The Golden Rules of Cardio for Fat Loss

Sarah Cann

Are you still wondering how much or how long your cardio work should be? Today I want to breakdown of when to use it and how to reset your body if you've been abusing cardio.

You ladies always hear me push back to minimize your cardio. Promise me you'll listen to this and at least consider cutting back on your cardio routine.

It doesn’t matter where I’m at or what type of client or athlete I am working with — they WILL ask about cardio.
“How much cardio should I be doing?”
“When’s the best time to do my cardio?”
“I want to get leaner — should I do more cardio or more weights?”
“I hate cardio. Do I need to do hours and hours to achieve my goals?”
“I am up to 2 hours of cardio a day – where do I go from here?”

My goal is to inform you how to use cardio properly.

When you ask questions about “cardio”, you need to be more specific. The fitness industry as a whole, needs to start talking about “cardio” appropriately and using common language.
“Cardio” is short for “cardiovascular”, which refers to the lungs and heart, and their associated systems.
I assume when someone asks about “cardio”, they are referring to longer, steady state, low to moderate intensity sessions of a repetitive movement. This can be easily done on any “cardio” machine such as an upright bike, rowing machine, elliptical trainer or Stairmaster but can also be done with no equipment, such as walking or jogging (depending on the individual’s level of conditioning).
For most folks, then, “cardio” means something like “go outside and run for a while to get your heart rate up”. That’s not wrong, but it’s not as accurate as it could be.

Here’s what you need to know:

All cardio is NOT created equal.  HIIT and Intervals are more ideal for fat loss, building endurance, and preserving lean muscle.

Use cardio for good, not evil.  Do not overuse long form cardio.  Your body will adapt very quickly and you will quickly stop seeing results following the same hour long session.

Optimize a cardio plan.  If you’ve been a cardio abuser, I encourage you to stop cardio completely for a minimum of 3-4 weeks.  Then add in only HIIT or interval sessions at 12-15 minutes 2-3x per week. Build from there. Chances are that break is what your body needs to recover and the minimal cardio will be just as effective now as the longform was when you first started.

I hope this info sheds some insight on how effective the right amounts of cardio can be!  I can tell you we do ZERO long form cardio in the chiseled program!  Registration is open for the next round that begins on Monday, May 28.  Get the details here!