Welcome back to Game Strength Insider!
Last time you learned about KISS & tried and true methods to gain muscle with minimal effort. Meanwhile, keep reading these lessons…
The Cardio Overview. If you need to lose some fat, you need to do some cardio. This will help melt away the fat, it’s also going to help keep one of your most important muscles in shape… the heart!
The good news is, you don’t have to waste away on the elliptical or the treadmill for hours. Matter of fact, you shouldn’t do an excessive amount of steady-state cardio period. I’ve seen a ton of people lose a bunch of weight but become a “skinny fat”. This is where people may be smaller than they used to be, but their body is still flabby. You might see this happen when people crash diet and/or do a lot cardio. Since the body is basically starving, it looks for easy mass and tissue to break down into fuel. In turn, it holds onto some of its fat stores while breaking down the muscle mass.
Unless you like the soft and flabby Richard Simmons look, this is something you need to avoid. And this means you need to avoid doing two hour cardio sessions day after day. Sweet deal, huh?
Instead, you’ll be doing two specific types of cardio:
Steady state or variable intensity cardio sessions for 20 to about 45 minutes, depending on your fitness level. This is what we’re going to call “regular” type of cardio, where you walk, jog, ride a bike, swim, jump rope, use the elliptical, row… or do pretty much anything else you enjoy.
High intensity interval training (HIIT). My personal favorite. This is where you do cardio from about 12 minutes to 20 minutes. Since this is high intensity, it’s a very exhausting type of cardio. Thus you don’t want to do this daily, especially combined with weight-lifting, as it could lead to overtraining. Instead, you’ll do it once or twice per week… We will save the details of this method for a rainy day.
For starters, you need some sort of cardio approximately three times a week for 20 minutes per session. As your fitness level improves, you can increase the duration, the intensity, and how many times you do cardio per week.
A friendly warning, however…
Even if you’re in good shape now, you don’t want to go gung-ho on the cardio right off the bat. This because there’s a chance you could hit a plateau. And if you plateau, you won’t have anywhere to go – meaning you won’t be able to jack up the intensity or duration of your cardio to break the plateau. I’ve seen this happen all too many time with guys trying to prove themselves. So start with three 20-minute sessions per week – and jack it up only if you’re not getting results or if you hit a plateau.
One final bit of advice: Mix it up to keep your cardio fresh! By this I mean change the type of cardio you do every couple weeks (or every session, if you prefer). Not only does this keep you from getting bored, but it also keeps your body from adapting to the exercise.
There you have it…
You should start adding in 2-3 weekly cardio sessions to your training (preferably on days you’re not doing weights). Meanwhile, keep lifting the light weights to condition yourself if need be.
Take care and keep an eye out for more insider training!
P.S I don’t bite. If you’ve got something
to say share your thoughts in the comments section below!