COMMON CARDIO MYTHS AND LIES - (NEVER FALL FOR THEM AGAIN!)
Is cardio the answer for fat loss? If so, what cardio is best? How long should cardio be performed for to burn MASSIVE calories? What if youâ€™re trying to bulk up? Would cardio undermine your efforts? There are enough myths and theories out there to literally make your head spin! This article will outline some common myths, so that you will never have to fall for them again. These are common misperceptions and myths that may be holding you back from achieving your goals. But donâ€™t worry, there are easy ways to change things and start losing more weight immediately!
Myth Number 1: The more cardio you do, the more you can eat The Truth: I bet we all wish this one was true! A lot of people operate under the false perception that you can eat lots of junk food if you go and burn it off at the gym. But to burn off something like a double cheese burger, it can literally take 2 hours (or more) of running at the gym. If you go by this principle, it is likely that you will be spending far too much time in the gym doing cardio, potentially overtraining and injuring yourself. This can halt progress altogether!
Myth No. 2: To speed up weight loss, skip strength training. Focus purely on cardio!
Myth No. 4: If you want to see progress, do the same type of cardio every day!
The Truth: Despite what you may think, completing only cardio training can cause you to burn fewer calories overall. Strength training effectively builds lean muscle mass and increases your metabolism, therefore decreasing fat! So if you build more muscles, you effectively burn more calories on a day to day basis! In fact, there are some strength training workouts that can even double up as cardio! So to maximise your weekly workouts, try incorporating a combination of strength and cardio.
The Truth: similarly to weight training, if you perform the same (or very similar) movements on a day to day basis, your body will simply adapt to this and become more efficient. As a result, you will burn fewer calories and you will quickly reach the dreaded plateau. Instead of performing the same exercises, try to mix up your routine as much as possible. Try running one day, biking the next and an elliptical the following day for instance. Also, don’t forget to vary the intensity of your workouts. This will force your body to alternate being pushed and resting, ensuring that continuous progress is made!
Myth No. 3: Steady-state cardio is the best way to burn fat. The Truth: Whilst you will evidently be able to perform this ‘easier’ type of cardio for a longer period of time, it is what happens afterwards that is more significant. With high intensity interval training, (cardio performed at a much more intense level), your body will expend a greater number of calories throughout the day in order to repair itself after the hard work out. This results in a greater number of overall calories burned. So remember- it is important to consider what workout will cause the body to use more calories over time! Also, consider the implications of the cardio session you are completing. For instance, when you perform lots of slow, moderate paced cardio exercise, the body can actually breakdown muscle tissue. This is the tissue that helps you maintain a high metabolic rate. So, losing muscle tissue means you will burn off fewer and fewer calories every day, making weight loss much harder to achieve!
Myth No. 5: If you only have 10 minutes to do cardio, you might as well skip it. It isn’t worth it. The Truth: 10 minutes is much better than nothing! When it comes to fat burning, every movement you make during the day counts. You’re much better off trying to do as much as you can in those ten minutes, than not bothering at all! If you are continuously lacking time to do cardio, you can try to break up your workout into shorter segments (eg 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes in the evening). Particularly if you are doing interval/ high intensity cardio training, 10 minutes is enough time to work up a decent sweat and burn plenty of calories!
Myth No. 6: You can burn more weights from cardio if you wear weights at the same time The Truth: Wearing weights whilst doing cardio will not necessarily result in burning more calories! It is unlikely that the weights would be heavy enough to significantly impact your calorie burn. Instead, they will probably throw you off balance, leading to injury! Youâ€™re much better off raising the intensity of the cardio you are doing, than the amount of resistance! However, if your goal is to get stronger, then you should be spending more time in the weights room. Think about what your main goal is and choose the best exercises for that.
Myth No. 7: If you want to lose body fat, you shouldnâ€™t eat before doing cardio The Truth: This is a controversial, much debated topic. Basically, it comes down to the type of cardio workout you are actually doing. If you are merely completing a steady-state, moderately paced workout, then it is not as important to eat directly before the workout. Exercising on an empty stomach may in fact help you access fat stores faster. However, if you plan to do high intensity cardio, it is very important to eat beforehand. This kind of cardio relies on glucose for fuel. As a result, not eating will throw your body into a catabolic state, in which you will burn muscle tissue, not fat. Also, it is unlikely that you will be able to maintain the intensity this workout requires. You should try to eat a small meal that contains carbohydrates and protein, around an hour beforehand.
Myth No. 8: As cardio demands little concentration, you can entertain yourself by reading or watching TV. The Truth: If you are able to fully focus on a TV or a magazine while performing cardio, you probably aren’t working hard enough. The intensity and pace should be fast enough that you can only focus on the task at hand- burning calories! If it is a rest day or an ‘easy’ day, you may be able to get away with reading a magazine or watching some TV. However, a better option would definitely be to pay greater attention to your movements, ensuring you are using the proper form!
Myth No. 9: Do Cardio First, then Hit the Weights This is another much debated question; ‘is it better to start with cardio or strength training’? if you are planning to hit the treadmill for an intense cardio session, before doing some weights, you will probably have little left in your tank to make your resistance workout count! When it comes to doing a full, highintensity cardio session and an entire resistance training workout, it is best to perform them on alternate days. This ensures th at you can get the most out of each of the workouts and burn more calories in the process!
Myth No 10: Make Sure That You Burn At Least 500 Calories during Your Cardio Sessions Slogging away on the treadmill every day, trying to hit a magical number each time, is merely a waste of time and energy. Machines can only do a rough estimate on your metabolic rate. Also, they don’t account for the fact that if you work harder in shorter bursts, you will burn more calories after your workout! So don’t merely focus on the digits on the console. Focus on the intensity instead. Use a heart rate monitor (aim to stay between 75 to 85 percent of your max heart rate) or the rate of perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10 (strive for an 8 or 9 on high-intensity intervals) to determine if you’re working hard enough. So, now that we have uncovered the truth about cardio, you should never have to fall for these common myths again!
SLOGGING AWAY ON THE TREADMILL EVERY DAY, TRYING TO HIT A MAGICAL NUMBER EACH TIME, IS MERELY A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY.
SO, NOW THAT WE HAVE UNCOVERED THE TRUTH ABOUT CARDIO, YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO FALL FOR THESE COMMON MYTHS AGAIN!
COMMON CARDIO MYTHS AND LIES - (NEVER FALL FOR THEM AGAIN!) 5