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The Sweeney

Cardio or not?

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Been training 14 months and making some natty gains on a calorie surplus and as of today, this is me...

Me%2040_zps3okmwkrv.jpg

But I'm getting fat - fatter than that picture shows. Probably in the region of 25% BF ish and I really want to reduce that.

I'm super reluctant to reduce my calories for fear of muscle loss, so is cardio the answer? If so, how much, how often?

 

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You should be doing regular cardio at your age regardless just for heart health/general well being, 25% is pretty unhealthy.

If you want to lose fat you're going to have to be in a caloric deficit, sure you can do cardio to help you burn some extra calories but your diet will have to change. You're not just going to suddenly lose muscle overnight. If you do a regular cut at a 500 calorie deficit and go from 25% to the low teens I very much doubt you will lose any muscle at all.

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With regards to how much/how often, it's really down to what you can fit in or be motivated to do really. Anything is better than nothing. I started a year ago, thought I was quite fit from just lifting, but I was kidding myself. Feel so much better now.

My favorite is strapping 20-30kg on my back and doing a bit of cross county walking. If you can keep to 15min miles when off road then you're not doing bad, and I guarantee you that probably only 2-3 miles (so 30-45 min) with only 10-15kg would be enough to have you blowing to start with. Once you're used to it you can either up the distance, weight or speed. 2 miles in 18 min with about 20kg would be para trooper standard.

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With regards to how much/how often, it's really down to what you can fit in or be motivated to do really. Anything is better than nothing. I started a year ago, thought I was quite fit from just lifting, but I was kidding myself. Feel so much better now.

My favorite is strapping 20-30kg on my back and doing a bit of cross county walking. If you can keep to 15min miles when off road then you're not doing bad, and I guarantee you that probably only 2-3 miles (so 30-45 min) with only 10-15kg would be enough to have you blowing to start with. Once you're used to it you can either up the distance, weight or speed. 2 miles in 18 min with about 20kg would be para trooper standard.

I have to enjoy cardio or I can't keep motivated, hence boxing is my most likely source. 6 x 3 min rounds between the pads and heavy bag has me blowing out my ass!

 

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I'm super reluctant to reduce my calories for fear of muscle loss, so is cardio the answer? If so, how much, how often?

If you do cardio or eat less to achieve the same calorie deficit, the risk of muscle loss is basically the same I think. Arguably cardio could actually be worse if it interferes with what you can do in the gym, which is far more important for muscle retention. I would do a bit of cardio for the general health benefits, but don't get carried away.

It is generally far easier to produce the calorie deficit needed for fat loss primarily by eating less. You have to do A LOT of cardio to burn 500 kcal.

If you lose weight relatively slowly (up to about 1% of bodyweight per week) and keep lifting the same weight in the gym, muscle loss should be minimal.

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If you do cardio or eat less to achieve the same calorie deficit, the risk of muscle loss is basically the same I think. Arguably cardio could actually be worse if it interferes with what you can do in the gym, which is far more important for muscle retention. I would do a bit of cardio for the general health benefits, but don't get carried away.

It is generally far easier to produce the calorie deficit needed for fat loss primarily by eating less. You have to do A LOT of cardio to burn 500 kcal.

If you lose weight relatively slowly (up to about 1% of bodyweight per week) and keep lifting the same weight in the gym, muscle loss should be minimal.

Gotcha. Bit of both then. 

At least the boxing will help my shoulder and arm development a little.

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Is that a fanny under your armpit? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the serious note,  cardio is a yes, better recovery, fat loss and improved well being. 

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