The gym world has many debates. What can you eat? How much should you exercise? And most importantly, how much cardio should you do? Your gender may determine your mindset. Many women say that a good amount of cardio is needed for a perfect workout, and men will say that it hurts their muscles and that it should be done sparingly. In all honestly, your cardio should be determined by your goals.

For instance, some people who want to lose weight forget that they need to lose fat and not muscle. If you lose muscle, you may see a horrible result. You may end up with loose skin that’s flabby. For many, this is known as being skinny fat.

A skinny fat person does too much cardio and not enough weight training. While they do lose fat, muscle is damaged, and you don’t look toned, but just thin. You’ll see plenty of skinny fats in the gym, abusing the cardio machines like none other. They tear up the treadmills, destroy the ellipticals, and have scaled the stair masters.

This is not to say that you should not to cardio. In fact, you’ll need a place for it no matter what you want. It helps to burn calories, and if you’re not dieting, it helps to ward off any weight gains you may have. But you should have resistance training in your workout for at least three days a week if you want to build and keep your muscle. This way, you’ll shed the fat and keep toned.

Some people are thin naturally and may have trouble bulking or gaining weight. If you’re like that and want more muscle, do not do much cardio. This will burn an excessive amount of calories and you won’t gain your muscle.

Let’s say that you’re trying to make a clay pot, and you have one side completed. However, you take the clay from the completed side to build another one. This means you’re back to the starting point. So if you do an excessive amount of cardio, you won’t see any results.

Suggestions on How to Do Cardio

Your cardio should be inside your resistance training. It’s easy to do, and you’ll see the best results. For instance, you can set of lifting, and instead of taking a total rest, you can run in place for about a minute. This will build up, and soon you’ll have a lot of cardio in your workout.

Doing too much running before your do the weights may cause you to lift less or not as heavy, so do not do that. Instead, do 10 minutes before you lift, and another 10 afterwards. This will give you more energy for your resistance training.

Figure out your goals and look at your schedule before you do an excessive amount of cardio. Say you only have an hour to work out. Just do an hour workout that has both weight lifting and cardio, and you’ll reap the rewards of both worlds.

Also, your cardio should be a good quality kind. Do 20 minutes of high-intensity running instead of an hour of walking at a slow pace. More cardio does not mean it’s better. In fact, it’s a case of quality over quantity.

Use Cardio Equipment

Instead of separating your exercise into wieights and cardio – combine them by using modern equipment. Rowing machines and elliptical trainers can give you the best of both worlds. Ellipticals in particular can help with an all over body workout – with some of the top ellipticals you can increase the resistance in both legs and arms – check out Elliptical Machine Advice .com for a look at some great trainers.

A Better Alternative to Cardio

Instead of burning the calories, you should eat fewer calories, and eat from filling foods instead of empty ones. If you can, try cutting out junk food, and save it only for a special occasion. Taking out subtle snacking can make all the difference, and soon you can lose fat and build muscle like never before.

So yes, cardio is important, but you must do it in moderation. It’s better to have a toned body than to have one that’s flabby and skinny. Make sure to exercise smart, and it will make all the difference in your workout.