Is cardio your route to fat loss?
It’s been debated for ages – do you really need cardio to burn fat? When working out, you are typically faced with two options – cardio or bodybuilding. Each has its own benefit, but both are known to burn fat. The choice is really about what you want to achieve, and how fast you want to achieve it.
Weighing your choices
Cardio workouts are designed to work your cardiovascular system, enabling you to maximize the capacity of your body. Cardio workouts are commonly-used as warm-ups for other activities, and progressing to more intense workouts. For many, cardio workouts are a snooze fest; there’s nothing much going on in a cardio workout that gets your excited, although it gets your blood pumping. Compared to more intense workouts, cardio workouts are simply bland and the struggle is not with your capacity to do cardio workouts, but how much of the boredom you can take.
Despite being unpopular for gym rats, it’s still a necessity for many to do cardio workouts. In fact, cardio machines like the treadmill and stationary bike are among the most used machines in a gym that most gyms often put limits in them to accommodate every user. While it’s true that it doesn’t do much for muscle-building, it does help burn calories, which greatly helps in burning fat.
Muscle-building workouts, on the other hand, rely on a progressive overload of your muscles to build fat. The energy that your body burns during muscle-building exercises can also help you burn fat, but only to such an extent. That’s why there are other bodybuilders that undergo a cutting phase which greatly reduces their body fat, in order to reveal a ripped physique. Muscle-building workouts for weight lifters and strongmen need an ample amount of body fat to fuel their body when lifting.
Which workout should you choose?
Between these two workouts, it would appear that cardio is your obvious choice if you want to lose fat. However, cardio and fat-burning simply doesn’t work that way. Essentially, fat-burning can be achieved only if you have a caloric deficit diet. That means that you burn more calories than what you eat. The deficit dictates how much fat you would burn over a specific amount of time. Hence, doing more cardio workouts would enable you to burn the most amount of body fat given a specific amount of time.
A caloric-deficit diet means that you won’t be able to get much of the energy that you usually get with the food you eat. That makes you less capable of doing more intense muscle-building exercises. That’s also why many bodybuilders bulk up first before they cut body fat, simply because cutting and building doesn’t work hand-in-hand.
Going back to the question…
How much cardio do you really need? The answer is – depending on what you eat. If you’re on a caloric deficit diet, half an hour, or at max, one hour is all you need to burn fat using cardio. That’s because you’re burning fat regardless if you work out or not. Here’s a good calculator I found that would help you determine how much exercise you need to burn fat. (Credits: calculator.net)
Depending on what you eat, you may need to do more cardio exercise. Also, it would help if you would take supplements to boost your metabolism like LipoGenix Elite. If you’re having problems managing your food intake, an appetite suppressant like Garcinia X and Flat Belly can do wonders for your body.
Is it all about cardio?
Cardio is the fastest route to burn fat from your body, but if you’re looking at long-term fitness, you should balance cardio with muscle-building exercise. Muscle-building exercise builds muscle mass, which in turn boosts your metabolism. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy your body needs. Also, it boosts your strength and stamina, and gaining muscle mass makes you look great, too.