Hey STRONG friend! I often get asked how much cardio should I do, or how much is too much cardio – well, my friend, it depends.
Each person is different. In today’s post, I am sharing some signs that will give you the answers to the above questions, if you are listening to your body’s biofeedback.
Our bodies are always communicating to us, but it’s up to YOU to listen or not. If you don’t listen, you will suffer the consequences!
My favorite phrase is Treat Your Body RIGHT, and it will TREAT You RIGHT. We only have ONE body in this lifetime, so…. do right by it, and it will go to the ends of Earth for you!
So, when you’re contemplating how much cardio you should do, first think in terms of what are your goals.
What do you want to achieve?
Is your goal to improve your body composition, i.e., body change – improve your muscle to fat ratio, or are you into running races and want to improve your cardio endurance, or shave minutes off of your running pace?
I’m willing to guess your goal is body change. If so, then you’ll want to find the minimal effective dose and the type of cardio that you ENJOY!
You should always ENJOY what you’re doing, or else it won’t be SUSTAINABLE/MAINTABLE!
STRONG friend, just doing cardio or cardio type activities is not the best approach to physique change.
Prioritize Strength Training for body change and building muscle, and use Nutrition for dropping body fat.
Cardio should be the side dish – again, the minimal effective dose of it, and you’ll have to find out how much that is by tuning in!
So, now that’s covered, let’s segue into the signs of the potential side effects of doing too much cardio.
Too much cardio can potentially put you in a catabolic state, which will lead to your body using your muscle for fuel (burning your hard to come by muscle) – results in a muscle deficit. Losing muscle is no Bueno, my friend.
When you lose too much muscle, you are lowering your RMR (how many calories your body burns when you’re not training – at rest) which leads to a slower metabolism!
Some signs that you are doing too much cardio:
– A good sign that you’re burning muscle is an ammonia or urine smell in your sweat or clothes.
– You’re not recovering – having aches and pains.
– You’re not getting STRONGer! You’re not progressing in your lifts. Your cardio regime is affecting your strength and muscle gains!
– Your hunger is out of control, and your cravings are through the roof. Sometimes, you can also blunt your hunger from doing so much cardio.
– Your energy is shot. Your fatigue is high! You feel tired all the time!
– You’re skipping your training sessions because you’re too tired from doing too much cardio.
That my STRONG friend, are some signs to look for when it comes to your cardio regimen.
Cardio/conditioning is great for us.
It’s good for our hearts, our health, it can be great for recovery. However, as I said above, it can get in the way of your muscle & strength gains, if you are doing too much or being excessive in your approach.
Furthermore, you don’t have to do the traditional style cardio – road jogging or treadmill jogging. Only do cardio you ENJOY!
Also, cardio comes in a 1,000 different forms and flavors, lol, not just from running/jogging, doing the elliptical or some other cardio machine.
Try doing 4 sets of squats for 10 reps and tell me that wasn’t cardio.
I snapped this photo after doing squats, hip thrusts, and bench press. If I don’t say myself that was some cardio, my heart rate was up, but I wasn’t doing any traditional cardio!
So, tell me, STRONG friend, are you having any of these signs? If so, you’re not doomed. Just begin to start cutting back on your cardio overtime and bring your priorities back to strength training!
While I have you here, grab my short and sweet 10 Strength Training Circuits that are great for when you’re short on time or traveling. They require minimal equipment and will allow you to keep your fitness game going no matter what’s going on in life! You’re gonna love them!