OK...I know how I feel about the whole cardio thing, I am against it. In my mind I would rather have a slightly stricter diet and do less cardio. I also know everyone is different but I will give you my experience and I would like to hear what you all have to say.
I competed at 115 (8% bodyfat) last year and was too thin, not enough muscle. During pre-contest prep I would do 3-5 sessions of cardio a week for 30-60 minutes. Didn't do cardio the entire winter and just focused on lifting, got up to 140 and gained a massive amount of strength (for a girl
). I'm pre-contest again and am dreading the cardio. Haven't started doing it yet, just cleaned up my diet and I am already down to 130 (13-14%??). I'm eating about 2000 clean calories a day (100 G. carbs) and haven't seen too much loss in strength...yet. My goal is 120, 8%. Right now I've been leaning out very well (I swear by my supplements and that they have helped lean my out faster).
So my quandary...I was going to incorporate 3-4 days of cardio 25-40 minutes 12 weeks out from Junior Nationals (I have a smaller show in 8 weeks), so four weeks from now. Some other competitors were telling me it is BETTER to eat more calories and carbs but do more cardio and I'll come in tighter. Is that true??? I can understand more cardio the last week or so to get some water weight off but how will it help you get tighter now? It seems counter-intuitive to me to eat more, spend energy on cardio as opposed to keeping a clean diet and limiting cardio (which I believe leads to muscle loss) and focusing all my attention on lifting.
Wanted to know how you guys felt about this. Also, some of the people giving me the advice were definitely not natural which I think would make a difference.