I’ve always been a heavier guy, literally since forever. Chubby baby, chubby in elementary school, straight up fat in high school. Since then, I’ve become…less fat. And it was entirely due to paying attention to Conditioning and Cardio.
First of all, when I talk about Conditioning and Cardio, I am referring to different things. The official nomenclature might be different from my definitions, but as far as my understanding goes Cardio is general cardiovascular health and endurance pertaining to steady-state cardio exercises (running, elliptical, cycling, etc.) Conditioning, on the other hand, is a measure of endurance and recovery in reference to your specific sport, event, or discipline.
Cardio has always been key to my weight-loss success. This isn’t true for everyone, but my body responds quite well to jogging as a booster to my fat loss goals. And I have always used running as my go-to method for fat loss.
I hate running, which is why all my previous fat-loss has been temporary. As soon as i dropped 20-25 lbs, I no longer hated myself more than I hated running, and the motivation stopped. I had never heard of a training program in those days, and so I had no discipline to take up the slack when my motivation waned.
These days, I incorporate cardio as an accessory activity, aimed at promoting a slight addition to my calorie expenditure to help speed up some fat loss. My primary focus is now on conditioning.
In the case of the Linear Progression/ Giant Set method, conditioning is a key component of the training regimen. With set rest times between exercises, and super setting 3 exercises at a time, my conditioning is tested every training session, and has improved markedly since I began. The emphasis on set, and minimal, rest times, has done an enormous amount for my fat loss.
I also find, since conditioning is specific to events and disciplines, it feels much more dynamic and frankly, interesting and enjoyable, than steady state cardio exercise. I still finish every workout with 10 minutes of steady-state cardio (typically stationary bike or elliptical trainer) and try to go for a 5km run at least once a week.
I encourage you to try limiting your rest times to incorporate more conditioning work into your typical workouts, and to add cardio to your program. You will always be surprised by what your body can deliver once you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
That’s all for now, keep training hard!