Does Cardio Kill Strength
Does Cardio Kill Gains?
The answer to this question depends upon your goals. If you are looking for quick results then cardio will not hurt your progress. However if you want to get stronger or bulk up, then it would be better to avoid cardio altogether.
If you are trying to lose fat, then you need to keep away from cardio and focus on dieting properly. You can’t expect rapid weight loss without proper nutrition and exercise plan.
Cardio is great when you have no time to workout. You just go running or cycling around town.
When you do workout, it’s usually at the gym where there are other people doing cardio exercises. It’s hard work and takes up most of your day so you don’t have much free time. You’re not going to get any benefit from cardio unless you’re doing it for hours every day.
When you have a job, you probably don’t have time to workout either. You might be working out at the office but you’re not getting much benefit from it since everyone else is doing cardio too.
So what’s the point?
You may even be working out all the time and still not see any benefits because you aren’t burning enough calories to make a difference. Your body isn’t used to being constantly stressed and under high stress which is why your metabolism slows down.
You shouldn’t do cardio if you’re a beginner because it takes time to get used to the exercise. You’ll get bored and lose motivation when you don’t see any improvements in your health and appearance after a few weeks.
The truth is, you can eat right and do cardio for years and still not see any changes in your body. That’s how boring and difficult it is.
It’s not fun or enjoyable so you won’t stick to it for long.
You can get the same effect with weight training. Squats, deadlifts and bench presses are just as good as doing cardio because they both help you burn fat and calories even when you’re not working out.
You build muscle which increases your resting metabolic rate so your body keeps burning calories even when you’re not doing anything.
Why do you think bodybuilders have such great physiques?
They eat a lot of food every day and do heavy weightlifting 3x per week. If you’re too busy to go to the gym, then you can just lift weights at home. It doesn’t take up that much space or require a lot of free time. All you need is enough space to lie down and track your weights.
If you have a family or children, you won’t have much time left over to work out even if you don’t have a job. In that case, you should start weight training as soon as possible.
No matter what your situation is, you can get in great shape by starting a weight training program.
Does fasted cardio kill gains?
The term “fasted cardio” is misleading because it implies that it’s detrimental to your health or causes immediate fat loss. In reality, it doesn’t do either of those things and you don’t need to worry about doing it when you’re working out in the morning.
When you work out in a fasted state, it simply means you haven’t eaten anything yet. Most of the time when people do fasted cardio, they do it in the morning before they have had anything to eat.
There is no real scientific evidence that this is worse for you than working out after you’ve eaten.
Some people even recommend doing it this way because you will burn more fat since your body will dip into your glycogen and then start burning fat when it runs out. This is completely false.
It doesn’t work that way.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body stores most of it as glycogen and only converts a small amount into fatty acids which get sent to the liver to be converted into ketone bodies. When you haven’t eaten anything, your body has no glycogen to convert into energy so it begins to burn fat immediately for energy.
Your body doesn’t know that you’re working out so it’s not going to hold onto its glycogen. The fact that you’re working out causes your body to amp up its adrenaline and certain hormones that cause it to release more glycogen into your bloodstream so it has enough energy to sustain rigorous activity.
This means that even if you’re working out in a fasted state, your body will have enough energy to sustain the activity. It can also still convert some of the fat you’re burning into ketone bodies for more energy.
It’s not going to be significantly more effective for fat loss because your body is only keeping the bare minimum amount of glycogen in your system under any circumstance.
The only time your body is going to deplete its glycogen stores is if you go several days without eating anything or if you’re working out for several hours non-stop. People often feel dizzy and light-headed when this happens since their blood glucose levels have dropped too low.
This can be very dangerous for people with no medical training so it’s not recommended that anyone without medical training attempt it.
So working out in a fasted state is not dangerous and it’s not going to make you lose more fat than usual. Some people believe that it increases muscle loss but that isn’t true either.
A lot of studies have been done on this subject and they all come to the same conclusion: fasted cardio doesn’t increase muscle loss.
Some of these studies even go so far as to say that fasted cardio can help prevent muscle loss since your body has to depend more on fat for energy. There’s no evidence that it increases cortisol either; however, this is a side effect that is difficult to measure.
