I have been told that cardio is the key to losing weight for as long as I can remember. I look back to times where I put on a few extra pounds and think to myself, “UGH – time to start running on the treadmill again.” Cardio was my go to workout. In fact, for over 7 years I combined a high intensity workout with a few small weight movements. I thought it wasn’t working because 5 days a week maybe just wasn’t enough…so I tried 6 or 7 days a week. Here I am, exhausted, and results are stagnant. I eventually became obsessed with how many calories I was burning. I started wearing a heart rate monitor to see EXACTLY what I was burning. I would immediately go home, eat a meal because I was starving, and think I overdid it on food because my meal was more than the amount I just burned (which wasn’t much). I wasn’t losing the weight and my muscle mass was staying the same. I was drained from my excessive cardio workouts and and on top of it not seeing results so I finally simply stopped.
1 month ago, I changed my entire mindset on the gym. I focused on lifting weights and purely building muscle. I began a program of isolation movements companied by compound movements. In just one month I see my body changing like it never has before – in fact, 5 pounds down and inches are flying off! First step is figuring out your goal. Are you in it for endurance or physical physique? If your answer is endurance, keep up the cardio and go run that half marathon you have been talking about! If you want a tone physique, cut the cardio and focus on your lifts. This was a huge adjustment for me. I used to think if I wasn’t coming out of the gym beat red and pouring sweat on every inch of my body, then it wasn’t a good workout. Wrong mindset! Trust me, let that phenomenon go! Give yourself 1 month of purely strength training and use cardio as your add in for health benefits (not fat loss). Maybe add in a cycle class once a week! We have all been told muscle burns fat so don’t work harder, work smarter.
Follow my blog for some of my favorite workouts for this year and comment below if you are going to start 2018 with a whole new mindset on cardio!