When it comes to cardio the debate can be split – cardio or cardi-NO! The truth is some cardio is good for everyone in terms of health, well being and general fitness. But when it comes to believing what you read – watch out for the myths out there and be careful not to believe all the bro science! We’ve debunked the top cardio myths so you can train with confidence!
1. Treadmill running isn’t real running – it’s easier
Treadmills function using a moving belt – so it’s often said because these machines are moving and flat its easier to run on them than on a road.
BUT – this is not always the case! For example, if you were to go outside for a run you would be met with hills and inclines which would be tough. But you can do the same indoors using speed and incline to get the most out of your treadmill running.
2. The Treadmill is the best machine for fitness
Oh no no no! If you ONLY use a treadmill you may find yourself bored and getting overuse injuries. There are a ton of machines you can use for good cardio training including the rowing machine, cross trainer and bike. You can test both your strength and endurance on all these machines. Plus different machines target different muscles so its important to mix it up to get the most out of your training.
3. Fasted Cardio in The Morning is Better
Many people swear by fasted cardio for burning fat because your body has no food to use as fuel so is forced to use its fat stores. The truth is if you eat a balanced diet your carbohydrate stores are still there to be used up – even in the morning. Fat loss ultimately depends on how many calories your burn, compared to how many calories you eat. If you burn more calories than you eat technically you will lose weight, no matter what time of the day it is.
4. Cardio is the only way to really burn fat & lose weight
This is a BIG myth. The truth here is that you need both resistance training and cardio! Cardio can burn fat as you do it. But by building more muscle you can increase your metabolism and fat burning in the long run.
5. Cardio Can’t Build Muscle
Have you ever seen a very slender short distance sprinter? NO! Although long distance running and endurance training can lead to muscle loss short distance high intensity cardio can actually promote muscle building – especially if you are incorporating inclines & resistance into your treadmill, rowing or bike cardio. What’s more – who said cardio has to be restricted to a machine? Body weight cardio exercises are a great way to build muscle.
6. To increase Endurance, you have to do long distance running
Big cardio myth alert!! When it comes to marathon runners – do you think every run is a long steady run? Well its not!
Marathon runners combine steady long distance runs with short fast pace runs, high intensity training. This is in the form of track sessions and sprints, with resistance training and hill training. It’s important to do a combination of training for endurance as its both the long distance and intense training that builds up your muscle and VO2 max fitness. By working on these areas you can train harder for longer.