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Weight loss and cardio training

Cardio training has always been a synonym for a way to lose weight and percentage of body fat. This type of training is used by people who are amateur sportsmen and those who are professionally engaged in certain sports. When we talk about abdominal muscles and a six-pack, the first thing that comes to mind is cardio training. However, is cardio training really that useful for dropping these extra kilos or is it just a waste of time? Well, here we are going to explain that, but first, let’s go from the beginning and talk about the price that comes with cardio training. Though cardio may offer a variety of benefits that can help us get closer to the ultimate goal of burning extra calories, percentage of fat and losing weight, there are also some hidden costs to it that we have to mention.

So, let’s have a look at the next few facts!

What does it mean by “Cardio” training?

Cardio training is primarily about aerobic capacity and is very important if you want to lose weight. The term “aerobic” primarily refers to exercise with oxygen. During this kind of exercise, your breathing deepens and, in this way, the pulse rises beyond normal values and increases the flow of oxygen in the blood. Through cardio training, the consumption of oxygen improves, that is, the consumption of oxygen becomes more economical, and for this very reason, people who do cardio training have the feeling that they can perform various activities in their everyday life much easier and for a longer period.

Benefits of cardio training:

  • Better sleep
  • Reduction of daily stress
  • Improved blood flow
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Strengthened muscles and heart
  • Reduced body weight
  • Reduced percentage of fat deposits

Cardio takes a lot of time and effort

Today’s working hours and private obligations, which many people face, usually make it difficult to find time for exercise. In addition, if that time should be set aside at the end of training as an additional 30 minutes of cardio exercise, many people cannot afford it. In addition, cardio training can be quite exhausting, and people often give up halfway through cardio training. Of course, nobody likes the feeling of labored breathing and increased heart rate. That moment is decisive when it comes to cardio training and then you should remember the goal, which is the loss of unwanted extra pounds.

We know for sure that our time is our most valuable asset, so we should spend it wisely. Furthermore, time spent on cardio training is not the only thing that we should worry about. There are other facts that we should talk about, such as:

  • Is cardio after the strength training a good option?
  • Should we stop doing cardio and just focus on a diet?
  • Should we do cardio on separate days?

Cardio before or after strength training?

There is no “one size fit all” when it comes to physical exercise. Each person has different goals and departs from a different point compared to another person, and accordingly, training should be individually prepared for each person. Cardio training, such as running on a treadmill or walking, bikes and similar, can be quite hard and this way it can affect further content of the training if you are doing it at the beginning of the training. This can affect people who like to lift weights and implement strength training, which also requires a lot of concentration and focus, and cardio training at the beginning can affect focus a lot. These are two different types of stress for our body and they require the adaptation of two different types of muscle tissues. We want to be as efficient as possible.

We are going to share with you some advice based on the recommendation by the American Council on Exercise, to give you better insight into cardio and strength training.

  • If your goal is to improve endurance, do cardio before weights.
  • If you want to get stronger, do cardio after weight training.
  • If your goal is burning fat and losing weight, do cardio after weight training.
  • On lower-body strength training days, do cardio after your weight training.
  • On upper-body strength training days, you can do either first, as you like.
  • If your goal is general fitness, do either first, or maybe start with the one you like less

Should we stop doing cardio and just focus on a diet?

Diet alone cannot be a good choice. You’re probably saying now, but I lost weight with the help of diet only! Yes, of course, and I’m sure that you feel so much better, but you didn’t lose only body fat, but also muscles in your body, and in that way, you weakened yourself. In addition, training gives you the opportunity to improve your endurance, speed, agility, flexibility and other motor skills, which you definitely cannot improve only with the help of a diet, what’s more, you can only weaken them.

So, the best solution for you is to exercise along with a certain diet.

Should we do cardio on separate days?

Some studies suggest that you can get the best improvement for your health and fitness goal if you split up your cardio and your weight training. However, if you don’t have enough time to visit the gym or train with your personal trainer every day, then maybe the best solution for you is to combine strength training with cardio training. In addition, you can do strength training with your personal trainer, and you can go for a walk with your better half or friends in the second part of the day. That way, you can take as many steps as possible and there it is, you have also done your cardio. If your fitness goal is to lose body fat as fast as possible, leave cardio for the last couple of weeks of your plan and then just focus more on the cardio training, together with a proper food intake, you should achieve your desired results. Keep yourself active as much as possible, try to do both cardio and strength and also take advice from your personal trainer or nutritionist and your results will be there.

Conclusions

Cardio training is not something that can solve all your problems with unwanted weight. Body weight by itself is not a sufficient parameter of your fitness, and therefore we advise you to check your body composition and better insight into the percentage of muscles or body fat. The most important thing is to be able to calculate the calories that you have taken in and compare them with the calories that you have consumed, that way if you have lost more than you have taken in, you are on the right track.

Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, park further away from the supermarket or your work and simply try to make as many as possible steps during each day. Follow our advice regarding the implementation of cardio training and be strict with the diet, do not quit. Also try to separate diet from healthy eating, because it is two different things.

In case you are struggling and need advice from our personal trainers or nutritionist, feel free to contact us anytime through our contact form on our website.