In the previous article I went into great depth about HIIT cardio and fasted cardio. I think that with regard to these 2 forms you now have enough knowledge to make an informed choice (if not, we would love to hear that!). As I mentioned, I want to write another article to complete the story. In this article I want to discuss the different effects of cardio on your life and the effects that your life has on the possible planning of cardio.
Effect of cardio on your training and the rest of your life
Which form of cardio is most optimal for you depends on many factors; as discussed earlier, the effect of cardio on your training is important; if strength or muscle growth is your goal, you should consider the intensity of your cardio and the effect on your recovery.
Someone who wants to get as dry as possible physically will have to pay attention to other things than someone who wants an optimal condition; the former wants maximum fat loss with maximum muscle retention.
In addition, I have also already talked about efficiency; if you do cardio all year round, your body will become more and more efficient in terms of movement, which reduces the effectiveness of cardio (at least for energy consumption).
Apart from the effect of the cardio itself the moment you do it, it is also good to keep in mind what the effect of the cardio is for the rest of the day or even week. We've already talked a little bit about this in terms of training and recovery, but think further than that. HIIT can suppress some hunger, more than LISS, but when you push it too far it can also lead to a binge that you have only compensated after 10 extra cardio sessions. In addition, too much activity of too high an intensity can lead to stress, which in turn can negatively affect sleep. The drier and more starved you are, the thinner the line between enough and too much.
In addition, your NEAT in a calorie deficit will definitely be affected by the amount of conscious activity you do. If you move less and less apart from your cardio, adding more cardio will not lead to further fat loss and may even backfire.
Cardio and fitness
Besides that cardio is useful for fat loss, we must not forget another very important aspect. I have previously written about this in the articles on metabolic training. A good metabolic condition is very important for recovery, not only after a training session, but also between sets. If you need 10 minutes after 8 reps of squatting (I have been there) before you can start the next set, it will be very difficult to load progressively from week to week without hours of workouts. In addition, if you take a very long time to calm down and are on a quiet heartbeat and breathing, it will also take longer for the body to work on recovery and growth.
That makes fitness one of the main effects of cardio. By working on a good condition you avoid this problem and ensure that recovery will never be the limiting factor in this respect. For this reason, it may be wise to periodize blocks of HIIT.
Do or don't do cardio?
Apart from the whole story about the benefits of cardio, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the amount of time available and the motivation someone can get. It is slightly more nuanced, but if we look purely at fat loss, eating 3000 kcal without cardio is approximately equal to eating 3500 kcal and 500 kcal in cardio.
Some people really enjoy doing cardio and even need to clear their heads, others are reluctant to do it. Some people work a few hours a day and get bored and snarl when they sit still, while others are out for 15 hours every day for their jobs. It is clear that you or your clients have to take into account the precondition that we call 'life'.
Also consider the type of work you do; If you're already doing a lot of physical work that keeps you active, walking, or even lugging all day, adding even more cardio may create too much stress on the system.
If you have an office job and work behind the computer for 12 hours a day without getting up, which means your NEAT is extremely low, the effects of cardio may even be positive and necessary, not only physically, but also mentally.
It is never good
As mentioned in previous articles, however, there will be a point where further calorie losses will cause problems with getting enough nutrients. In that case, adding cardio will be more sensible than dropping even further in intake.
In addition, this will largely depend on body weight. Your organs do not grow in proportion to the amount of muscle mass that you put on. That means that the more mass you have, the more stress will cost to move in proportion. Certainly in the last phase of a prep, it would be advisable to go for bags in diet with less cardio, depending on the amount of muscle mass, than doing more cardio and keeping the diet higher. In the last few weeks before a match or shoot you would optimally do as little cardio as possible, with the points of this article taken into account.
As said, HIIT is more time efficient, but because the impact on the system is so much greater, it is wise to only apply HIIT when you are looking for the specific effects of HIIT, such as better condition, improved energy consumption, etc.
For example, during a neuroblock, planning HIIT sessions is less stressful and you have less overlap with the rest of your workouts. In this case, it is probably wise to take some time and meals between the two stimuli for optimal recovery.
Just like any adaptation the body makes, fitness will only be maintained if you give your body a reason to do so. Just as half a year 3 leg days per week and then only training upper body for half a year will ensure that you have a complete physical after a year, after a block of conditioning work nothing will do for fitness for optimal results. If you do a block of LISS or less cardio after a block of HIIT, try to keep your fitness level during this block, or not to let this block last too long. Keep in mind the following:
As I explained in previous articles, the more efficient you move, the more efficient the body becomes. This also means that with the same intensity you will consume fewer calories. In addition, working at a higher intensity costs more recovery.
Combining these two means that decreasing your fitness is not a bad idea at all when maximum energy consumption is your goal.
Time to make a choice!
That was him! A big piece with a lot of information, which I hope you have learned a few things!
Do you have any questions about the effects of cardio? Then leave them behind!