The Elite Physique

Cardio Queen Syndrome

cardio queen syndrome
The Ill Effects of Cardio Queen Syndrome

The cardio queen syndrome is in full-effect in today’s world.  By now you are well aware that increased activity burns calories and fat. Exercise is essential to your health and wellbeing, but could you be taking part in too much of a good thing?  Are you suffering from cardio queen syndrome? More is not always better, is a good rule to live by.

When it comes to fat loss you need to be in-tune with your body and learn how to listen to it. Kick aside the idea of doing excessive cardio.  The idea behind fat loss is to manipulate the body often via nutrition, cardio, and weight training.  As long as you are a step ahead of your body’s actions, you will be on top of the fat loss game.

The Scenario

Megan is an e-client of mine. When she began her fat loss endeavor she started cardio 6 days a week for 45 minutes and saw great results in a matter of weeks. Her new cardio program was exhilarating. It pumped her up mentally and physically and gave her a newfound energy she hadn’t felt in years.

It wasn’t long before she extended her 45 minute ritual to an entire hour for 6 days a week. With the extended time, she saw even more results. She was delighted.  Eventually, the daily hour cardio chore was wearing on her. Her changes ceased, she was constantly fatigued, and she began to hate cardio with an intense passion.

To combat the plateau, she added yet, more cardio on top of fatigue and hatred for exercise. Her grueling hour sessions turned into 1 hour and 15 minutes, to even longer, an hour an hour and a half.  This is a sure sign of cardio queen syndrome.

Nothing is more aggravating than putting all your time and effort into something that takes you nowhere.  Her fat loss results stalled dead in its tracks and even seemed to reverse. How could something once so productive now be destroying her weight-loss efforts?  What may surprise you is that doing excess cardio can be counterproductive. Any cardio or weight training session lasting over a continuous hour does more harm than good.

Keep Cardio Productive

Cardio is heart healthy and it’s a great exercise, but if your goal with cardio is to burn fat, you need to take it with a stride and make it fat burning productive rather than it going into the excessive stages.  Nothing good comes from the cardio queen syndrome.

I come across many ladies who are quite active. This is all fine and dandy, but when they are active and top that with teaching spinning classes, kickboxing, high energy videos, and general cardio machines, this can be a recipe for disaster, setting your further back than when you started.

Avoid cardio queen syndrome; don’t go overboard with cardio. Keep it simple, yet effective.

Cardio Intensity

Cardio intensity is a factor to keep fat burning beneficial. This does not mean to do an all-out killer cardio routine that leaves you crawling from the gym in a near death status, but to simply shake things up a bit to force the body to respond.

A good way to master cardio is with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). states, “Intervals are more effective for fat loss than training hard at a steady rate. Instead of training hard non-stop, HITT lets you spend more total time at high intensity levels. And this has you burning more fat.”  There are many variations of HIIT and my favorite is the 2/2 ratio.

Example of 2/2 Ratio HIIT

Minutes 1-2 – Warm-up
Minutes 3-4 – Low intensity
Minutes 5-6 – High intensity
Minutes 7-8 – Low intensity
Minutes 9-10 – High Intensity
Minutes 11-12 – Low intensity
Minutes 13-14 – High intensity
Minutes 15-16 – Low intensity
Minutes 17-18 – High Intensity
Minutes 19-20 – Low intensity
Minutes 21-22 – Cool down

With HIIT, your body never falls in a rut because you are constantly changing the intensity to prevent cardio adaptation.

Progressive Cardio

To side-step the cardio queen syndrome you can use another successful cardio tactic called progressive cardio. Your body can adapt to anything in a short amount of time and progressive cardio can stop adaptation before it occurs. Progressive cardio is simply increasing your cardio each week by either the numbers of day or the amount of time to invite change and prevent staleness, provided you don’t overdo it.

Example of Progressive Cardio

Week 1 – 4 times a week for 20 minutes
Week 2 – 4 times a week for 25 minutes
Week 3 – 5 times a week for 25 minutes
Week 4 – 5 times a week for 30 minutes

You will notice how each week is a step advanced from the previous. This is how you make cardio work in your favor to burn fat.

Adopt Weight Training

Have you even seen someone in the gym doing endless hours of cardio and still look soft and unfit? That is because she is lacking lean muscle, which is built from weight training, and excessive cardio burns muscle.

red arrow pointing down

Weight training builds lean muscle mass. The more muscle you add to your frame, the less you need to rely on cardio. Muscle is metabolically active and allows you to burn more calories at rest and at play. Of course, this does not mean to kick cardio to the curve, but having a balance of both in your program will keep things interesting and will give much better body transformation results.

Now, If You Want More Information, Check Out What’s Below…


But That's Not All...

Once you understand how you can manipulate cardio, you will be able to master the fat burning game. Realize that you don't need three or four different cardio methods stacked on top of one another. Just use cardio wisely and you will have the advantage. Remember, cardio is a fat loss tool, not the determining factor.

>> Learn More in my FREE Report <<

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

But That's Not All...

My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

More About Karen

Related Articles