How much cardio should I be doing?
"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence." ~ Confucius
I started running in 8th grade. I started a running club, ran road races and then ran in high school and college because I enjoyed running, but also because I wanted to lose weight. I ran miles and miles and even ran a full marathon, but did not achieve the athletic muscular look I wanted. This was due to not only my diet, but also my training styles. Running does not build muscle, especially distance running. When it comes to building a physique you want to do as little cardio as possible.
I always tell my clients to start off with a moderate amount, perhaps 3-4 sessions per week, at 20-25 minutes each AFTER you weight train. Monitor your fat loss and muscle maintenance progress week to week, when things start to plateau, think about changing your diet and/or increasing your weight training routine. You do not want to do 2 hours of cardio a day, 7 days a week. The problem with doing so much cardio is that you don’t leave any tricks up your sleeve for when you do plateau and it can wreak havoc on your metabolism, training, and ability to hold and build muscle.
Once your nutrition is on point and you are weight training 4-5 times per week then consider adding in 20 min low intensity cardio sessions after you weight train, like walking on a treadmill or walking outside. Once you hit 3-4, 20 min sessions per week and are plateauing, look at increasing the durations in 5 or 10 minute increments at a time.
Your results will depend on your goals, timeline, and metabolism. Remember, 1 pound of muscle burns 30% more calories than fat. You also continue to burn calories throughout the day after you weight train. So when looking to build a muscular physique or lose weight I always suggest weights first and then cardio!
For more information on strength training, nutrition and cardio email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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