Are your cardio workouts doing the job? You have been training, dieting and prepping for your competition for several weeks now. Your cardio is in gear, you are hitting it hot and heavy, sweating up a storm each session.
Each week you check your weight and body fat and even take photos for that visual. After all your relentless hard work it seems you have fallen short. You haven’t dropped any weight, your stats are exactly the same, and even your pics don’t show any change whatsoever.
What’s going on? With all the cardio workouts you have been doing, something should have changed, it not on the scale, at least in the pictures. Right?
There could be a number of things going on here, and a lot of first time figure competitors, as well as advanced athletes end up doing excessive cardio workouts.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the pitfalls you may be encountering. If you can break through these you will see your body fat dropping and start to see a total body transformation.
Doing Too Much Too Soon
Yes see, the problem is a lot of athletes start out the gate full-force, 100% from day one, doing 45-60 minutes of cardio 5-7 days a week! If you are prepping for 14-16+ weeks, what are you going to do when your body adapts to that amount of cardio? I mean, there are only 24 hours in a day, how do you build your cardio when you max it out the first month?
The trick to making your cardio workouts effective for fat loss is to not carry all your eggs in one basket because if you fall, you crack them all. This leaves you no back-up plan. You always need a something to fall back on.
The proper and most effective way to implement figure cardio workouts is to start off slowly, from ground zero and build it each week. Most competitors start off with 20 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week and add 5 minute to that each week and every other week to 3 weeks add another day.
By building your cardio progressively you always keep it fresh and keep your body off guard. This prevents your body from adapting to your cardio format and helps you burn body fat.
Not Using Variety
To continue to make progress on your figure cardio it’s important to not get caught up in repetition. Variety will light a fire under any workout program and see you through those dreaded cardio plateaus so many athletes fall victim to.
Ask any successful competitor about variety and they will tell you that failure to include variety in your cardio workout will cause your body to adapt and your fat loss results will come to a standstill.
Doing Too Much Fasted Cardio
Fasted cardio is very main stream these days. This format gained popularity with Bill Phillips’ best-seller, “Body for Life” book. No doubt, fasted cardio is an extremely successful way of burning fat. Nevertheless, it’s important that you don’t get too caught up in a “good thing.”
Fasted cardio is awesome and it does have its place if a figure prep plan. However, far too many figure athletes begin their cardio plan doing fasted cardio on the first day, and then burn out in a matter of weeks, making this back-up method useless.
Another big oversight I see many figure competitors make is doing their cardio workout at the wrong time. So, when is the best time to do cardio? Well, here are a few rules on when to do cardio to melt body fat and keep as much lean mass as possible.
Rule #1 – Implement cardio at a separate time from weight training. That’s pretty easy. If you do your cardio in the morning, then hit the weight training in the afternoon or evening. If you weight train in the morning, then do you cardio program in the afternoon or the evening.
- Rule #2 – Do your cardio and weight training in the same session, BUT do your weight training first. After you train with weights you can do your cardio.
Doing cardio and training in this manner to allows you to use your muscle glycogen for training, allowing you to get the absolute most out of your weight training.
You will keep more muscle and burn more body fat by sticking to these two cardio rules.
Using The Wrong Format For Your Body Type
You need to make certain that you are using the right cardio format for your body type. If you are pear-shaped where you genetically hold more weight in your hips and thighs, you certainly don’t want to be doing the stepper, stepmill, or a treadmill on a high incline. These formats can keep the mass since your “mass” genetics favor these areas.
To lean out large, thick legs your better cardio choices are to run, sprint, use the elliptical or the arc trainer and the bike using a light intensity that will allow you to move your legs fast.
On the flipside, if your legs are lean and you struggle with keeping what little size you have on them, you would be better off by not doing much of the bike, elliptical or arc trainer, but doing more of stepping and incline cardio training on an increased intensity level that make the legs work in more of an anaerobic manner.
By knowing your body type you can better choose exercises to get you lean, fit, and contest ready.
Now these are just a few basic cardio tips to help move you forward to your goal of getting lean and a total body transformation. Use them wisely and to your advantage to melt fat and be a total knockout in your next figure competition.
Taking Your Training To The Next Level
Now, if you are tired of getting the run-around from trainers and coaches online about how to get lean and prep for a figure competition, you might want to check out “Figure Competition Secrets”. It’s the absolute best figure prep eBook on the market, rated #1 by ClickBank. In FCS you learn the best cardio workouts.
Karen Sessions – Figure Coach