Many people try to lose or maintain their body mass by pumping out intense, daily cardio sessions day after day. You’ve seen the type — running blankly on a treadmill for an hour, stuck on a torturous road to nowhere.
There are so many things wrong with that picture. First of all, it must be horribly boring staring at the tiny mute television in the corner of the cold gym. Working out should be a more pleasant experience than that. Secondly, and more importantly, all of that cardiovascular exercise is not necessarily going to help you lose weight fast.
Many believe that cardio is the best and fastest way to burn calories. However, there is evidence that cardio is not the only way to burn calories fast.
According to this study published by American Council on Exercise, strength-building kettleball exercises were found to burn up to 20 calories a minute — that is the equivalent of running at a pace of 6 minutes per mile! Not only does it burn the same amount of calories, but these strength exercises also build muscles.
Since cardio training does not necessarily build muscle, it will not boost your metabolic rate long term. You may get an initial dip in weight when you first start a cardio program, but this can peter out and plateau if no additional muscle is built. So, you can probably see why doing cardio every day could actually hinder your fat loss.
If no muscle is built, your metabolism stays relatively the same no matter how many hours you spend on the treadmill, meaning your fat loss hits the wall. Muscles need to be built up, which is where the all-important strength training comes in.
The more muscle you build, the more revved up your metabolism becomes, meaning the leaner you become. However, if you enjoy cardio training, there is no need to do away with it altogether.
Just remember that cardio routines should always be performed in balanced conjunction with strength training. Your body will become strong and lean in no time.
If you have dedicated yourself to the intermittent fasting lifestyle, don’t cut corners on your workout routine. Fasting already takes dedication and perseverance, so you clearly already have what it takes to power up your fitness levels. A slight adjustment to you routine can go a long way. Just remember, as with most things, everything is best done in moderation and balance.