Is Cardio Necessary?
Lets start with the million dollar question, Is cardio necessary? No, but is it helpful? Sure! Cardio is simply a tool used to help create a caloric deficit. Cardio is never the answer but performing some form of cardio is a good supplement to a great weight and diet plan. By being in a drastic deficit due to excess cardio over time you will lose muscle mass and be very tired and weak ultimately not resulting in the look that we want.
When should you perform your cardio?
Many people swear that by doing cardio in morning fasted they see the best results, others believe that by doing it after a workout it makes them more shredded. When it comes to performing cardio movements I just say it’s all dependent upon the individual. There is no scientific data proving that performing cardio at a certain time of day is better than others. You have to listen to your body and just see what fits your lifestyle and your schedule. Consistent resistance training is much more important than a consistent cardio routine. I just would warn you to avoid performing cardio right before your workout. Doing a ton of cardio prior to working out will leave you weaker and tired when you begin your training resulting in poor form, lighter weight, and horrible overall workout. You always want to invest majority of your diet focused towards you’r lifting and nutrition while just using cardio as an accessory to really push your physique.
What type of cardio is best?
There are two types of cardio you need to know about. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and Low intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS).
During a Low Intensity workout you spend an extended period of time on a machine such as an incline treadmill with an incline on 10 or a stair master typically anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Anything that brings your heart rate up and allows you to keep it up. An issue with this type of cardio is that it can be very boring since it is a longer duration and not as challenging. Whereas, a pro for this type of training is that its less taxing on the joints and the muscles allowing you to perform more of these workouts during the week. Its also relatively relaxing allowing you to multitask whether you’r listening to a audiobook or watching a youtube video it gives you a chance to catch up on whatever you may need.
High Intensity Interval Training is short, extremely intense exercises usually 30 seconds followed by a period of low intensity work typically 10-15 seconds. You’d want to perform these exercises for a period of 20 minutes without any rest. This type of workout is great because It burns lots of fat and even tons more calories. You do want to stick with movements that are full body exercises, though they are more taxing they work more muscle groups but HIIT is very popular and could be very competitive and exciting if you can get some of your friends involved.
The Wrap Up
I recommend starting with one to two sessions a week until you figure out what works best for you. With that being said one form of cardio is not better than another as long as you feel accomplished and happy with your training thats all that matters. At the end of the day its about seeing results and striving to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.