Today I am going to give you the down low on the most effective way to do your cardio. There are many myths surrounding cardio, and the best type of cardio for you.
When it comes to losing body fat and gaining muscle, it seems kind of counter productive. Studies have shown that cardio does help you get leaner when it is combined with strength training. However, this could come along with a decrease in hypertrophy (build up of muscle). There needs to be a way to overcome this and a way to reduce body fat without losing muscle.
One big factor is separating your cardio from your strength training. This will save you from muscle depletion. Cardio raises the bodies AMPK (Activated Protein Kinase), which in short regulates energy and body fat, however reducing protein synthesis which is needed for muscle growth.
Long endurance training will blunt the body from holding onto muscle that you may have worked years and years training for. Most commonly in women, who say they are doing 8 hours of low intensity cardio a week and only taking in 800-1000 calories a day, in turn you are actually slowing down your metabolism as studies have shown. Similar to eating, your body adapts to the low intensity cardio and after a short while, you will hit a plateau and see no further results.
We are looking for what is most optimal and the best results possible. Cycling was found to cause the least muscle damage and running the most. Short intense sprints and interval training was found to be your BEST option. This is called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). In multiple studies done, people who do 6, 30 second sprints will loss more body fat. You may burn more calories when doing low intensity cardio, but not actual BODY FAT. Explosive movements will cause the heart to work harder. When doing sled sprints or Windgates (a specific type of cycling) will give you a crazy pump that it hurts (PAIN IS GAIN PEOPLE)! According to Dr. Jake Wilson, his believe is that when a muscle swells, it causes muscle growth as well.
I will say it, and I will say it again. There is no need to be doing an hour of running every day on a treadmill. Instead, take all of that energy, and save it for 2 times a week of HIIT cardio. High Intensity Interval Training will give you your moat optimal results in losing body fat percentage.
I give much of my credit to Dr. Layne Norton and Dr. Jake Wilson. They study bodybuilding and muscle and in my eyes are geniuses!
Take a listen to the link below to learn more: