Coach and bodybuilder Paul Revelia has made numerous videos breaking down his strategy for getting lean before an upcoming physique competition, and how he uses walking as his top form of cardio when he is cutting. In a recent YouTube post, Revelia talks about why he likes this low-impact approach instead of something like sprinting, and why sustainability is important.
“The oxygen deficit and energy deficit that you create doing a sprint will actually backfire,” he said. “First of all, you are not using fat as the main fuel source… the lower the intensity of the exercise, the higher the use of fat for your main fuel source.”
He goes on to demonstrate his normal cardio routine, which includes five 30-minute sessions of walking. If he is not losing any weight with this routine, he doesn’t add more time onto his sessions, but he instead increases the intensity, by increasing the speed and incline on the treadmill so that he is still just walking for 30 minutes per session.
And in order for him to ensure he never has a missed session, Revelia has positioned his treadmill right in front of the television so this time will double up as your entertainment. “Try to make your cardio exercise, your daily routine, more enjoyable,” he said. “If it is something that does not bring you pleasure or excite you, you are less likely to do it.”
Just as important as work outs, of course, is your diet, especially when your goal is losing fat. “You cannot simply do cardio exercises and expect to lose weight if you’re not paying attention to your nutrition,” said Revelia. “Some types of cardio are actually going to make you hungrier… if you do certain types of cardio you are going to end up consuming more to compensate for that energy,” he said.
“You need to have basic knowledge of your daily activity and your daily caloric intake,” he adds. “You burn calories not just when you are doing cardio, but all throughout the day… I am not a big fan of severely restricting calories to shed fat, because it is more of a short-term approach. You are going to lose weight at first, but eventually you are not going to be able to keep up with the low-calorie strategy, your body will start adapting, you are going to start restricting your movements more, energy conservation will start to happen, so I would rather we take an approach where we know more about the balance between how many calories we are taking in and the movement that we’re doing.”