Cardio is a part of my daily routine as you already know, it’s about keeping my heart healthy, my lung capacity high, helping me manage cortisol levels and keep my required energy balance intact. For all these reasons cardio should be something which you participate in very regularly, daily in my opinion. Do you know how to make cardio really work for you though and keep the fat coming off rather than facing a plateau all of the time?
Just like you need to periodise your training for the best outcome, you have to do the same for cardio. If you’re trying to make your chest grow and you’re benching 200lbs x 10 reps today, in 12 weeks that will need to be more to force adaptation right? If there’s no change then there’s no progress because the body can already cope with the stress stimulus.
The theory is exactly the same with cardio, if you are used to doing 20 minutes of cardio every day on top of your usual daily activities with the same diet it will hold your condition and stay there because it’s happy sustaining homeostasis at this level.
You’ve got to make your cardio measurable and progressive, otherwise you’re just guessing! Maybe you go from 20 minutes a day to 30 minutes a day, then back to 25 minutes 4 weeks later… It’s all over the place so you’re not going to make your body change the way you want it to.
Be objective about your cardio and build up from week 1. The first week of your transformation might be 25 minutes 7 days a week, week 2 might become 30 minutes cardio 7 days a week. As you get to see how your weight is falling you can then decide how much you need to increase it by, but it will always have to be progressional rather than regressive.
Something else you need to remind yourself about with cardio is keeping the conditions the same, such as the effort. If you’re doing cardio on a 5% incline for 30 minutes on a treadmill, don’t expect the same results strolling along a beach for 30 minutes because the first is a lot more challenging than the second. Keep as much of your plan as measurable as possible to get the best results from your cardio regime.
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