In Extra Cardio Does NOT Equal Extra Calories - Part I, we talked about how many Calories you actually burn from of cardio as a justification for not exchanging extra cardio for extra Calories. Today, I'd like to discuss some other points you may want to consider before deciding to make that exchange.
Cardio could negatively impact muscle/strength goals.
If you are using cardio to mitigate Calories consumed, this most likely means you are in a fat loss phase. If this is the case, it would mean you are in a Caloric deficit and you have a lowered ability to recover from weight training. We don't want to add extra cardio in on top of this. There are some studies showing cardio can negatively impact both strength and muscle mass. (To be fair, there are also studies showing no negative impact as well.) For the majority of my audience, the goal is to gain muscles mass and strength. We shouldn't risk our long term goals over a short term issue.
Don't create a bad relationship with food.
Exchanging cardio for extra Calories may not be harmful if done once or twice but if repeated often, this could lead to unhealthy eating habits. We don't want to get into a habit of adding excess stress in our lives trying to balance out our eating and cardio.
You will have to do SOME cardio.
I've spent a lot of time speaking badly about cardio but I will say this: depending on your goal, cardio will likely become mandatory at some point in the process. It is unreasonable to think that you can get incredibly lean using solely cardio or solely decreased Caloric intake. This is especially true for small females. If you're a 130 pound female, you simply require far less Calories than a 200 pound male. This means you have significantly less Calories to cut from and will need to add cardio to create the deficit needed to lose the desired weight.
Make sure your goal stays the goal.
Do you have a specific event you are losing weight for such as a wedding, vacation, bodybuilding show, etc? If so, you are a slave to the time frame. Do not make things harder on yourself by working against your goal. Why would you want to play the numbers if getting them wrong means you're going to be going in the opposite direction of your goal? Always remember: It's important to make sure the goal stays the goal.
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As always, God bless you AND your family and I will see you next time!