Do More Cardio – It’s Great For Health As Well As Fat Loss

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Alpha Physique, Happiness, Health, Lifestyle, Training

It seems that many of you have an irrational fear of cardio and its muscle-burning potential. Let me assure you that this fear is indeed irrational.

Cardio
https://www.flickr.com/photos/85329395@N04/8398061317/in/

As always, 80% of your body composition is determined by your diet, so as long as you don’t starve yourself, your cardio will not burn through all your muscle. Make sure you are eating enough, whilst performing enough training volume in the gym – 1-2 heavy working sets per compound movement will suffice.

I’ve explained some of the benefits of cardio before, particularly if your primary goal is to get lean or stay lean. So doing more cardio will aid you significantly in terms of body composition, but it will also, of course, improve your health and productivity in all other areas of life.

Success In Other Life Areas

As humans, we are designed for long-distance, endurance cardio. We are hunters; historically we have been designed to chase prey for miles and miles across the plains, gradually wearing them down.

Cardio
These guys aren’t worried about cardio ruining their gains! https://www.flickr.com/photos/chasephotography/3029565263/in

Because of this biological wiring, we need to be performing long-distance cardio at least semi-regularly, otherwise our health isn’t as good as it could be.

Because of this biological wiring, we can do an awful lot more of it than you can imagine, and still recover perfectly fine. HIIT is a different ball-game. This will interfere with weight training to a significant degree. But endurance training, especially if performed on different days to your weight training, will be far easier to recover from.

It may actually enhance your overall recovery in the long run.

This kind of cardio makes you feel good. It makes you more energetic on a daily basis. It makes you more productive.

This can apply to:

  • Your business/career life
  • Your recreational life
  • Your social life
  • Your relationship life
  • Your family life
  • etc.

You will have more success, to some degree (assuming you have enough skill/competency in each area), in all of them if you perform more cardio, primarily because you have more focus and energy. For more detail on how to achieve success in all these life areas, buy my book.

Crucially, going without any form of cardio will leave you feeling sluggish and de-motivated. Weight-training alone isn’t enough to receive all of these benefits. Weight-training will help significantly, yes, but you need plenty of cardio too (at least in my experience).

With this in mind, I would recommend 2-3 cardio sessions per week.

These don’t need to be super intense, or super long, just enough to raise the heart rate significantly for 20+ mins. Ideally, this would be some kind of sport (individual or team), as the fun element will ensure that it’s sustainable!

Freedom

“Freedom…huh?”

I’ve found that besides the health benefits, the other huge benefit of cardio, is that it brings you dietary freedom. If you’re burning an extra 2000-3000 calories per week through cardio, on top of weight training etc, you won’t feel restricted.

It’s an extra 300-400 calories per day to work with, which doesn’t sound like much, but the reality is that this accumulates over time. Contrasting this, having 2000-3000 calories less to work with on a weekly basis will really hit you hard after several weeks, especially if you’re already lean – you WILL suffer.

Couple this with freedom with IF, having a couple of coffees in the morning to keep you satisfied, and you have literally no restrictions. From 2pm onwards you can eat anything you want and still lose fat. To use me as an example right now, this means I can consume 2700 calories from 2pm-10pm and still lose fat.

2700 calories in an eight hour window. Imagine if I was over six foot tall!

Without extra cardio and IF, I would be at 2300 calories from 10am-10pm. That’s a recipe for feeling unsatisfied throughout the day – never really feeling full. No thanks.

To summarise:

  1. Doing more cardio will make you healthier, happier and more productive.
  2. It will help you get shredded, and stay shredded.
  3. Doing cardio on separate days to weight training will not interfere with recovery.