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  1. #1
    Registered User dmx2004's Avatar
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    Am I doing too much cardio?

    Started my home workout programme at the start of this year with hypertrophy being my goal. I eat about 2500 calories a day, >160g protein on a good day* and a low of 120. I walk home from school, it's a 50 minute walk and I burn about 300 calories walking that every day. Since I started, I have not seen any visual changes to my body at all, however I lost over a kilogram of weight and can do more reps/more weight on all exercises. I've heard that I should keep the cardio to workout ratio at 1:4, but my workout each day is ~30 minutes, hitting different muscle sets twice a week each day. I think I work out hard enough, close but not too close to my max weight for everything except legs (nothing heavy and portable enough, gonna start hitting the gym soon) I'm starting to worry about the fact that all the walking is burning muscle too, I've seen people get a lot better muscle definition in as less as three weeks, I've been working out for 4 months and have seen no external change. Any suggestions would help, thanks! Also, on a different note, I'm skinny fat and I'm not sure if I should bulk or cut first, what should I do?

    *Only started to eat enough calories and protein in the last month, got supplementary protein powder for post workout shakes.
    Last edited by dmx2004; 04-28-2021 at 12:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dmx2004 View Post
    Started my home workout programme at the start of this year with hypertrophy being my goal. I eat about 2500 calories a day, >160g protein on a good day* and a low of 120. I walk home from school, it's a 50 minute walk and I burn about 300 calories walking that every day. Since I started, I have not seen any visual changes to my body at all, however I lost over a kilogram of weight and can do more reps/more weight on all exercises. I've heard that I should keep the cardio to workout ratio at 1:4, but my workout each day is ~30 minutes, hitting different muscle sets twice a week each day. I think I work out hard enough, close but not too close to my max weight for everything except legs (nothing heavy and portable enough, gonna start hitting the gym soon) I'm starting to worry about the fact that all the walking is burning muscle too, I've seen people get a lot better muscle definition in as less as three weeks, I've been working out for 4 months and have seen no external change. Any suggestions would help, thanks! Also, on a different note, I'm skinny fat and I'm not sure if I should bulk or cut first, what should I do?

    *Only started to eat enough calories and protein in the last month, got supplementary protein powder for post workout shakes.
    What is your height and weight?

    What, exactly (with exercise, reps, weight used) is your weight workout?

    It is possible that you are eating VERY close to maintenance (hence, 2 pounds lost over 4 months) and slowly losing fat and adding muscle. IF that's the case, but you're pretty significantly over weigh, it's going to be very difficult to see it in the mirror. (If your weight workout and protein intake is optimum, and you are not extra specially blessed genetically,) the BEST you will have done is add maybe 8 pounds of muscle and lost 10 pounds of fat. Again, depending on your starting size, that may be very difficult to see in the mirror.
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  3. #3
    Registered User dmx2004's Avatar
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    I'm 178cm 5'10" and 75kg 165lbs and 3 months away from 17 years old, ~20% body fat level.
    Monday:
    Slow wide arm pushups, two sets of 10 (reach technical failure at the end of the second), Fast normal pushups, two sets of 10, reaching failure at the end. Resistance band bicep curls, I don't exactly know the weight I'm lifting but I'm sure its around about 60-70% of my maximum. two sets of 13, (adding an extra rep every 3 weeks) and two extra sets to failure. Tricep dips, (or pulldowns), two sets of 13 (add one on every 3 weeks) and one set to failure at the end. Added shoulder press yesterday, but I'm gonna have to improve it a lot, form is terrible with resistance bands.
    Tuesday:
    All abs, lots of weighted sit ups, mountain climbers, heel touches, weighted russian twists, leg raises and short periods of planks. Increasing the intensity gradually, and yeah it's quite intense, i can barely sit up from a lying down position when I go to sleep, but everything is normal the next morning.
    Wednesday: All legs, my legs are pretty bigger than normal after a few years of walking, but its hard to hit them hard enough with limited resources.
    Thursday: Monday stuff
    Friday: Tuesday stuff.
    Saturday and sunday off. ~2500 calories from all the major stuff I'm eating, I havent included small amounts like the butter on the toast, dilute apple juice etc. Plenty of protein, sufficient fruits in my protein shakes I have every day, steamed vegetables as part of my dinner, only had two cheat days since the start of this year but I didn't find it difficult at all to not eat foods I like to eat. Im worried if the 50 minutes of walking I do every weekday is too much, and that I'm burning too much muscle or limiting its growth. 5 months working out now, two months since a proper diet and an intense enough workout program started and I couldn't see any visual difference at all. Also everyone in my family has been skinny fat, could this be a genetic thing, where I have trouble loosing this fat around my lower abdomen?Thanks for noticing me and replying!
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    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dmx2004 View Post
    ~2500 calories from all the major stuff I'm eating, I havent included small amounts like the butter on the toast, dilute apple juice etc!
    Then you have no idea how many calories you are eating.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    I agree having a food journal and training journal for everything you eat and in training would help greatly.
    Weighting and recording all macros and calories gives you exact intake that can be adjusted if need be.
    Same with training,if your not gaining muscle then something needs to be changed.
    Also gaining muscle can be a long process over months even years and one must be patient and in it for the long haul.
    Take pics every month and compare and maybe measurements every three months.
    Good luck.
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    Registered User babetsmariya12's Avatar
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    body composition (muscle-fat ratio) changes first of all, also excess water is obtained, so it was -1kg
    Noone didnn't say than it will be fast(
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    Registered User ontlyarnold's Avatar
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    With a lot of exercise and a poor diet, the level of cortisol (stress hormone) rises. Cortisol is not scary, and even peaks of it can be beneficial for us. For example, the morning rush of cortisol mobilizes fat, but if cortisol is chronically elevated it can lead to fat accumulation.
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    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    Walking home from school for 50 minutes will not affect muscle growth in a 16 year old boy. It’s really not that much cardio

    That said you could eat more if muscle growth is your goal. I do have a hard time believing your tracking correctly because 2500 cals is pretty low for your stats
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    Originally Posted by ontlyarnold View Post
    With a lot of exercise and a poor diet, the level of cortisol (stress hormone) rises. Cortisol is not scary, and even peaks of it can be beneficial for us. For example, the morning rush of cortisol mobilizes fat, but if cortisol is chronically elevated it can lead to fat accumulation.
    This is true although I would question whether elevated cortisol is a symptom rather than a cause. I read Sapolsky's book about this kind of thing a while ago - it's all tied up in a kind of vicious cycle we call metabolic syndrome.

    I think the bottom line is lead a healthy lifestyle including maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding ultra processed foods as much as possible - then lower chronic levels of cortisol will be a sign that it's working.
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    Registered User lukabosnjak's Avatar
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    everything in moderation.
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  11. #11
    Registered User dmx2004's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the responses, they helped a lot! I've decided to change some things around, measure calories more accurately etc. One thing I'm still not sure about is how much I need to eat, I stay at 2500 calories but I think it needs to be higher, but I'm at around 20% body fat and I really don't like the idea of gaining any more fat than this. While I do work out to an appropriate level of volume and take sets to failure, I often find myself lacking time after school work is done, usually I have about 45 minutes to do anything physical after school work.
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