Are YOU Making These Cardio Mistakes?
Whether you're looking to burn fat to reveal those six pack abs or increase your overall aerobic endurance then your'e going to spending some time doing what many refer to as the dreaded cardio.
The vast majority of guys that hate cardio indeed hate it because they're not getting the results they expect from the amount of effort they're putting in. These same guys spend a heap of time researching form and exercise variations when it comes to hitting the weights, but as soon as it comes time to hit the cardio they expect to get on the treadmill and get results.
Just like lifting, there are a number of cardio mistakes that'll ruin your progress! Ensure you're not falling victim to the 4 biggest cardio mistakes I've seen below are 7 years in the gym.
1. Not Having A Definitive Goal
If you're looking to burn fat as efficiently as possible while maintaining your muscle mass (the #1 goal during a cutting phase!) you must state this as your goal and train accordingly.
In this case you're going to be shooting yourself in the foot if you opt to perform numerous sessions of moderate intensity, long duration treadmill workouts.
Building endurance comes down to performing low to moderate intensity workouts for a prolonged duration.
Efficient fat loss while preserving as much muscle as possible comes down to perform balls to the wall, high intensity bursts of cardio for a short duration.
Without a goal you're not going to be tailoring a form of cardio to suit, you'll be all over the place! Don't perform cardio for cardio's sake.
2. Not Utilizing Different Forms Of Cardio
No, we're not talking about confusing the body here - your body will not get used to one form and cardio and burn less calories, that has and always will be a myth.
I recommend performing different forms of cardio to keep it interesting (which ensures your intensity will be high) but also as constantly performing high impact cardio such as running on a treadmill, sprinting up stairs or even jump rope to a degree will take it's toll on your joints.
Opt to mix in low impact methods of cardio that don't involve hard, jarring movements on your body.
I personally alternate my cardio sessions between a high impact and a low impact session... here's a few examples:
Low Impact Cardio
- Ball Slams
- Spin Bike
High Impact Cardio
- Treadmill Running
- Stair Sprints
- Jump Rope
3. Not Warming Up Correctly (Hip Flexors etc.)
If you're performing your cardio fasted early in the morning chances are you'll have gotten out of bed no long before you step on the treadmill or elliptical and your body will benefit greatly from some warming up before you begin!
Sprains, strains, aches and pains are all headed your way if you don't perform a regular warm-up before your cardio workout.
There's no need to spend an hour on the foam roller! Below is the morning mobility routine I perform and recommend you try:
The following morning mobility routine should take you roughly 10 minutes.
Some days you’ll find that a bit of extra time on the trigger point therapy, while others days you won’t find it necessary.
Here’s the routine:
- Shoulder disolocations – 3×10
- Hip flexor stretches
- Ankle dorsiflexion wall stretch – 3×10 (per ankle)
- Trigger point therapy (5 minutes give or take as necessary)
- 5 minute rocking deep squat
You'll find the full instructional guide to my morning mobility routine here.
4. Scheduling Your Cardio Wrong
Don't perform high intensity cardio immediately before lifting weights as you'll be far too fatigued to put up any big numbers, especially while maintaining strict form.
a 2 mile run before delving into maximum repetition 315lb deadlifts is something I've seen in CrossFit workouts before and I can only imagine how many physio appointments were required after going through such a thing...
I recommend performing your cardio at a seperate time to your lifting, but if this is not possible (we all have busy schedules!) I recommend performing your lifting routine before finishing off with your cardio.
If you've got the luxury of time I recommend performing cardio in the morning and hitting the weights in the afternoon.