August 24, 2020 4 min read
The high level of accomplishment from running/sprinting one hour straight feels VERY good. It makes me feel like I'm floating above the gym floor. Now, it all depends on your fitness goal, but too much cardio will switch your body into a catabolic state, meaning you're not only breaking down fat but muscle mass as well. Both the catabolic and anabolic processes are important bodily functions you need to know how to manipulate in order to hit your fat loss goals over time. Your metabolism plays a huge role as well. However, this over-consumption of lean muscle tissue, might not be what most people want. So how much cardio would be ideal so this doesn't happen?
Quality beats quantity! It's always better to challenge yourself, but in reality, you don't need to push yourself for 45+ minutes in order to reap benefits.
Additionally, if you're doing more cardio, that probably means you're doing less strength training which moves us to the next one...
Strength training is crucial to protect our bones and preserving muscle tissue. Remember that you will burn more calories at rest by increasing your lean muscle mass, which is why it's important to build it. Consequently, your metabolism will increase as well leading you to burn more calories. Isn't that the goal? To know that if you do happen to fall off of your diet regimen, your body is going to work for you and not against you, helping you maintain your shape? That is for sure MY goal!
Think, "muscle is hungrier than fat," so it needs more calories to maintain itself. Easy! Right?
Strength training can also improve cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Two to five times a week is the ideal frequency to achieve results but of course, it also depends on your level of intensity. A good rule of thumb is to fatigue every muscle in your body at least 2x p/week.
Total body workouts can be beneficial here if you don't want to lift every other day or every two days to hit each muscle group twice. Lifting heavy weights, endurance activities like body pump, or compound exercises (that target multiple muscle groups at the same time) are options of full-body workouts you can do to reduce the number of hours a week you put in but still gain amazing results.
Having a strategic plan is crucial if you want to accomplish a fitness goal. However, if you are not seeking to increase lean muscle and lose body fat, and are just wanting to do whatever feels good, by all means, keep doing it! All movement is beneficial and clearly better than no movement at all. There are tons of fitness routines on Pinterest, Youtube, and now even on Tik Tok!
Do we really have any excuse, not to workout? I'd say that our minds/mindsets are the real barriers. For that, you probably need a book on how to build healthier habits or a coach that focuses on behavior change strategies. Always seek the root cause people!
Taking the time to fully replenish your body of nutrients and enough rest is just if not more important than the workout itself. You want to make sure you check in on your nutrition to feel the benefits of your workouts. Although it might take some extra planning and strategy implementation, the reality is if you want to get stronger and reap the full benefits, nutrition needs to be your #1 focus.
The SAID principle: your body's specific adaptation to imposed demands. What does this mean? Basically, it means that your body is smart! And it will try to revert to cruise control whenever possible. Your body will get used to doing the same exercises (the same demands you impose on it) and therefore won't allow for further change. This is why increasing either weight or resistance, the equipment you use, adding speed, changing up the exercise classes you take or even the time of day you work out helps your body "wake up" and keep it "on its toes" so its always working to your advantage. Don't let your body hit a plateau by getting it used to do the same thing over time!
Try to find something you really enjoy doing, you don't have to run if you hate it, just like you don't have to eat foods you hate as well! Currently, there are so many options that it's almost impossible not to find something you like. Ask fitness coaches at your local gym or search Youtube for new types of exercises you've never tried before or look for fitness apps that motivate YOU. You will surely find a type of exercise you like that will give you that will still give you the results you want without having to engage in an activity you dread.
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