For those of you who are struggling with cardio this one will come in handy. Cardio is great for keeping your overall body and circulatory system in good condition and is very effective if you want to get rid of the extra fat. That is the main reason why people do cardio – to lose weight. Cardio exercises such as incline walking, running or spinning keep your heart rate up for long periods of time which makes your body burn calories fast.
When you are lifting weight your heart rate goes up while you are doing your set and then goes down while your rest then goes back again on the next set and down again. So in weight lifting you have these spikes in your heart rate while in cardio you have an almost flat elevated heart rate throughout your cardio training.
Therefore most of the times you will burn more calories during cardio than you do during your weight training (this will depend on the intensity and duration of both lifting and cardio, but in the overwhelming majority of cases you will burn more calories with cardio).
Now, as you can see cardio is very beneficial and a more effective fat loss method than weight training, so why you should not do it? Well in my case it’s because I don’t have enough time to fit both my weight training and cardio training in my daily schedule. Others don’t do it because they find it boring; others want to focus more time on developing their muscles. Anyways, there are lots of reasons and excuses.
Here is what you can do instead.
1. Eat less
As you remember losing weigh it is as simple as calories in versus calories out. If you can’t increase the calories out with cardio, decrease the calories in. Eat fewer calories to compensate for the cardio training. Usually a 30 minute moderate intensity cardio training burns off anywhere from 200 to 500 kcal.
There you have it, adjust your diet so that you will still be in a deficit even without doing the cardio.
2. More sets
Another cool method that I do to compensate for not doing my cardio is doing more weight lifting. I love lifting weight more than I do cardio and my goal is to focus on building more muscle.
Here you have lots of options. You can do supersets, triple sets, drop sets, higher rep sets, and same type of sets but just increase the numbers; you can have shorter resting periods between your sets and exercises. You literally have limitless possibilities.
Lifting more weights will burn off extra calories to compensate for cardio. To me this has been working great. I haven’t done cardio and the fat continues to melt each week.
Right now I am doing 25 to 30 sets per workout and I hit a single body part per workout, except biceps and triceps which I hit on the same day. If you are concerning with overtraining keep in mind that I hit every body part just once a week so I allow my body plenty of time to recover. High volume training can compensate for cardio guys.
3. Other sports
Bodybuilding might not be the only sport you enjoy. Maybe you like football, baseball, cycling, swimming, volleyball, you name it. There are ton of fun ways to burn off extra calories. If you happen to find one that you love it will make it so much easier for you to get active.
On top of that you also get to spend more time outside as opposed running on a gym treadmill like a little white lab rat.
One more tip before we close this out. If you can, I recommend combining 2 or even all 3 methods above; don’t go with just one of them. That way you don’t need to eat significantly less. I mean 500 kcal is not that little. If you take in 2,000 kcal a day, cutting down to 1,500 kcal might not be easy. Throw a couple of more sets in your workout or get out and play football with your friends and eat the same or just 200 kcal less, for example.
What’s your take in cardio alternatives? Have you tried any of the above? Do you have other ideas you want to share with us?
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