Last summer, I was a major cardio queen and I was not proud of it. I didn’t take preventive measures to avoid being a cardio queen because I was enjoying my summer-esque cardio activities even though I did not like how my body was looking at all. I was thicker than usual because I wasn’t lifting weights frequently but still eating like a pig AND I suspect my muscle mass was slowing diminishing. My body fat percentage was definitely higher as a Cardio Queen because it wasn’t burning fat as efficiently as it use to while I was mainly lifting weights.
Are you a Cardio Queen? If you are displaying any of these symptoms, start thinking about making changes to your fitness plans NOW!
- You spend 45 minutes or more on a cardio machine.
- Your workouts are mainly steady-state, rarely having a variety in speed and intensity.
- You rarely lift weights.
- You believe the amount of calories the machine is telling you you’ve burnt are true.
- You are always checking the scale and freaking out about your weight.
How to avoid being a Cardio Queen and turn your body into a lean, fat-burning machine:
- Focus on lifting weights and lifting heavy! Having more muscle mass means having a higher metabolism because your body needs more energy to repair your muscles after a workout.
- When you DO do cardio, keep it interval-based and never steady-state. You can do intervals on a cardio machine (such as 5 rounds of 1 minute sprint and 1 minute walk on the treadmill) or you can sprint for 1 minute, lift a set of weights and repeat. There are so many options. Get creative!
- Vary your intensity. If you can maintain the same intensity for 30 minutes, you are not interval training.
- Unless you are training for a long race (triathlon, marathon, etc), keep your cardio sessions short. I like to keep mine at 20 minutes.
- If you are doing a lot of cardio for whatever reason, eat a lot of healthy carbs and protein. You want to make sure you are fueling your body properly and maintaining those precious muscles.
- Throw away the scale and get your body fat percentage measured. Bodyweight is composed of fat, muscles, bone, organs and everything you are made of. The only thing you should be concerned about is how much muscle you have in relation to fat.
2013 just started so it’s a perfect time for you to turn over a new leaf and avoid being a Cardio Queen for the new year. Your body will love and thank you for it!