Is being a cardio queen killing your results?
First things first!
There is a place for everything in a well designed program and you should always be able to do what you love doing. E.g. if you love running this can have a place in your program; if you love a 45min cross trainer session there can be room for that specific exercise session within your workout routine
The key though is to know how to integrate it and not to overdo it.
If you are aiming for fat loss and are using endurance cardio as your primary weight loss tool you are going to hit a wall sooner or later.
SO- which cardio should we do and how much of it?
- If you are a novice to exercise endurance cardio may work quite well for you for some time and you most likely will get results doing 2-3 sessions of cardio a week BUT I would still recommend weight training over endurance training as weight training creates physiological change in the body whereas endurance cardio will not. Additionally you will come to the point where weight loss stops and you may also regain body fat.
- If you have exercised for a while long cardio workouts will not get you any results when performed as the only source for fat loss because your metabolism will down regulate over time. You are also likely to have higher levels of stress hormones and are likely to lose muscle.
- If you perform higher intensity/ anaerobic cardio sessions which usually last for about 20min you are more likely to lose body fat than with endurance cardio. As an example this could be a HIIT style training session where you go all out for 30seconds and then actively rest for 90seconds per set. In this case you would perform about 8-10sets.
- Looking at the above points I would recommend doing 1-2 anaerobic cardio sessions/ week depending on your goals and where you are currently at. If you love endurance cardio integrate one session/ week max to your workout routine.
What is another way to lose body fat if endurance cardio is not my primary fat loss tool?
- Aim for weight workouts with higher intensity
- Perform weight workouts with more volume (more than 20 sets/ session)
- Aim for a minimum of 3 hours of resistance training/ week