Excessive cardio is it hindering your fat loss??
Excessive cardio and its effects on your dream body
Welcome to the first of what will be a long running blog series from myself Bryan and the Body Design Fitness team.
The first topic im going to talk about is how excessive cardio can be so detrimental to long term physique goals.
Now, before I begin, I want to state that during contest preps or even serious fat loss protocols, I am a fan of steady state cardio. I would like to clarify this by saying that this option is only utilised after extended periods of metabolic boosting muscle building to include a solid resistance training program and a nutritional plan to support these goals.
The problems with endurance style cardio workouts such as extensive running, cycling, swimming etc are numerous but I will touch on the top 3 reasons why they can negatively impact your journey towards the lean muscular body you desire.
First and foremost, Lower intensity endurance training: its whole goal is to improve aerobic efficiency of the action you are performing. This means that over time the body becomes better at performing these tasks, burning less calories than before to perform the same task. This means that the better you become at ie running, the less fat your body burns which clearly is counter-productive to what we are hoping for
Secondly, and possibly the most important factor, exercise in itself puts a stress on the body. Similar to mental or emotional stress, physical stress leads to a release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the last few years. Cortisol is a very normal product and is in fact essential to so many functions in the body. The problem arises when excessive cardio leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels. This can lead to numerous health implications including depressed immune function, muscle wastage and the body can actually revert to storing stubborn body fat, predominantly in the abdominal region, known as visceral fat. The reason muscle wastage can occur is because cortisol is a catabolic hormone. Catabolic refers to a metabolic pathway that breaks down molecules. Cortisol will preferentially target amino acids which come from muscle stores leading to a decrease in muscle size.
Finally, excessive cardio can burn a lot of calories and more often than not, this is further compounded by eating insufficient calories to compensate. This basically switches the body into starvation mode whereby it will hoard calories. More to the point it will hoard fat due to the fact it is more calorifically dense so this fat will be reserved for a last resort fuel source. This combined with muscle loss and and increased efficiency in performing basic cardiovascular movements will ultimately lead to a very poor functioning metabolic rate which will turn fat loss into a seemingly hopeless task.
So while cardiovascular can be very good and can be used to help create our vision of the perfect body, excessive cardio will stop our efforts dead in their tracks.
Body Design Fitness,