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I'm eager to get rid of belly fat and love handles while building lean muscle. While I plan to maintain a calorie deficit, I'm curious about the role of cardio. Is it necessary for achieving these goals, and if so, how often should I incorporate it into my routine? Additionally, I'm planning to start practicing Muay Thai. How should I balance gym workouts and Muay Thai sessions in a week for optimal results? Just for your information I am 5'11 and 70kg right now with 28% body fat and aiming to get to 15%.

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  • First question like this that I've seen with a reasonable target. People often think they need to get down to 10-12%, but that's just too low unless you're planning on actually competing in bodybuilding.
    – Ethan
    Jan 12 at 15:35
  • @Ethan indeed 15% is a great target for regular people, but for bodybuilding it's usually way below 10%
    – Luciano
    Feb 13 at 16:41
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    @Luciano - I meant it more like '10% is only necessary if you're a pro and working towards 6% or less.'
    – Ethan
    Feb 13 at 19:58

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Do you like cardio?

That's all that matters really.

All that's necessary to lose weight is a calorie deficit, so expending more calories in a day than you consume. That can be cheived my increasing the calories going out (exercise) or decreasing the calories coming in (dieting). Physical exercise really doesn't burn as many calories as you may think, so if your priority is weight loss, focus on your diet. Exercise does have it has its advantages, building muscle increases BMR helping to keep the weight off.

If you don't enjoy cardio there's really no upside to it. Firstly, if you don't enjoy what you're doing, you're more likely to procrastinate and find excuses not to exercise. Also, some studies have shown that doing cardio increases you appetite, making you eat back the calories you have burned, if not more, thus in fact having an adverse effect on your weight loss.

Regarding how to plan your workouts, I'd recommend having 1-2 rest days a week. With weight traing the most important this is having adequate recovery time for each individual muscle group I.e. Once you train chest, wait at least 3 days to train chest again and you're all good.

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    “If you don't enjoy cardio there's really no upside to it.” There are numerous weight-independent health benefits to cardiorespiratory fitness…
    – Thomas Markov
    Jan 12 at 18:21
  • Yeah, that may have been a bad way to put it. Of course there are benefits, I just meant purely from a fat loss perspective.
    – Ethan
    Jan 12 at 21:14

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