This is probably one of the most controversial and misunderstood topics when it comes to fat loss.
There’s one side of people who think doing cardio is the Key to fat loss.
There’s another side that thinks it’s the enemy because it causes muscle loss.
In reality, both sides have their points and flaws.
The average individual usually does cardio as a first resort to lose weight quickly, and get in shape. This will lead to burning more calories initially, but they are usually completely unaware that their diet must be in check in order for the cardio to have the positive effect of fat loss.
The downside to this is that, if you’re anything like me, after a cardio session of running, my appetite is actually increased and I’m ready to eat the frig.
So if you plan on leveraging cardio for fat loss, monitoring (tracking) the number of calories you consume will ensure that you receive all of the benefits… so that you aren’t on a hamster wheel… working in vain… going nowhere fast… You’ll be able to leverage your cardio correctly, without eating all of those calories back that you just burned off.
I want to make one thing very clear. I am in no way shape or form making a case against cardio for fat loss. I personally do enjoy it forms of it, as I love getting cardio in through playing basketball. I also enjoy another form of cardio that can be done rather quickly and effectively.
We’re going to add in some cardio with this program to optimize our results and as it’s extremely beneficial for heart health, as the word Cardio is short for Cardiovascular.
Cardiovascular: relating to or involving the heart and blood vessels.
At the very least, I recommend it for that purpose alone. So… Let’s talk about how to use it…
So… Is Cardio necessary for Optimal Health? YES Cardio necessary for Fat Loss? NO
When it comes to fat loss, you should think of Cardio as a tool in your tool belt. A pretty useful one, that helps you create a greater caloric deficit and increases your body’s ability to use fat as a source of energy.
Eventually, we’ll hit a fat loss plateau or halt while taking in a specific caloric intake and cardio, and to continue to progress, there are Two main options:
- Reduce your caloric intake (the number of calories you’re consuming)
- Increase Cardio efforts (burn more calories through movement)
You’re probably wondering, “Ok, how do I know which one is the best option for me?”
“What are the differences between lowering calories and doing more cardio? “
We’ll hit on this more in depth soon, but in short, the answer is Personal preference.
Some people absolutely hate cardio, so obviously, they’d focus on lowering their calories. On the other hand, some people really enjoy cardio.
You’ll have a blueprint that simplifies all of this soon.
So let’s sum this up.
Cardio is essential for Optimal Heart health.
Cardio is not mandatory for burning fat.
You can actually do little to no cardio and still burn fat by controlling nutrition solely. The downside to this is you’ll be consuming fewer calories per day compared to if you were to add in some cardio. I recommend doing a cardio session at least once or twice per week, for better diet compliance. If not for that, than at least for the heart health benefits. With that being said,
There’s one last question to be answered…
What kinda Cardio should you Do?
High-Intensity Interval Training.
High Intensity Interval Training, aka HIIT (pronounced like Hit) consists of short, intense bursts of exercise (squats, jumping jacks, bicycle kicks, etc) with short rest periods in between each exercise. They can both get your heart pumping AND fire up your metabolism with what’s known as afterburn.
HERE ARE 3 AMAZING BENEFITS OF HIIT.
- Getting and staying fit is part of managing and improving conditions like diabetes,high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease. And HIIT is a great way to help lose weight and boost your overall health.
- HIIT Can save you TONS of time: You don’t have to work out as long as you would if you were jogging at a steady pace. You can get a super effective cardio workout in just 20 minutes or less.
- You’ll burn lots of calories, build some muscle, and boost your metabolism. Plus there’s a post-workout bonus: Your body will continue to burn calories for about 2 hours after you’ve finished your workout. When you do a “sustainable” exercise, like going on a long run, your body uses less oxygen than when you push yourself to the max, as you do during HIIT. And when you work out to the point where it’s difficult to breathe (because your body is using more oxygen), your metabolism starts working at a higher level, which helps you burn more calories even after you stop exercising.
Plus you don’t need any equipment. No gym membership, no weights, etc. You can do it from home, on vacation, anywhere you have space some to move around in.
Now of course you can’t just do anything and expect to make continued results. As mentioned earlier, our body adapted to whatever it’s exposed to. Similar to how this training program is setup, You need a plan for your cardio. A strategy to follow that’s designed to take you from where you are now, to your desired outcome…