5 Signs You’re Doing Too Much Cardio

Cardio can be an extremely effective tool for fat loss, improved endurance, enhanced cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Just like with everything else, doing it in excess can bring about adverse effects that can be counter-productive to your motives in the first place. Many individuals stick to cardio machines from day 1 simply because of lack of knowledge about resistance training and/or proper programming. In this article, we’ll explore the five most common signs of doing too much cardio.


Signs You’re Doing Too Much Cardio

New gym goers tend to lean towards cardio machines when they first join a gym.

This is normal and natural as the weight training area may seem intimidating at first, especially with limited knowledge.

This turns into a habit where working out becomes mostly cardio sessions.

Although cardio can be a great tool for losing weight, it is most definitely not the end-all be-all.

In fact, too much cardio can often be counter-productive to your goals.


“But I thought cardio is good for me.”

It is, just not in large amounts, especially without resistance training and the diet to match it.

Signs you're doing too much cardio - toronto personal training

You’re not losing fat

Majority of people still believe running is a great way to lose body-fat.

Truth is that it isn’t, especially on its own.

Regular steady cardio (ex. jogging/running) only burns calories for the time being.

Once you stop, the body quickly returns to a normal state as well.

In addition, the body quickly adapts and becomes efficient at doing it.

Thus, in order to burn the same amount of calories you burned running the first couple of weeks, you’ll need to increase the time to do so.

This can become very time consuming and plain hard for little to no positive changes in body composition.

Another major problem with doing too much cardio is that it can burn muscle tissue instead of fat as fuel since it’s a much more metabolically-expensive tissue than fat.


stubborn belly fat - signs you're doing too much cardio - toronto personal training

You just can’t get rid of that belly fat

Our bodies store fat as a preservation mechanism for survival.

The less body fat we have to lose, the harder our bodies will fight back with the goal of retaining it.

Regardless of how much cardio you do, for most of us it is a dead-end when it comes to losing the remaining belly fat.

Nutrition and resistance training will play the primary role in torching that stubborn belly fat, not cardio alone.


No muscle tone - Signs you're doing too much cardio - toronto personal training

Muscle definition or “tone” is still not showing

Most people desire a fit body displaying a good deal of muscle definition or “tone”.

In order to achieve that look, there must be enough lean tissue(muscle) present on the body.

Cardio does nothing for building muscle mass.

In fact, doing too much cardio can be detrimental to muscle tissue since it can burn it off as fuel.

This will leave you with the “skinny-fat” look, where you look kinda small and skinny in clothes, but still have a fair deal of fat showing naked.


plateau - Signs you're doing too much cardio - toronto personal training

You haven’t made progress in a while

If you feel like your progress has stagnated, it is time to make some changes.

Increasing cardio has a point of diminishing returns and can only do so little for you in terms of body composition.

As I mention regularly throughout my blog, cardio is just a tool of many.

It has a specific place and time in one’s weight loss program.

Also, it is not the primary driver of fat loss, it’s just a helper.

Nutrition and intelligent resistance training are the main factors in any impressive body transformation.


You can’t sleep well at night 

Too much cardio can lead to elevated cortisol levels (the stress hormone) from over working the body.

The body requires proper time off for rest and recovery in order to make continued progress and functional optimally.

If sleeping becomes harder with tossing and turning, then it’s possible you need to decrease cardio and allow for more recuperation time.


Final Words

The fastest and most efficient way to transform your body begins with a well designed nutrition and workout program made for your specific goals.

Cardio can be implemented in addition to your program as a helper to get you there a little bit quicker.

Doing too much cardio can result in a slower metabolism, elevated cortisol levels and decreased muscle tissue.

Thus, making fat loss more difficult.



Primal Breed is committed to providing you effective personal training in Toronto, helping you lose unwanted weight permanently and build lean muscle for life.

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