Some people believe that fasted cardio causes a worse loss in muscle strength but this isn’t true either. A lot of studies have shown that fasted cardio causes a small increase in muscle strength.
Since your body has to adapt to using more fat for energy during the fast, your body responds by making your muscles stronger so that it’s able to create more energy.
This sounds odd but it’s true. There is no real evidence that fasted cardio causes mental effects like increased anxiety either.
A lot of people also believe that working out on an empty stomach causes them to feel tired and unfocused. This isn’t due to any metabolic changes though; it’s simply due to them not eating before they work out.
If you’ve never worked out on an empty stomach, then your first few times working out on an empty stomach are going to make you feel pretty bad. Once your body gets used to it, you’ll stop feeling as bad and will probably even enjoy the fact that you’re lighter and able to work out for longer periods of time.
Some people even feel better and have more mental focus when working out on an empty stomach. This is due to the fact that their blood glucose isn’t being directed towards their digestive system since food isn’t in it, and it’s instead being directed towards their brain.
It’s recommended that people only start working out on an empty stomach after they’ve developed a habit of eating less calories than they’re burning. If you start working out on an empty stomach before you’re used to eating less calories than you’re burning, then you can put your body into a catabolic state that’s similar to how it falls when you’re not eating enough.
The only side effect of fasted cardio that’s been proven is that it can increase the amount of free radicals in your body; however, this isn’t a large change and it’s not significant enough to cause any major problems.
You can avoid this increase in free radicals either by eating a small amount of carbohydrates before you do your fasted cardio or by making sure that you’re eating a large amount of antioxidants in your diet.
Antioxidants are nutrients which counter the effect of free radicals in your body; common foods with antioxidants in them include blueberries, strawberries, spinach, chicken, and beans.
Simply eating a diet rich in these foods and doing your fasted cardio should decrease the amount of free radicals enough to where it won’t cause any problems.
It’s important to remember that fasted cardio is something that needs to be used with caution. It’s great for getting lean but it can be dangerous if not done properly.
Make sure you’re eating a lot of calories and taking some supplements to ensure that you’re getting all of your nutrients.
If you start feeling dizzy or light-headed, make sure you lie down in a comfortable position and have a sugar-rich drink before your fasted cardio.
It’s also recommended that you don’t do it more than 3 times per week. You don’t want to over do it on the fasted cardio in terms of how often you’re doing it or for how long.
Before you start doing fasted cardio, make sure to build up to it by doing it less often and for shorter durations at first. This will ensure that your body adapts to it slowly and that you don’t do too much of it too soon.
The biggest thing you need to realize with fasted cardio is that it’s not for everyone.
While it helps a lot of people get really lean, there are some who will do more harm than good if they decide to do it. If you feel bad during your fasted cardio or if it feels off in any way, then stop immediately and don’t do it anymore.
You want to make sure that you’re listening to your body and acting accordingly. While fasted cardio can be beneficial when used correctly, you still want to make sure that it’s not having any negative effects on your body.
The best thing to do is to slowly introduce it into your routine so your body can adapt to it. Start with just a few minutes of fasted cardio at first and work up your time little by little every week until you reach the length of time that you’ll be using it.
This will ensure that you’re able to get all of the benefits that it has to offer without any of the drawbacks.
While fasted cardio can be very beneficial, it might not work well for some people. Listen to your body and act accordingly.
3. Twist: Take The Guesswork Out Of Digesting Your Food
When it comes to weight loss, we always want a shortcut.
The shortcut to losing weight just makes sense. The problem is, most people don’t know the shortcuts or they aren’t really shortcuts at all.
With so much contradictory information nowadays, it’s hard to decipher what actually helps and what doesn’t.
Well today, I’m going to tell you about a weight loss shortcut that is all based on proven science. This method is so effective that it’s been proven in hundreds of studies.
It also has support from major organizations all around the globe and yet most people have no idea that this exists.
The shortcut that I’m referring to is digestive timing.
Before I continue, let me briefly explain how your digestion works. When you eat food, it goes through your esophagus and lands in your stomach.
From there, it’s broken down so that the nutrients can be absorbed into your blood stream. The leftover food is then sent to your small intestines where most of the water and nutrients are absorbed.
