I get asked quite often what type of cardio I do and what type of cardio I recommend. The answer always shocks people. The answer is none! I don’t recommend much cardio and I do almost none myself anymore. Now that’s not to say I haven’t in the past. because before I knew better I fell for the 2-3 hours of cardio a day broscience that many people fall for.
So why don’t I do cardio? For a variety of reasons. Without going to in depth here are the reasons generally speaking.
#1 It slows the metabolism down, Ever notice how runners typically have a hard time losing weight. Part of that is due to the fact they are always breaking the body and metabolism down. Cardio doesn’t do much to help your metabolism.
#2 It usually doesn’t burn very many calories, Ever notice how it takes hours of cardio a day for individuals to lose bodyfat. Part of that reason is due to the low amount of calories you are burning. I’m a 200 lbs and doing an hour of low intensity cardio like walking on a treadmill will burn about 400 calories. If I was a petite woman the number would even be lower, closer to 300. Brushing my teeth for the same amount of time would burn about half of the calories or sitting on my ass reading a book would burn about a 1/4 of the calories. And again it does nothing for your metabolism and you will need to increase the amount over time to compensate for your body getting use to it.
#3 If the first 2 reasons were not enough here is my third, IT’S BORING, why would I subject myself to such a boring thing as cardio if I have better options. I like to push myself and enjoy my exercise. To me there is nothing enjoyable about spending 1-2 hours walking on a treadmill or sitting on a bike. Instead go spend some time with your kid playing around or with your wife doing something way more exciting.
So if you don’t do cardio to stay healthy and/or lose weight what should you do. Well here is the secret sauce………….. Train your ass off and incorporate HIIT for fat loss. When I say train your ass off I mean get your intensity and heart rate up. No power lifting, no 5 minutes between sets, I mean get in the gym, lift heavy, and push yourself. Work up a sweat!! If you’re holding a conversation and not sweating you’re probably not training intense enough to maximize fat loss and to boost the metabolism.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with HIIT it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Good example of HIIT for fat loss would be sprinting down the track for 10-20 seconds, resting for 60-90 seconds and repeating 8-15 times. 3-5 minutes of actual work and you’ll burn close to as many calories as your 1 hour of traditional fasted low intensity cardio. And here’s the best thing…….it won’t slow your metabolism down like cardio and will actually boost it! Not to mention it will help you build leg muscle unlike low intensity cardio that may slow leg development. Options for HIIT for fat loss are any exercises you can safely do max intensity. Popular ones are battle ropes, sled pulls, tire flips, biking, and deadmills.
I could go on and on about HIIT and training vs cardio, but bottom line I never recommend much cardio. Thanks for taking the time to read my article and if you’re looking to change things up, tired of hours of cardio, tired of drastically cutting calories, then connect with me and let’s see if we would be the right fit to work together. Have a great day, train hard, and eat well.