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12/5/13 1:53 P

You can actually improve your cardio without doing any dedicated cardio exercises, there are a number of different programmes available which show how to do this. Craig Ballentyne and Shin Otake both have excellent programmes which have this benefit. Cardio is actually a one trick pony, all it can do for you physically is improve your cardio system which does have the benefit of increasing your endurance.

If you like to run then run but more as a recreational and stress relieving activity than as your primary fitness activity.

GINNABOOTS Posts: 9,282
12/5/13 8:36 A

Yes cardio, but strength training is equally important to maintain muscle.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/4/13 10:40 P

It isn't a one or the other thing; You need to have both!

Cut back on the cardio and add in strength training. It will help your weights loss and will help you to achieve a 'toned' look once the excess fat is gone

JLMARTIN922 SparkPoints: (1,684)
Fitness Minutes: (1,110)
Posts: 31
12/4/13 2:31 P

Cardio doesn't tone. Adding strength training will increase your lean muscle mass which in turn increases your metabolism. You need both cardio and strength training to lose fat and tone up all the squishy parts emoticon

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
12/4/13 2:18 P

cardio is good for your heart and lungs. It is important part of any healthy life style. But so is strength training. You need to be doing some of that too...Too much cardio will destroy you muscle building work so you do need to watch how much you do. I was running 22 to 25 miles a week and was told my 3 weight lifters that it was too much. So I now do about 15 miles a week and 4 weight lifting sessions a week.

NFLATTE Posts: 9,538
12/2/13 10:23 P


KEEP_GOING247 Posts: 2,350
12/2/13 10:00 P


SCARJOWANNABE SparkPoints: (13,955)
Fitness Minutes: (7,186)
Posts: 500
12/2/13 9:51 P


FITWITHIN Posts: 25,991
12/2/13 8:02 P

I'm all for cardio. Yay

210014631 SparkPoints: (35,652)
Fitness Minutes: (10,227)
Posts: 1,400
12/2/13 6:44 P

I love both weight and cardio, but I like cardio best.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,456
12/2/13 6:30 P

I don't think it is quite so simple as yay or nay.

Cardio IS good for you, and should be part of any good exercise program.

However, there is some truth underlying the article in that very long cardio sessions can be muscle wasting - as the muscle use up their glycogen reserves, the body goes looking for alternative sources of energy, including cannibalizing muscle to free up protein. As muscle burns calories even at rest, over time this lost muscle can slow your metabolism, and make your longer term weight loss efforts harder.

So, how to square this circle?

* Include strength training in your program as well as just cardio. ST helps maintain your existing muscle mass.
* Unless you are training for a specific endurance event, avoid long duration cardio, and keep your cardio workouts to30-40 minutes. Focus on adding intensity rather than time - basically, aim to run faster, rather than further. The added advantage of this is that working out more intensely gets your heart rate higher and creates additional health and fitness benefits.
* Eat appropriately for your level of activity, and ensure your protein intake is well within the recommended range.

If you love running, don't stop. But there are some tweaks you can make to your program to avoid the worst muscle wasting effects.


BARBANNA SparkPoints: (108,384)
Fitness Minutes: (85,068)
Posts: 3,415
12/2/13 5:29 P

My favorite form of exercise

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
12/2/13 3:03 P

I'm with Mletho. The more I intensify my strength training, the more results I see. Running, for me anyway, is good meditation.

FEFIFO Posts: 12,747
12/2/13 1:28 P

yay I am maintaining with cardio

MLEHTO Posts: 734
12/2/13 1:00 P

To be perfectly honest I've never really lost any fat due to cardio. When I've lost fat it's been due to watching what I eat and strength training. I do cardio more for stamina and endurance. I find strength training more satisfying as I see faster results. (I'm not a very patient person. emoticon )

JREIDY SparkPoints: (52,982)
Fitness Minutes: (52,659)
Posts: 284
12/2/13 12:26 P

Whoever wrote that article has been smoking funny stuff. You've got to do a heck of a lot of running before you start using muscle tissue for energy.

Add resistance activities to your workout as an adjunct to your running.

A real benefit of weights is that it will help you lose fat, it's fun once you get into it and it makes you look good if you do it over an extended period of time.

Keep on running!

ZESTFUL60 SparkPoints: (10,916)
Fitness Minutes: (4,202)
Posts: 115
12/2/13 12:05 P

yay! emoticon

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,893
12/2/13 11:45 A

The previous posters have given you some great advice. Cardio is an important part of any well-rounded exercise program, but strength training is also key. Without strength training, a higher percentage of weight lost will come from muscle instead of fat. Strength training helps minimize the muscle loss as much as possible. So I think if you could swap out some of your cardio workouts for strength training, that's your best bet.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen

12/2/13 10:56 A

I second what the previous poster said! There is nothing wrong with cardio at all. Cardio is GREAT! However, without some strength training people are bound to look a little soft even when they technically have a low fat percentage (unless they look super-skinny, which unless you have the genes that make you naturally that shape, it's not really the most ideal shape to work for, imho). So keep on running, but mix some strength training in there too.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (29,946)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
12/2/13 10:44 A

It sounds like you aren't doing any kind of strength training or cross-training. I do some kind of cardio 5 days/week (run, walk, bike, rowing machine) and strength training 2 to 3x/week. This is over the course of a 5 day week (taking 2 days of rest). I'm sure that someone can give more information about why you should include strength training in your routine. You don't have to give up doing cardio. It might be a good idea to change up what you do, which is where cross-training helps.

Hopefully, the links below will help. There is one that is for cyclists under the strength training but it could be helpful for runners too.

Strength Training for Runners:

Cross-Training for Runners:

B4IAM30 SparkPoints: (891)
Fitness Minutes: (525)
Posts: 76
12/2/13 10:28 A

bump. I'd like to find out about this too. All I've heard is to do cardio and strength training both.

12/2/13 9:59 A

I am beyond confused. For the past year and a little more I've been doing cardio almost on daily basis. I run. Then today I came across this article online that stated cardio is harmful and sabotaging for weight loss... It said that it kills muscles so you lose so much muscle in the process and even when you lose weight you'll always still have fats around your mid section and so. Is that true? I mean I've been depending on it and I love running but I can't help but notice that my weight loss has been somewhat slow even though I work out everyday and even though I'm in the mid of my healthy weight range I still look a little chubby I believe. So should I cut off hard cardio and do walking and interval training? What would you advise out of experience or so?

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