Do I Have to Do Cardio? (The Truth)

If you’ve ever wondered whether you really need to incorporate cardio into your fitness routine, you’re not alone.

It’s a question that’s been debated in gyms and health forums for ages. Well, fear not, because today, we’re going to tackle this topic head-on and uncover the truth about cardio—straight from the insights of 6x CrossFit Games athlete, Marcus Filly.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a moment to introduce our expert guide for today’s discussion: Marcus Filly.

With over 20 years of experience in resistance training and coaching thousands of athletes, Marcus knows a thing or two about fitness.

Cardio Alone Won’t Cut It

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room: Cardio alone won’t get you that sculpted physique you’re after.

If you want those muscles to pop, you’ve got to pump some iron. Marcus emphasizes the importance of resistance training as the foundation of any successful fitness journey. So, if you’ve been skipping those squats and deadlifts in favor of endless hours on the treadmill, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

But… Maybe Cardio Could Be Your Secret Weapon

Now, don’t get us wrong—cardio can still play a valuable role in your fitness regimen. If you’re always craving more from your workouts, cardio might just be the answer. But before you lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement, let’s consider this: More isn’t always better. Overdoing it can lead to burnout and setbacks.

Scott PanchikSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

So, how can cardio be your secret weapon without leaving you feeling drained and defeated? Let’s find out.

The Magic of Cardio Done Right

Ever noticed how those lean, energetic phases of your life always seem to coincide with a bit more cardio? That’s no coincidence.

Cardio, when done smartly, can be a game-changer for your physique, energy levels, and overall health. But here’s the secret sauce: sustainability, cyclical intervals, and low complexity.

The Ultimate Cardio Recipe

So, what’s the recipe for successful cardio? First off, keep it sustainable. Find a pace that you can maintain without crashing and burning.

Next, embrace cyclical intervals. Think repeated intervals of running or biking—nothing too complex, just good ol’ fashioned movement. And finally, keep it simple. Stick to low-complexity movements that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.

Making Cardio Work for You

Now, here’s the thing: Your cardio should feel good. It shouldn’t be punishment—it should be invigorating. Start slow, find your rhythm, and let your body guide you. And remember, consistency is key. Don’t push yourself too hard too soon.

Interval Training CrossFit WorkoutsSource: Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s address some burning questions you might have about cardio:

Will More Cardio Help Me Lose Stubborn Fat? Yes, but don’t expect miracles overnight. It’s all about consistency and balance.

Will I Lose Muscle if I Do Cardio? Not necessarily. Pair cardio with resistance training and fuel your body properly to maintain muscle mass.

Should I Do Cardio Fasted? It’s up to you! Experiment with different approaches and see what works best for your body and lifestyle.

When Is the Best Time to Do Cardio? Whenever works for you! Find a time that you enjoy and can stick to consistently.

Should I Increase My Calories Based on My Cardio? Maybe, maybe not. Pay attention to your body’s cues and adjust your nutrition accordingly.

How Can I Do the Cardio Workouts You’re Doing? Sign up for Marcus Filly’s email list for some awesome cardio workout ideas and tips!

At the end of the day, cardio isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a tool—a powerful one—that can help you achieve your fitness goals when used correctly. So, do you have to do cardio? Not necessarily. But if you want to look, feel, and perform your best, it might just be worth a try.

Learn More

How to Use Interval Weight Training to Increase Your Cardio and Strength  

The Best Cardio For Fat Loss

Cardio vs Weights: Which is the Best Way for You to Burn Body Fat?  

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