The leftover food is then sent to your colon and then finally to your rectum where it’s stored until you go to the bathroom.
Ever wonder why you get the urge to go after you eat?
That’s your body telling you it’s time to eliminate the food you just ate.
Now here’s where things get interesting. There is a digestive enzyme in your stomach called pepsin.
It’s job is to break down proteins into smaller pieces so that they can be absorbed by the intestines.
Pepsin only stays active in an acidic environment. But, if the pH of your stomach gets too low, it can kill the cells that produce it.
This is why you should never mix alcohol with acid blockers. They work by lowering the pH of your stomach to protect your stomach, but in turn they make it unable for your body to break down food properly.
When pepsin can’t do its job, your body can’t digest the food which means you’re not absorbing nutrients.
So people have found a way to hack your body’s digestion process to help you lose weight.
When you eat a meal, you want to make sure that it stays in your stomach for at least three hours before going to the next phase of digestion. If it stays in your stomach for too long, this could result in heartburn and acid reflux.
When you’re trying to lose weight, you want to keep your carbs low and stick with lean proteins and vegetables.
Take this meal, for example:
The above meal is healthy, but if you eat it too soon, your body won’t be able to break it down in time before the pepsin wears off. The mashed cauliflower will just turn into a mushy mess inside your stomach.
So how can you hack your digestion?
Easy! You just need to take some digestive enzymes.
These break down your food so that your body can absorb the nutrients easier and faster. By taking these, you’re speeding up the process which means you’re going to get hungry again quicker.
Doing this will help increase your metabolism, get rid of those annoying hunger pains, and it will also promote fat burning!
This method obviously isn’t a free pass to eat whatever you want whenever you want. You’re going to need to watch what you eat and when you eat it.
However, if you suffer from slow metabolism or you have a hard time losing weight, this is a great method for helping to boost your body’s fat burning capabilities.
I don’t know about you, but losing weight is one of my biggest struggles. It’s frustrating because I’m eating healthy foods and exercising, but the fat still doesn’t want to budge.
I’ve been doing my homework on this topic and I always run across the same obstacle: my metabolism. It just doesn’t burn calories the way that it used to, which sucks because I’m probably not eating as much as I should be.
If only there was a way to speed up my metabolism without going on some crazy diet…
Well there is!
It’s something called “fasted training.”
This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a quick workout done immediately after waking up while your body is in a fasted state.
Now before you write this off as another crazy diet trend, there is actually some science behind it. Speed-eating contests have been around for quite some time and they’re a great way to see which person can eat the most food the fastest.
(Think of the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Competition. That’s a speed-eating contest.)
The reason these contests work is because the contestants bodies burn more calories in the short term due to the intensity of the exercise. But, in order to succeed at this, the contestants must have gone without food for several hours prior to the contest.
In other words, they fast.
After seeing this firsthand, researchers began experimenting with fasting and exercise on various animals. What they found was that, after fasting, the animals would burn more fat than they normally would during exercise.
This got the researchers thinking… what if we made this a regular habit? What kind of effects would it have on metabolism?
And so began the research into Intermittent Fasting.
Now I’m not saying that you have to compete in a speed-eating competition in order to see results with this method. I’m just saying that there’s some real science behind it.
But what about people like me who have dieted and exercised at one time or another and still failed to lose weight?
Well, maybe Intermittent Fasting can help you too.
A lot of people have a problem with their bodies becoming accustomed to a certain type of activity. If you’ve been running for 6 miles every day for a month, your body becomes accustomed to that type and intensity of exercise.
It then becomes more difficult to challenge your body because you’re already working as hard as you are able to.
With Intermittent Fasting, you’re forcing your body to adapt to an entirely different routine: one that includes a period of fasting. And if done properly, this routine will provide enough of a challenge to spark your metabolism again.
But any routine is worth a try at this point right?
So how does one exactly go about Intermittent Fasting? Glad you asked. There are several different variations, but the common theme is that you cycle between fasting and eating. Let’s take a look at the most popular variations.
This is perhaps the most common form of Intermittent Fasting. It’s also the one that I follow.
The 16 stands for the number of hours you fast each day. The 8 stands for the number of hours you can eat each day.
So for example, if you wake up at 7am, you would not eat breakfast until 11am. You would then eat every 2-3 hours after that until dinner time.
