The ‘C’ Word … Cardio!

So i’ve never been a big fan of cardio. Personally I just don’t get much pleasure out of it and luckily i’ve been blessed with a few ectomorphic characteristics. I’ve also worked over time to keep a healthy metabolism as when you restrict nutrition to the point where you shouldn’t need cardio you can cause metabolic damage.

I usually come in lean for shoots, but that being said prepping without cardio has limited my size progression in the past. In addition, while weights are good for your heart, regular cardio work is better … and what’s more important than a heathy heart ‘ey!

For this reason i’ve decided to introduce a regular cardio element in preparation for May photoshoots. While I don’t currently have a lot of mass to cut down to (still at the lower end of my bodyweight range due to frequency of shooting) it will still give me a more 3D knowledge of different preparation methods.

This post is to primarily detail the approach I will be taking. Basically i’m simply going to add a 15-20min stationary bike or cross trainer session at the end of a few workouts a week (can boost metabolism to split them but it doesn’t work with my schedule).

While doing aerobics i’m not trying to train muscles. My primary objective is elevate pulse rate to between 70-75% its maximum. The resistance will be low with speed fairly high. If my legs start to get too pumped or thighs start to burn I will drop resistance.

The theory is muscle wastage shouldn’t occur if the aerobic exercise is not too intense. If your heart rate goes over the 80% mark you’ll be using muscle glycogen as an energy source. If you sit around 70-75% and you’re diet and metabolism are solid this exercise should optimise body fat as an energy source. Pulse rate should be the primary indicator of intensity (even just measured with fingers if you fancy a jog).

To put it in simple terms I will be doing LISS over HIIT. While it’s generally accepted HIIT makes you lose weight faster I find too much of it depletes my muscles and interferes with my muscular recuperation times. Essentially it’s trying not to burn muscle glycogen outside allocated weight workouts (I may still do a circuit session in place of a workout a week though).

Aside from fat burning doing this additional cv work should improve both heart and lung condition. I am a firm believer in fit on the inside, fit on the outside so it’s win win.

Introducing this aerobic work will mean a slight diet variation as it needs to be fuelled so my carbohydrate intake will be adjusted accordingly. As this is not something my body has responded well to in the past I will be closely monitoring and recording its effects … the TeamON photoshoots will be the key measure of success though!



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Tom • 3 years ago

Hey Bryn, are you planning LISS in the morning and fasted? Or just after your weights sessions?

BrynRayFitness • 3 years ago

Just after weight session for me. Finish weights, get some water and BCAA in then hit the cardio.

ahmed • 2 years ago

Byrn, I really like your website and your posts. i currently sit at around 19% bf, ive been advised to do 30 mins steady state cardio at low intensity after some of my workouts in order to lost some fat, is this a good idea? am i not destroying the muscles this way? should i eat anything after the weights etc? Would really appreciate a response on this Thanks, Ahmed


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By Daniele Zedda • 18 February


By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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