Cardio; most people absolutely dread the thought of this word even rolling off of their tongue let alone hopping on the elliptical or treadmill to physically conquer it.
And then there are freaks like myself who actually quite enjoy sprinting their ass off to gain some endorphins and the feeling of a good heart pounding session, whatever that may be.
But when does one become reliant on cardio as a way to consistently burn fat (or so is thought) rather than a healthy outlet? It can become an easy addiction, especially in the competitive world.
A lot of people may use cardio as a means of clearing up guilt from say a night of drinking and partying; that or perhaps treating yo self’ to a cupcake. Father forgive me for I am only human and eat food that makes my thighs jiggle. Stop, please. You have nothing to feel guilty about!
There are many coaches out there encouraging fasted cardio, on top of hours of endless HIIT and or LIIS, sometimes in the same day, or perhaps even two to three times daily. OH, and this is after the fact of weight training for an hour or more. Sounds insane right? Well it is a reality for many competitors still to this day.
Wake up, your coach doesn’t know what they’re doing. Sure you’re going to burn an insane amount of energy through this, but you are clearly overdoing it. No one in their right mind should be nailing out 3 hours of hard cardio every day especially when it comes to someone on a caloric deficit. If this is what you rely on to get “stage ready” do-not-compete. Sorry to be the barer of bad news, but forcing your body to such extremes this way is not going to do anything beneficial for you in the long run, you are actually creating more harm than good.
Overstepping your amounts of cardio and relying on this solely to burn fat will not only damage your bodies ability to sustain a certain body fat % through this one strict regime. You will literally be stuck in an endless hamster wheel which will eventually lead you to a very hard burnout.
This brings me to a well known reality show “The Biggest Loser”. I can’t tell you enough how many lawsuits and horror stories that have come from this show alone and their “training” techniques to drop weight fast. I don’t care who you are, or what your goal is. THIS IS NOT HOW TO ATTAIN IT IN A HEALTHY MANNER. Its unfortunate but people want what they want, and they want it now. Patience, consistency and being aware of your body is what’s important here.
So what do we do? My god the answer is simple; control your amounts of cardio based on your caloric intake. Set yourself a strict limit of calories burned through cardio per week.
You don’t need to feel like an absolute zombie after your workouts, that doesn’t always mean it was a “good one”. Exhausting yourself to such degrees can do extensive amounts of damage to your physically and mentally.
Cardio is not the enemy, of course not. Cardio is a very important factor of keeping happy and healthy – especially heart wise. But we also need to make sure we have everything in a healthy dose.
Problem being, no one has patience anymore. Practice your patience and let yourself live a little. Endless cardio isn’t going to help. Find your own personal balance of cardio, weights, and nutrition. Everyone is different and you can’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else chapter 30.
Have a great week fit babes.