Let’s say you had dinner at 6pm. You would then not eat again until at least 10pm. So your daily schedule would be as follows:
7am – 11am : Fast
11am – 2pm : You can eat anything you want within reason.
2pm – 6pm : Fast
6pm – 10pm : You can eat anything you want within reason.
This is very similar to the 16/8, except your eating window is significantly smaller. Instead of 8 hours, it’s only 4 hours.
So let’s continue with the example above. You would have breakfast at 11am, but instead of eating anything within reason for 2-3 hours, you only have 4 hours to eat.
Then the rest of your schedule would be as follows:
11am – 1pm : Fast
1pm – 5pm : You can eat anything you want within reason.
5pm – 9pm : Fast
Once again, this is just an estimate. I’m just trying to show you what your daily schedule would look like.
The Warrior Diet
Also referred to as the Iceman Diet (from a magazine article), this method was made popular by actor Hugh Jackman. It involves fasting for 20 hours each day and eating within a 6-hour window.
For example, if you wake up at 7am, you would eat your first meal at 1pm and not eat again until 7pm. This would be your eating window.
The rest of your schedule would look like this:
7am – 1pm : Fast
1pm – 7pm : You can eat anything you want within reason.
7pm – 11pm : Fast
This is a slightly more difficult routine to follow, but it’s the one I had the most success with. I’ve tried all three of these routines and while they all work, I found that the 20/4 was the best for me.
It’s more flexible than the 16/8 and a lot easier to follow than the Warrior Diet.
Again, you don’t have to follow any of these routines. They’re here for you to learn about and decide which one works best for you.
So let’s say that you’ve decided on a routine. Awesome!
The next step is to actually put the food into the calendar. You can do this on your phone, on Excel, on Google Calendar, on a normal calendar or even with an old school pad and pen. It doesn’t matter how, what matters is that you write it down somewhere.
Also keep in mind that you may need to make some substitutions. While I’ve given examples of certain meals you can eat, you don’t actually have to eat the meals I’ve suggested if you don’t like them or if you already know you don’t like a certain food.
For example, maybe you hate tuna. There’s no way in hell you’re going to eat it every day for lunch.
So maybe you decide that for lunch, instead of tuna you’re going to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The point is, take what I’ve suggested and alter it so it works for you and your lifestyle.
As mentioned before, this isn’t something you have to do forever. Once you reach your goal weight, you can loosen up a little bit.
You can also “have” your favorite foods once in awhile since you won’t be eating them every day.
If you find that even after a week of following your chosen routine, you still aren’t successful, then it’s time to R-E-V-I-S-I-T-A-T-E. That’s right, just utter that word and everything will be better!
Okay, maybe not, but if that’s the case then it simply isn’t working for you and you need to try something different.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
I tried the 16/8 method for almost a year and I still only lost about 15 pounds in that time span. I was eating less than 1000 calories on “fast days” and was working out at least an hour a day, if not more.
It just wasn’t enough for me.
I’m not saying that it won’t work for you, but I wanted faster results and I needed something with less hassle. That’s why I ultimately decided to switch to the 20/4 method.
You may also decide to either stay on the method you currently using or even try my method, but just do it with exercise. This can help you lose weight faster and is actually beneficial in several ways.
You can still do this routine in conjunction with any of the above methods; they weren’t meant to be followed loner than a week. This is just an extension of a previous routine.
So you’ve chosen your method and you’ve even gone ahead and put it into your planner (or whatever device you’re using). You’re all ready to go and success is right around the corner!
Well, that’s certainly what you should be hoping for at least. It is possible to reach your goal, but if you go into this half-assed then you probably won’t succeed.
It’s going to require you to change some things up. That might be hard for you if you’re a creature of habit and don’t like doing new things or feeling deprived.
If this is the case, then you may need to rethink your goals because this isn’t going to be easy, nor is it going to be fun 100% of the time.
You have to be determined and resilient.
There will be days where you’ll want to quit. There will be times where you’re going to want to jump ship and go back to your old ways.
There will be moments where you’ll feel like giving up altogether.
But you can’t do that.
You have to stay focused on your ultimate goals and keep moving towards them. If you really want it then you’ll find a way, no matter what.
