Don’t sweat the cardio!!
If you had a fitness goal to lose weight and get in shape, what’s the first thing you would do when you got to the gym? Elliptical? Treadmill? I hope neither of those. This has to be the biggest mistake I see on a regular basis. I see men and women trying to lose weight by doing hours upon hours of cardio. So many people think they have to sweat like a dog to lose weight. I’m happy, actually elated, to tell you that you do not need to do this. The key is to build lean muscle which will consume calories even when you’re not working out. Muscles are very very hungry and will eat and burn fat while you’re sitting in your office at your desk! I get that this may seem counterintuitive. Too much cardio has also been known to diminish your muscle gains. If you’re going to build muscle, you might as well keep it! I suggest maybe 12 to 15 minutes of mild cardio three times a week – maybe something like an incline walk or the stairmaster. This will get your heart rate up and get the blood circulating. My favorite cardio workout is actually still lifting weights, ie High Intensity Interval Training.(I will get to that in another post) I do low weight with high reps. Try this with squats or deadlifts and you are sure to get your heart pumping! I should add, you can definitely lose weight doing a whole bunch of torturous stationary walking, but the minute you stop your cardio regiment you will quickly gain the weight back. It’s important to keep a long-term mindset that is sustainable. For instance, if you have a business trip or can’t get to the gym for some other reason, it’s not going to mess everything up if you’ve built a nice base of muscle.
Up next…Quick workouts to help you get that muscle!