Bodybuilder and coach Paul Revelia has made several videos breaking down his tactics for getting lean ahead of a physique competition, and how he uses walking as his main form of cardio during a cut. In a new YouTube post, Revelia explains why he opts for this low-impact approach, over something like running, and why sustainability is important.
"The energy deficit and oxygen deficit that you create doing a sprint can actually backfire," he says. "First of all, you're not using fat as the primary fuel source... the lower the intensity of the activity, the higher the use of fat for your primary fuel source."
He goes on to demonstrate his usual cardio routine, which consists of five 30-minute walking sessions. If he then finds that he is not losing weight with this routine, he doesn't add time onto his sessions, but rather intensity, by increasing the incline and speed on the treadmill so that he is still only walking for 30 minutes at a time.
And in order to ensure he never misses a session, Revelia has stationed his treadmill right in front of the TV so this time can double up as entertainment. "Try to make your cardiovascular exercise, your daily routine, enjoyable," he says. "If it's something that doesn't excite you or bring you pleasure, you're much less likely to do it."
Just as important as exercise, of course, is diet, especially when your goal is fat loss. "You cannot simply do cardio and expect to lose weight if you are not paying attention to your nutrition," says Revelia. "Certain types of cardio are actually going to increase your hunger... if you do certain types of cardio you're going to end up eating more to compensate for that energy," he says.
"You need to have a baseline knowledge of your daily caloric intake and your daily activity," he adds. "You burn calories not just when you're doing cardio, but all throughout the day... I'm not a big believer in severely restricting calories to lose weight, because it's a short term. You're going to lose weight initially, but what happens is eventually you're not going to be able to keep up with the low-calorie approach, your body is going to adapt, you're going to start restricting your movements, energy conservation is going to happen, so I'd rather we take an approach where we understand the balance between how many calories we're taking in and the movement we're doing."
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