By: Coach Pattie Romano
Too much cardio like steady state cardio can eat away at your lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories. It causes the body to become more endurance-focused, storing energy as fat to ensure it has plenty of reserve to keep you going for all those extra miles. Not to mention it dramatically increases your appetite, making your more susceptible to unnecessary snacking or over eating.
If your primary goal is fat loss, high intensity interval training and strength training combined is the way to go. The more lean muscle your body has, the more fat you will burn. Adding interval training with your strength training by performing short bursts of all out effort mixed into your regular sessions are much more effective at promoting hormones that target stubborn fat. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is considered to be much more effective than normal steady state cardio because the intensity is higher and you area able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat. It also speeds up your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories through out the day. Unfortunately, the positive fat-burning effects of steady state cardio are short lived. Once you stop exercising, your body’s metabolism quickly returns to its normal state. Strength training helps your body maintain muscle mass. Increased muscle mass will boost your resting metabolic rate and will help your body develop more lean mass. Building strength will also support your joints, making them less likely to suffer from chronic soreness or future injury.
You don’t have to give up on steady state cardio all together. I know I need it here and there for mental and physical reasons. Cardio training is excellent for your overall health, but balancing strength training and interval training will help you achieve faster results in a way that’s sustainable for the long term.