Cardio, love it or hate it, your body needs a little of it! Cardio is a tool for weight loss and not the answer to your weight loss goals. So many women are brain washed into thinking that cardio is going to fix everything. For example, you overate, CARDIO. You want to lose weight, CARDIO. You want to "de-bloat", CARDIO. You see the pattern? Yet how many of you are doing cardio and nothing is really changing? Yup, because cardio isn't the end all be all. No it's not. Cardio is just a tool and you need it alongside of a comprehensive fitness and nutritional program.
To exclusively lose fat, your best tools are nutrition and weight training.Start putting your emphasis on weight training and your nutrition and you will start to see the changes you are after.
Here are some common myths people think about cardio:
“I just need to burn calories so I will just do extra cardio. My nutrition is fine.”
- Oh if I had a dollar for every time someone thought they can out train their diet. Paying attention to your nutrition will have a much more profound effect on your fat loss efforts than cardio alone. Do you know what you are eating? Do you know how much? It's not possible to out train your eating habits. Sure we over eat once in a while but trying to do cardio to negate that is not going to fix the issue. The more cardio you do, the more your body will adapt to that and you will have to do MORE to facilitate the same response over time.
“I want to lose fat so I will do my cardio in the “fat burning zone.”
-Cardio in the "fat burning zone"? Can you please explain this one to me? A lot of people are under this misconception that you can burn your fat off if you stay within a certain range for your heart rate. Um, no. If that was the case don't you think we would all be trying to be in the fat burning zone all the time? The “fat burning” zone is essentially a moderate intensity zone that means per calorie burned, more are coming from fat than are from carbohydrates. How does the machine know what you are eating ? It doesn't. Here's the kicker. A moderate/lower intensity workout might burn a relatively higher percentage of fat calories over carb calories, but the absolute NUMBER of calories burned is lower. The higher the intensity of the workout, the more total calories burned, which is the key to weight loss!
" I will lose weight first by doing cardio then "tone" up with weights"
-Oh boy oh boy does this one get me going. First off, doing cardio as your workout is not the route to go. Weight training should be the 1st thing on your list when you are thinking of tightening up your physique. Lifting does not make you bulky. Lifting gives you nice long lean muscle that creates curves. Now don't you want that instead? Cardio alone burns calories, yes, but at what price? Cardio can tap into your hormones and create a hunger response that makes you want to eat more.
Losing weight is easy; just stop eating. But losing exclusively fat is much harder. Adding lean muscle mass while shedding fat allows for your metabolism to work for you, while you are not exercising. So swap out your cardio for the weights.
Do you know what works? Putting in the work. Don't think of the duration of your workout, think of the INTENSITY of your workout. If you can read a magazine while doing cardio, what are you accomplishing? Interval training is one of the most effective ways to train for fat loss. Ramp up your training by doing 1 min of HARD sprinting on any cardio machine followed by a 2 min recovery pace. Do this 2-3 times a week and then tell me how your body looks!