Is Cardio a Royal Waste of Time?
No. It's not a complete waste of time.
Cardio burns calories which causes fat loss and it offers a ton of health benefits. But the real question is:
Is Cardio worth the time investment?
For most of you it’s not.
(Read the article then check out the transformation photos of clients who didn't do any cardio.)
Now let me draw a distinction. When I say “Cardio” I’m talking about exercise done specifically to keep your heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. Things like jogging, ellipticals, cardio classes, etc.
I’m not talking about being active in general. We recommend you walk…walk lots! Be active. Move around. Move throughout the day.
Now that we’ve defined Cardio, let’s dive into why it’s likely not worth the time investment.
1) You Get the Same Health Benefits From Strength Training and Walking
Health is probably your number 1 priority when it comes to working out. And you’ve likely heard Cardio is great for heart health. Well, it is!
But guess what also is? Strength Training and Walking.
You should already be Strength Training 2-3 days per week and walking every day. If you are, you’ve already got your bases covered when it comes to getting healthy. Doing more isn’t a bad thing, it’s just not necessary.
(Why should you be Strength Training? It’s hands down the best way to tone up, boost your metabolism, increase strength, shed fat, etc. Read more HERE.)
2) It’s Inefficient For Fat Loss
Cardio will absolutely burn fat. But not that much. In fact, here’s the math explaining how much cardio you’d have to do to lose 1 pound of fat per week:
1 pound of fat = 3,500 Calories
Divide that by 7 days in the week and you get 500 calories per day.
If you’re hauling butt (and I mean REALLY getting after it) you can burn 500 calories in an hour.
If you want to lose 1 pound of fat per week from Cardio, you need to do 7 hours of Cardio.
Or you can drop your calories by 500 per day. The choice is yours.
When I have clients ask about doing Cardio (in addition to daily walking), I never tell them NOT to do it. But usually they’re hoping Cardio will get them great results without having to change their diet. Here’s the thing: It’s almost impossible to out-train a bad diet.
If you want to lose a significant amount of fat, you have to clean up your diet. And once you do that, you’ll see that Cardio isn’t necessary for fat loss.
3) It’s Boring
This one doesn’t even need to be explained. It’s true. More than 90% of the people I talk to say they can’t stand Cardio because it’s so boring.
If your exercise program bores you, your odds of sticking to it and reaping the benefits are super low. Choose something you like.
If you’re already Strength Training, you understand Cardio isn’t necessary for fat loss, and you absolutely love it then do it. Do lots of it. As much as your heart desires!
It’s just time to stop pretending like Cardio is the Holy Grail of fat loss because it’s not.
If you’re ready to start a Strength Training program that provides you with one on one instruction, a strong nutrition program, and personalized accountability then click here.