And if all else fails, then at least you’ll learn what doesn’t work for you. Now you can go back and try something different that might help you in the future.
Either way, you have to give this your best shot and just KNOW that you are going to succeed!
Make It Happen!
It’s time to get started on your journey to a new you! I’m going to leave you with one last bit of advice that can help you succeed…
Be sure to take before and after pics so that when you reach your goal, you will have something to look back on and be proud of. You will also be able to see just how far you’ve come.
It’s important to reward yourself along the way too, not just with pics. You can do this by going out to eat at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, buying that video game you’ve had your eye on, or getting yourself something else small, but fun.
Just don’t make it anything food related!
You deserve it!
Take care and best of luck on your journey!
If you want to share your story with us or just meet others who are on a similar journey, come on over to the forums! Everyone is more than welcome!
You’ve reached your goal and now what? You’ve got to maintain it! Check out this article that can help you do just that!
The Simple Guide To Maintaining Your New Lifestyle
Setting Goals Worksheet
One of the most important things you can do when trying to achieve something is setting concrete goals. But not just any goals, they need to be SMART goals.
This refers to specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail…
1. Be Specific
When you write your goals down, you want to be as specific as possible. This isn’t about writing a book!
I mean, you could probably squeeze a few novels in there if you just generalize everything and don’t actually specify anything. Instead, you need to write down exactly what it is that you’re looking to accomplish.
For example, let’s say one of your goals is to get in shape. Well, that’s awesome.
But is that it? I mean, how will you know when you’re actually in shape?
I would say it’s when you can run a mile in less than eight minutes. But for you it might be able to bench press 200 pounds or something else entirely. The point is, you need to have an end goal in mind.
Let’s look at another example. Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 pounds.
That’s not specific though.
How are you going to do it? Are you going to go on a crash diet? How long are you going to stick with that? Are you going to start going to the gym? When can you expect to reach your goal if you do things this way?
2. Make It Measurable
Now that you have something to aim for, you need to be able to measure your progress. If you can’t measure your progress, then you have no idea if what you’re doing is working or not.
For the first example, something like losing 20 pounds might seem measurable at first. But let’s break it down a little more.
If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, then specifically that means you’re going to have to reduce your calorie intake by a certain amount or increase your exercise by a certain period of time.
If your goal is to run a mile in under eight minutes, then you can have a better idea of where you’re at. Maybe this month you ran it in nine minutes but last month you were able to run it in eight minutes.
3. Be Attainable
This is closely related to being specific, but it’s also related to being realistic as well. Let’s say one of your goals is to lose 100 pounds.
Now, I don’t know what your current weight is or what you’re looking to get down to, but let’s just say you’re a little out of shape and one of your goals is lose 100 pounds.
That might be a little unrealistic.
If you’re very overweight, then that might be a bit too much to expect from yourself. Instead, you need to set goals that you know you can achieve.
This will not only build your confidence, but it will also keep you motivated.
4. Be Relevant
This is about being specific as far as how this goal is going to help you reach your ultimate goal. When you’re writing down your goals, it might be easy to just jot down a bunch of things that “seem” related to what you’re trying to accomplish.
Maybe even some of them are somewhat related.
But are they really going to help you get where you want to go? Are they really going to make the difference?
Let’s say you want to run a marathon. That’s awesome!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Does “Cardio” Cause Heart Disease? (A Legge – completehumanperformance.com)
- An Argument for Post-Training Cardio Gains (J Petrosino – elitefts.com)
- Cardio and Muscle Gain: Everything You Need to Know (AN Staff – avatarnutrition.com)
- Superwoman schema: African American women’s views on stress, strength, and health (J Thompson – 2015 – Simon and Schuster)
- What Strength Training Does to Your Body (CL Woods-Giscombé – Qualitative health research, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Live strong and prosper: the importance of skeletal muscle strength for healthy ageing (D Morris – dinnymorrisfitness.com.au)
- Gaining Strength While Dropping Body Fat (J Karlstad – 2018 – Simon and Schuster)
- Scotty Butcher, BSc (PT), PhD, ACSM-RCEP, CF-L1 (M McLeod, L Breen, DL Hamilton, A Philp – Biogerontology, 2016 – Springer)