Most of us approach our cardio with a pretty laid back attitude. We run to get our heart rates up, or we cycle because we know that we need to do cardio. But the sad truth is that there are so many cardio myths out there that we never really do cardio just right. If you’re serious about weight loss, it’s time to dispel those cardio myths and start working out the right way!
The Most Common Cardio Myths
Myth 1: Cardio alone leads to weight loss – no weight training needed.
Fact: Cardio alone isn’t actually going to do more than cannibalize muscle tissue instead of fat. You’re never going to burn fat properly just by doing cardio, but you’ll end up losing muscle mass as well as fat weight. The secret to losing weight the healthy way is by adding weight training into the mix, actually giving it priority every day. Cardio should take a secondary place in your weight loss workouts – give it a supporting role rather than a lead.
Myth 2: I need to run faster to lose more weight.
Fact: Did you know that running faster won’t actually help you to lose weight. Intense cardiovascular training will strengthen your heart, increase your lung capacity, and increase your stamina, but it won’t burn fat. The secret to burning fat the simple way is to use LISS exercise – low intensity steady state. This means jogging, cycling, walking, or using the elliptical machine at a very slow pace. You want to keep your heart rate in the sweet spot between 60 and 70%, and do so for no less than 45 minutes. That’s the best fat burning cardio program that exists.
Myth 3: Cardio always comes first.
Fact: You should use cardio as a short warm-up to get your heart beating and your muscles warm, but weight training is always the more important of the two. If you run before you lift, you’ll have very little energy for that intense weight training session. When you lift first, you use up all of the glucose (sugar) stored in your bloodstream, muscles, and liver. When you finally get around to cardio time, all that your body has left to burn is fat – leading to better fat burning. The key to burning fat through your cardio more effectively: do it after a weight training sessions.
Myth 4: I need to do cardio every day.
Fact: While cardio is supremely effective for weight loss and overall improved health, it’s not a daily requirement. Weight training can get your heart beating properly, and you’ll find that many weight lifters actually get a pretty good workout without needing to do cardio. Of course, you should make it a priority to have an intense cardio session at least 3 days a week, but you should give your body a rest from intense cardio – unless you’re training for a marathon or running event.
Myth 5: I need to follow the treadmill’s instructions.
Fact: If you’re following the instructions of the treadmill, it means you’re ignorant of what you should be doing. You should know if your goal is to burn fat or increase your cardio, and train accordingly. Those looking to burn fat want to keep their heart rate around 60 to 70%, while those looking to train for cardio stamina will work between 70 and 85%. Ignore the flashing red lights on the treadmill, and stick with your plan. You’re the one that knows best for your body – not some silly machine!