The most asked question! Do you do cardio? How much cardio do you do? Im scared if I don’t do cardio I will gain weight!
Well, we have gotten into such a bad habit of believing cardio is the only answer to loosing weight or staying lean. Now when i say “Cardio” I am referring to the 45min to an hour, even more some people do every day! Sometimes 2x a day! This is the same cardio repeated everyday. No change to pace, intensity etc.
I use to be a cardio machine myself. I believed too that cardio was the only way to staying thin. When i look back at old photos (when i was only doing these long sessions of boring cardio) yes i was thin, but no curves, no muscle! In the long run i leaned out but lost a lot of muscle in the process! 🙁 I didn’t realize all the cardio i was doing was just killing my metabolism too. I plateaued and even gained weight as a result. I was hurting my body and it was letting me know. Thats not the case for everyone though! Everyone responds differently to any circumstance!
Over a span of a few years I went back and forth between no cardio, to much cardio, just a pinch of cardio. I began to dig more and started experimenting with myself. What would happen if i started lifting more, high intensity, super sets? What if i threw in plyos and jump rope. What if i only did 30 min HIIT (High intensity interval training) after my weight training?
I did my first bikini competition and was doing an hour of fasted cardio and 30-45 min cardio post weight training. But it was the same 30 min on the treadmill, 30 mins on the elliptical for 12 weeks of prep. I didn’t change much. And being on a calorie deficit. I leaned out big time, but ruined my metabolism in the process. So post show my body rebounded bad and couldn’t process food normally, it just started storing everything as fat. I had edema pretty bad too. I had no idea about reverse dieting at this point, but wasn’t about to let this bump in the road hold me back or ruin my goals! I know you can relate when i say this but the mental battle was the worst part of this process. It was not impossible to over come, it was just getting focused, replacing negative with positive and moving forward no matter what! So i hired a coach to help rehab my metabolism. I learned a lot in the process and thankfully with the right tools and methods, carefully designed diet and training, my body bounced back. I t took about 12 weeks with the new coach but after finishing with him it didn’t stop there. Thats where getting my diet certification came in to play!
So it began. I changed my thinking, changed my habits, changed my routine! Let go of the fear and I have never looked back! I am more then happy I did what I did. My body loves me and I love the way i look now. No more stressing on having to get in that “CARDIO SESSION ” .
Now instead of doing cardio 6 days a week, i find that some weeks or even months at a time i don’t do any cardio sessions! I weight train heavy and high intensity meaning minimal rests. My reps range from 15-20 and my sets range from 3-5 sets! Its always changing. I throw in a lot of times plyos (always variety) times jump rope sessions and here and there 10-15 min stair master or HIIT for 10 min on max incline on the treadmill. My cardio is the NEVER the same, I always change the intensity, the exercise, the day and how often i am doing it. Don’t get me wrong, your diet needs to be in check to and so does the right supplementation!
Think of it this way, i hear i want a booty and defined legs a lot. I usually ask how much cardio are you doing and i almost here the same thing over and over, 45 min running almost every day on top of light weight training. Now if you doing the same 45 min cardio everyday (granite diet isn’t in check ether) what happens to your legs and butt? You burn the fat yes, but once thats gone what does your body need to use for energy? Its going to start compensating by using muscle tissue! Your poor legs will never make the gains you want!
Start doing intervals on the treadmill. 30 sec max speed then let your heart rate recover at a slow jog/fast walk for 30 sec then repeat! 10-15 min max. Challenge yourself and put it at an incline, throw in some side steps, lunges with kick backs, the options are endless! You can do this form of HIIT on any machine or even body weight. Spike that heart rate and then recover, repeat!
Now if I wanted to get ready for a competition or a event or photoshoot , i would be more strict on my cardio, but for now Im just loving and living. No need to stress!