Aerobic exercise, or cardio, has tons of health benefits. Along with improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, and regulating blood sugar, cardio is also known for its terrific weight loss benefits.
The first thing that naturally comes to our minds when we think about losing weight is cardio. Do more cardio. Then more. And even more. But, can it actually do more harm than good?
How Much Should You Be Doing for Your Body Type?
Ectomorph – you have a long, lean body and difficulty putting on muscle.
Mesomorph – you have an average build with average fat to muscle ratio.
Endomorph – you are a larger person who has difficulty losing weight.
- If you’re an Ectomorph and you are wanting to shed 5-10 pounds, start with doing about 30 minutes a day 3 days a week. To accompany cardio training, adding resistance training will help you achieve a more toned appearance and will also be a great metabolism booster. Start with resistance training 30 minutes a day on the 3 days in-between your cardio sessions.
- If you are a Mesomorph, start with 60 minutes a day 3 days a week of metabolic resistance training, or MRT. MRT is a combination of high intensity cardio and resistance training. This type of training will burn fat while building and toning muscle at the same time and boosting metabolism.
- If you’re an Endomorph who wants to lose 10 or more pounds, start with doing 60 minutes a day 3 days a week and 30 minutes a day of resistance training on the opposite 3 days. Cardio will help you burn fat while resistance training will allow your body to continue to burn calories for a longer period of time.
If you’re not sure which one you are, we can connect you with one of our experienced Coaches who can point you in the right direction!
Aside from all its benefits, cardio can be counterproductive if not utilized properly. If you begin doing too much cardio, your body will become used to it and you will need to continue to do more in order to have your body respond. Before you know it, you’ll be living on the treadmill.
Another side effect of overdoing cardio training is a loss of muscle. In order to keep a healthy metabolism, you want to keep as much lean muscle as you can while stripping body fat. If you’re doing hours a day and, especially if you aren’t fueling your body properly, you will burn through muscle instead of fat.
People think they can counter their bad food choices with extra cardio.
FALSE. To achieve a healthy and fit appearance, eating the right food is rule #1. Cardio is your friend as far as keeping your body moving and your metabolism burning, but you CANNOT outwork a bad diet.
If you eat a healthy and balanced diet and exercise but you aren’t reaching your weight loss goals, pay attention to how much cardio you are doing. Is it too much? Or maybe it’s not enough? Maybe try adding resistance training?
Types of Cardio
- HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
- Burns the most fat in the least amount of time
- Can be done in less that 30 minutes
- To avoid muscle loss, eat an hour before
- LISS – Low Intensity Steady State
- Can be done on an empty stomach to maximize fat burn
- Needs to be at least 30 minutes
- Easy on joints and bones
- MRT – Metabolic Resistance Training
- Includes intense cardio as well as resistance training
- Helps keep lean muscle mass
- Burns fat and boosts metabolism
Need a more customized workout plan?
Click here to check out our FB4L Online Membership where you have access to our entire team of Coaches as well as a Registered Dietitian who can assist you in your exercise and nutrition needs!