T Nation

How Much Cardio Is Too Much?

Hello all- this is my first post, and I’m gonna start of with a big one!

I am entering my final year as an NCAA athlete. I throw the hammer at my university, and so as you can probably imagine, I don’t get to spend much of my training time doing much work fat burning, but last year I redshirted and because I was not competing every weekend, I was given the green light with doing cardio…needless to say, I got leaner, but my throwing didn’t improve.

Now, my focus has changed. Obviously, I want to be as big as I can, but as lean as I can. Weight lifting isn’t the problem, however- strength training is my life, but should I be doing any cardio, or should I be focussing more on diet at this point? Right now, I am almost 6’3’’ and I weigh appx. 265. As disgusting as it sounds, I’m probably carrying about 40 lbs (or more) or fat. I’d like to compete this year by the conference championships at about 245 (4 months from now).

Long story short: The muscle I understand. I want to be as big as strong as possible with as little fat. How do I cut my fat intake without losing power output and explosion?

Firstly, at the end of the post, you mentioned “how do I cut my fat intake?” I don’t necessarily think that this is a great idea. I am not too familiar with the sport of hammer throwing so I am not sure about weight classes being an issue. If hammer throwing is similar to shotputting, than it would be an anaerobic sport where explosive muscle strength is the issue.

Hence, I don’t think that endurance should be a huge problem, making cardio a somewhat unhelpful way to lose fat. Since all types of stress and training have an effect on your performance abilities on the field and in the weight room, I would suggest working on diet.

The T-Dawg 2.0 diet would be great. Basically, if it runs, swims, or flies eat it. Then throw in fruits and veggies and throw out grains and most packaged goods. The fat will come off from the diet alone, and unless you are looking to get super shredded (which would probably interfere with your sport), you may not want to do very much cardio.

If you do decide to do some, keep it limited and do interval training, it is less catabolic and would have more transfer to your sport.
-Matt