cardio into the mix.

*NEW* Visual Impact Fat Loss Boost Diet
For 15 years I've helped fashion models get lean for photoshoots. Use my plan to Lose 5-10 pounds of PURE body fat in 14 days.

Make it a life-long habit!


-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

Click Here to check out my premium courses.