Too much of a good thing? 4 ways you’re doing cardio wrong

Too much of a good thing? 4 ways you're doing cardio wrong

(BPT) – Does your exercise routine live and die by the treadmill? Does your workout consist of an hour on the elliptical? While you can't ignore the positive impact aerobic exercise has on your health, it may not be the dream weight-loss solution you hope for.

"It seems an awful lot of people walk, jog, run and cycle on a regular basis, hoping the time spent on the treadmill, bike or trail will equate to drastic weight loss results," says Paul Kriegler, registered dietitian and nutrition program manager for Life Time Fitness. "There's a fair amount of research on how much cardio is best for realizing health benefits, but there are a few factors that could be compromising those benefits for you."

You're doing cardio, but moving less throughout the rest of the day.

Think about this: you wake up early, get to your health club and work hard for a solid hour, spinning your legs until they feel like jelly. A puddle of sweat surrounds your bike and your heart rate monitor says you burned 950 calories. That's great, until later on, you forgo your normal walking break because you feel too worn out. And later that evening, you catch a nap before dinner rather than walking the dog or mowing the lawn. People often justify inactivity in the hours after a strenuous workout. Most experts recommend getting the majority of your movement throughout the day instead of condensing it into one particular segment.

You're doing too much cardio.

The health benefits of cardiovascular training appear to begin after around 30 minutes of moderate intensity four to five days per week, totaling around 150 minutes. When it comes to cardio, more isn't always better, especially if you don't give your body time to recover. According to an article titled "Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity," published in the September 2013 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, opting for long, frequent sessions is often less effective than shorter, higher intensity. Doing long sessions of cardio, more than 60 minutes, is rarely necessary unless you're training for a specific event. Another observational study of recreational joggers suggest you're better off capping your strict cardio time at 30 minutes and including several days per week of resistance training.

You think cardio means "I get to eat extra calories without consequence."

While exercising to burn off some energy may give you a little room for forgiveness, exercising to prepare for or undo poor eating habits doesn't guarantee you results. In fact, according to a study in PubMeHealth & Fitnessd, large amounts of cardio training have been shown to induce compensatory eating patterns, especially in women. It's easy to get into this mindset, but exercise is far more than just a way to expend calories. Well-planned, properly executed bouts of activity can stimulate your body to go through incredible changes, but not if you're using food as a reward.

All your cardio sessions are the same.

Cardio can be helpful for getting a little solitude or zone out time, but doing the same workout every day when you're looking for results is definitely not the answer. A good exercise program incorporates variability from one workout to the next. Your body has a few major energy systems, and they all need to be challenged over time. Try an Active Metabolic Assessment from Life Time to scientifically determine your most efficient heart rate zones so you can exercise smarter.

Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Take these factors into consideration the next time you lace up your gym shoes and hop on the nearest cardio machine.


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By far, the most popular question asked by hardgainers is how to bulk up fast while still staying lean. Most answer that question by saying that it’s impossible to build muscle and burn fat at the same time. They say that these are two polar opposite goals that require to completely different calorie needs to achieve. I say…that’s not true. In fact, they can both be done at the same time if you take the right approach to your workout and nutrition.

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A positive nitrogen balance and hypocaloric diet is the winning combination for hardgainers. This approach is the way to add muscle bulk and size, but of the clean variety. Dirty bulking is the process of adding size, but often comprised mostly of just excess body fat. Clean bulking is what we do at ATHLEAN-X. It’s the process of adding 100 percent lean athletic muscle.

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20 Responses to “Too much of a good thing? 4 ways you’re doing cardio wrong”

  1. dasun13 Reply

    I probably trust you more than the other trainers..good shit my nizzle

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  2. Kitchu Geths Reply

    Thanks bro…

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  3. cool con Reply

    damn ray ramano got ripped!

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  4. Valentino Aditya Reply

    Hi Jeff. Where can i find the study? Can you please post the link.

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  5. tufut jagger Reply

    40 min workout? how do you count it? do you take off the resting time in between the sets? or 40 min ones you started your first set? Please tell some more about it

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  6. Paul Otto Reply

    Positive nitrogen bacon

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  7. John Matallana Reply

    what is the ideal body fat percentage to help build muscle?

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  8. Jake F Reply

    Could you pls give me a daily eating habit example? I will learn from that. Right now I'm eating 1liter of egg whites, 2 cans of tuna, a fruit and or yogurt, and maybe a handful of corn chips.
    I really need help with my diet. I seem to always lose to much weight, or gain to much. With the proper diet would be amazing. Please spend the time to lend me a helping hand my friend. Thanks very much.
    Mike

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  9. Ronnie A. Reply

    Can you still gain a lot of strength with this technique?

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  10. deep dark Reply

    I tried this for 3 months, but gained so little muscle…AND i'm a beginner :/
    Does this mean that I should eat even more protein (I was having 1g protein / lbs bodyweight) or increase my calories to just below maintenance?

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  11. Christos Vasiliou Reply

    w8 so u say that bulking has better results for building muscle ??..

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  12. Sai Naik Reply

    how much sleep is perfect for a perfect muscle growth?

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  13. Sebastian Wennersand Reply

    Is creatine good for you or not? If not should i stop taking my pwo wich have 1/3 creatine?

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  14. Daniel K Reply

    Yo is it possible for a natural lifter to gain 15kgs/33lbs of lean muscle?

    What if the said lifter has never really lifted properly before, but has built up years of strength and muscle from swimming, bodyweight resistance training and rugby?

    So basically, I'm asking: since I already have a physique that is 'above average' (adjusted FFMI of 22.8 even though calculating at 18% bodyfat, even though I'm probably closer to 15-16% depending on the day) would I be able to gain alot (25lbs-33lbs+) of lean muscle from lifting weights consistently and over a few years?

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  15. OrigamiMotion Reply

    Could you include the link to the study?

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  16. Matthan Filice Reply

    +1

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  17. nathan lee Reply

    is it possible to train your body for more then an hour to still gain muscle?

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  18. Hashtag Blogger Reply

    hi Jeff. I'm a hardgainer, and I noticed that the only time I do get bulk was (or is, since until now) when drinking mass gainer. I know that it may because of the build of fat that I get bigger. There were also times when I stop and tried drinking just whey protein but with no or little affect, so at those times, I didn't really got bigger. So here's the question, should I stop drinking mass gainer and start drinking whey protein instead? I want to get bigger with muscles intact and not with fat. And whey is cheaper than mass gainers, in which I can take more protein in a daily basis. And a little info about my workouts is that (for example for my chest workouts) I combine barbells, dumbbells, cables, and calisthenics. By thew way, awesome channel!

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  19. Kalvin Calvert Reply

    Thank you very much Jeff. always helpful and I am alwaysbquoting and reccomendinf you to my peeps at the gym.

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  20. videoman8752 Reply

    Help! So I'm 177lbs and im trying to loose some body fat while also building muscle ive been walking and doing some cardio and i track my calories, i know im supposed to be eating around 177 grams of protein per day but my question is should i be increasing that as well as my full cal intake based on how active I am that day while still staying in defecite?, i think im just overthinking everything and i've gotten myself very confused

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