It has always been said the you must to cardio to burn fat ( so you can look like our NYC personal training client in the header) but is that actually true?
What is true is that you need to be in a caloric deficit to lose fat and cardio can help you to create a bigger deficit instead of cutting your calories to almost zero.
What cardio will not do is to off set a crappy diet, meaning you can not out-treadmill that burger. A burger is 600+ calories, an hour on the treadmill at best 400. You get the idea. Just look around your local spinning/ boot camp studio. Lots of cardio being done, very few lean bodies. Nutrition matters.
Next: what kind of cardio should one do? High Intensity or low intensity? They both pros and cons. HIIT will burn a bit more fat but is harder on your recovery and joints. Low intensity takes a bit longer but you can do more of it and it is easier on your recovery. Some athletes are also simply not ready to perform sprints, so instead of building up frustration simply use the slower and safer road.
What is the best form of cardio? In short, the one you do. Swimming is a great cardio version, but most people are not very good at it plus it has high entry barrier. Running is much easier and more accessible by comparison. Outdoor cardio beats indoor due to wind resistance and change in terrain, albeit if you live in the Northeast of this great country of ours, the possibilities of outdoor cardio are limited from May to September.
How much cardio should you do ? As little as you can so you can increase if needed. You do not want to start your weight loss journey with high amounts of cardio since then you would go into a death spiral, needing to do more and more cardioince your body adapts. What does that mean? The first time you run a mil se, it cost you 700 calories ( arbitrary number for sake of argument) The next time you do it, the number drops , then it drops more and more. The concept of adaptation got us through the ice age but it makes fat loss difficult. So start small once your weight loss stalls and add from there.
In closing, remember this: when building a physique, here is what matters
- You must train with weights.
- You need squat, hip hinge , push and pull at least twice a week.
- You need to find exercises for said movements patters than allow you to create the maximum amount of tension.
- You need to figure out your macros and nail them every single day.
- Then and only then you can use cardio as an add on, but if you are missing points one to five, you are the literal hamster in a wheel.
Watch the complete video on cardio here .