One of our lead coaches is in St. Lucia for the week and she posted a picture of her weightlifting in the hotel gym. This is Eat To Perform 101 (and physiology 101) when more energy is present BUILD. I guess it needs to be said that on vacation she eats more freely, as do most people.
And if you think about it is that what you do? Forget about vacations, what about date night, are you on the treadmill the next day BURNING off all that precious energy you ate the night before?
For this discussion let’s put alcohol to the side in terms of an energy source (it’s not a good one). What I consistently see is that when people start to drink they eat more freely and then it’s that regret that lands them on the treadmill or doing some extra cardio.
Stop doing that!
In reality most people don’t over eat all that much, it’s rare as an example that people are just uncaring or unknowing. Certainly there are examples of it but most people know the foods that are contributing to their health and the ones that might not be helping all that much.
This is why it’s important to separate illogical thought from logical thought. Illogical thought has you eating 4000 calories on one day and then doing an hour on the treadmill to burn off 600 of those calories.
You would be MUCH better off spending that time in the gym lifting weights, doing body weight workouts slow or, if there is no other option, doing some HIIT.
While HIIT is anabolic it’s still an extreme version of cardio.
You have to remember in this discussion there is no bad and good, only better.
So better is a longer and slower session where you are going to failure or fatigue with your muscle. If you want to read more on how to get stronger while still looking like you lift here you go.
This might seem like I am anti cardio and that is FAR from the truth, I just started running again (I live in MN and prefer to run outdoors) and try to get in at least two 3-5 mile runs a week. Sometimes I will push that as high as 10 on a day like Sunday where I don’t have a lot going on.
The thing that is nice about not being a stranger to cardio is that it allows better recovery and your weight lifting sessions often benefit greatly from being able to do more work.
So cardio has a place.
I may or may not write the cardio version of this but the cliff notes will be to burn more calories on days you are eating normal or even in a bit of a deficit food wise. Also note that the pace of my runs isn’t going to be high, it’s mostly zone 1 and zone 2 work so my body can easily use fat as energy rather than requiring more glucose for more intense work. This is what’s known as the “fat burning zone”. Which is why I might need to write that article after all because the fat burning zone is more effective when you aren’t constantly in it and you are BUILDING on occasion.
Also if your goal is to get better in a sport that involves long endurance you are going to want to ignore the paragraph above. That’s why it’s a complicated topic.
So there’s your teaser for the next article.