Whether your goal is to cut for a bodybuilding competition, sports event, photo shoot or just to see how your physique is shaping out on a bulk the key is to be in a calorie deficit!

A lot of people believe that cardio = fat loss. FALSE! 

Calories in v Calories out = fat loss

Once you are in form of a calorie deficit you will lose weight.

The most important factor in losing fat for a competition or for any reason is your calorie balance; you need to burn more calories than you consume. 

This can be achieved by simply eating less, however, you will probably find that you start to feel very hungry and lethargic. Adding in cardio along with your resistance training allows you to increase your food consumption slightly, so that you feel fuller and also boosts your metabolism.

A big concern for many people is muscle loss because of cardio since it has been scientifically proven than cardio does induce muscle loss. 

However, the amount and type you will be doing is key, as it does not significantly impact muscle mass and allows you to consume a few more calories to avoid your body using muscle for fuel.

You can choose which type you prefer based on your own needs.

The two main and most popular forms of cardio are 

(1) Low Impact Steady State (LISS) & 

(2) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

 

(1) Steady State Cardio (LISS)

 

Steady state or moderate intensity cardio is what many of us are used to. This involves exercising at a consistent speed and level of intensity for the entire workout (around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate).

Steady state doesn't burn a huge number of calories fast, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn't too draining.

Extra benefits of steady state are:

● Less stress on the cardiorespiratory system. 

●Faster recovery

●It improves your body's ability to use fat

●Increased endurance over time

 

(2) High Impact Interval Training (HIIT)

 

Interval training has a bit more work involved . You pick two intensities, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60, and switch between them. 

The great thing about this kind of cardio is that it burns calories more effectively than lower intensity - longer duration cardio.

As HIIT has such a short duration your chances of sticking to the cardio are much greater than if you're going for 60 minute sessions which can be very challenging and boring especially if you're on a treadmill staring at a wall.

However as HIIT is much more tasking on your body during a cut, your going to have less energy because your restricting calories and most people also restrict their carbohydrate intake leaving less energy to fuel you through a HIIT session as they generally use carbs for fuel rather than fat.

There is a high risk with using HIIT sessions during a cut as your body needs longer recovery time which means less cardio sessions and a tighter timescale to get cut for your event.

 

Conclusion

 

Both versions of cardio can result in fat loss and an even greater fat loss when paired with the right diet and resistance training.

 

Weigh up your options and what your overall goal is with your cut to establish which type suits you best.