Saturday, August 22, 2009
Stop the long duration cardio madness!
While I was channel surfing last night I caught a show on E! - "True Hollywood Story - Female Bodybuilders." Like a car wreck, I had to peak on my way by.
Part of the story was following an amateur figure (maybe it was fitness, I can't remember which for sure) competitor who was trying to win her pro card at a national NPC event. What jumped out at me was when she was talking about her training regimen she said she did 3, 45 minute cardio sessions a day! Poor girl had fallen prey to the pundits of long duration cardio like so many guys and girls do when they are preparing for contests.
Long duration cardio, particularly when you are on a reduced calorie diet, is a great way to waste away hard earned muscle. Women have to be even more careful as their propensity to build and maintain muscle is challenged by their gender right out of the gate.
Truth is she would have achieved far greater results with a fraction of the time. This doesn't mean she would have had to work any less hard it just means she would have worked smarter with a more result producing plan. Hard work is great but if channeled in the wrong direction can actually impede progress. I know first hand because I used to do long duration cardio too and never achieved the kind of conditioning I did once I implemented Max-OT style cardio.
Stuart MacDonald's (Pictured above) amazing transformation documented in "I Want to Look Like That Guy" was achieved in part by his consistent short duration, high intensity cardio. There was no long duration cardio for Stu and he was able to go from over 30% body fat to less than 6% bodyf at in a 6 month period. I guarntee that if Stuart would have done hours and hours of cardio he would not have achieved the same dramatic results. He may have lost a similar amount of total weight but his body composition would not have been as great because he would have been sacrificing muscle along the way.
Remember - Short duration, high intensity cardio is the way to go for competitors and anyone looking to really improve body composition. It will have a greater elevation effect on your metabolism and less of any negative effects on the muscle building process.