To Cardio or Not to Cardio?

by | Aug 5, 2022

Here’s why cardio is ruining your body composition …


I said what I said … now let me explain.

I actually have a special place in my heart for cardio.

It’s what got me moving.

I entered college around 170 lbs.

I left college around 250.

I decided I needed to lose weight.

So, I started with an hour of cardio each day … sometimes more.

Since I was eating next to nothing, the weight was flying off.

I remember seeing the scale plummet and shatter through 220, 210, 205, 200.

When I was that heavy, I was scared of the mirror.

That statement is probably a lot deeper that it appears on the surface.

But the mirror was not something I could handle frequently.

However, I needed to check progress outside of just the scale.

So every once in a while, after hitting a milestone weight, I’d rip my shirt off and anxiously approach …


I’d hold my head in shame.

I still hated my body. I hated how it looked.

I felt like no matter how much weight I lost, I still wasn’t feeling or looking any better.

It was insanely frustrating.

And it was usually right around 200 lbs. where I’d let my frustration get the best of me and I’d regain everything.

Then, the cycle would start over.

Only, instead of a cardio machine, it was p90x.

Same result.

Then it was group fitness classes.

Same result.

Even when I got to my lowest weight of 167 lbs., I still looked skinny fat.

I picked myself apart in the mirror.

Then proceeded to rebound yet again.

Here’s the issue …

My nutrition was creating quick weight loss, which was a whole separate problem in and of itself.

But I was adding insult to injury by only doing cardio based workouts.

Nutrition will be the key driver of weight loss.

Exercise will be the key driver of fat loss.

In other words, the type of exercise I was doing meant that I was losing a little bit of fat and a lot of muscle.

Which made my body composition worse.

Not only that, but when you lose muscle, you also lose out on some metabolic gains.

Less muscle = fewer calories burned at rest.

So I was shooting myself in both feet.

Cardio is a poor tactic for losing body fat.

This doesn’t mean I’m anti cardio. It doesn’t mean that cardio is bad for you. It doesn’t mean you should avoid cardio.

It simply means that cardio alone will not create the fat loss results that you desire.

The age old advice of eat less, exercise more is quite possibly the worst long term strategy you can take for sustainable results.

If your goal is to make fat loss more difficult in the future … then eat less, exercise more is a solid approach.

So what do you do if you love you some cardio?

Simple … you do cardio.

Just understand the purpose it’s serving.

Cardio can be great for improving your cardio capacity, heart health, cardiovascular health, blood flow, endorphin release, and enjoyment, to name a few.

However, if your goal is fat loss without muscle loss …

If your goal is improved body composition and you want to look leaner, more toned, more fit, etc. …

Then strength training should be the priority.

Nutrition will drive weight loss.

Strength training will make sure you maintain or build muscle while losing mostly body fat.

Of course, there are other pieces to the puzzle, but there’s no reason to over complicate things.

If you want to burn more calories throughout the day … build muscle, eat enough protein, and walk more.

You actually aren’t going to accomplish much by simply doing more cardio.

Use cardio to the level you enjoy and/or to the level you care about cardio capacity / health.

Hopefully that makes sense.

And if you need a custom training and nutrition plan that is guaranteed to help you accomplish your body composition goals in the most sustainable way possible …

Simply let me know.

Our process is incredibly effective because we start with your Neurotype to determine the best plan for you and the foods / macro ratios that will make you feel your best.

Then we make sure your metabolism is where it needs to be to effectively let go of unwanted body fat.

And lastly, we align everything with your lifestyle so you can still enjoy yourself throughout the process (and for the rest of your life).

All in all, our 1:1 coaching program has helped 1,000s of individuals lose an average of 20-30 lbs. in 6 months with the confidence of maintaining those results forever.

Interested in 1:1 Coaching?

And let me know that you’re interested in the 1:1 signature coaching program.

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