The targeted loss of body fat is a great challenge for many fitness beginners. Especially when fat burning is to be achieved primarily through arduous cardio training . An often high percentage of body fat, weak muscles that are not yet geared towards intensive use and a lack of motivation due to a lack of visible training success are often the reasons why beginners quickly throw in the towel and prefer a more or less healthy diet to effective cardio training.

Very slowly! Cardio training for beginners

No fitness beginner can withstand an hour of high-intensity endurance training on the bike or jogging – Nobody has to either! A significant increase in performance can be observed after just a few weeks of cardio training. The muscles grow, the condition increases and fat is broken down. Until then, however, it means: very slowly!

Of course we don’t mean that endurance training has to be done in slow motion! Beginners should start training very slowly. From 0 to 100 in a few weeks or even days will not only lead to disappointment, but also to considerable muscle injuries, cartilage damage and physical overload . That’ll ruin you and your motivation. So take it slow!

What should cardio training for beginners look like?

  • Stretch out a warm-up phase before muscle training. To reduce body fat, muscle building training should ideally be combined with cardio training. If you have only completed a 10-15 minute warm-up phase, double the time to approx. 30 minutes with a light training intensity.
  • The training variant determines the motivation! If you start your cardio training with jogging on uneven terrain at extremely high or low temperatures, the training basis is far too demanding due to pronounced load peaks. Jogging for 15-20 minutes can lead to enormous physical exhaustion and the next voluntary jogging unit will probably be a long time coming. Cardio training should be started in an air-conditioned gym on equipment such as an elliptical machine or bicycle. Here the intensity can often be continuously adjusted and adapted to the physical requirements .
  • Do not train until you are completely exhausted! 3 cardio units with normal intensity per week are sufficient to hypertrophy (adaptation) of the muscles and organs to an increasing physical level To trigger stress. If you get into overtraining due to excessive stress, which is noticeable with sore muscles, muscle pain and physical exhaustion, a regeneration phase is imperative! The compulsory break is inevitable, but prevents regular cardio training and is therefore counterproductive for rapid weight loss.
  • Avoid changes in intensity as a beginner! Long-distance runners try to achieve a steady and constant speed (intensity) in order to get the most out of physical performance to fetch. Metabolic processes that release energy by burning fat also run constantly and regularly – and not in bursts. Because you cannot adapt training intensity to your metabolism, you should give your metabolism the opportunity to adapt to your training. Constant intensity is the order of the day!
  • Match cardio training and your performance to each other! The higher the intensity, the more effective the fat burning. This is basically correct, but only realistic if your body allows high intensity. If you have already done cardio training regularly for a few months and observed a balanced diet, your body has ideally adjusted to the increasing load. Now you can increase the training intensity further and boost fat burning without being exposed to the acute risk of overtraining.

Cardio training in the morning – it couldn’t be more effective!

Cardio training after getting up is probably the best way to effectively burn fat . If you train in the morning on an empty stomach , i.e. before breakfast, the body burns most of the fat. The body empties all available carbohydrate stores overnight. Even during the regeneration phase during sleep, when metabolic activity is comparatively low, the body burns energy in the form of carbohydrates that were consumed through several meals during the day.

If the body is now in an intense stressful phase immediately after getting up , such as During morning cardio training, energy is needed to supply the muscles, which are usually is obtained from the burning of carbohydrates. If the carbohydrates are missing, the next best energy store is used for the supply – the body fat . To ensure maximum effectiveness in burning fat, you should avoid quickly available carbohydrates in the morning (e.g. multivitamin juice, orange juice or muesli bars). Unsweetened black coffee or green tea also work as fat burners.

Cardio training after getting up – further advantages and disadvantages

If you complete the cardio unit in the morning, more endorphins are released, which have a positive effect on the psyche. Fitness training allows you to start the day in a good mood. A pleasant side effect: if you have the arduous cardio unit behind you in the morning, you can confidently concentrate on more important things in everyday life.

The afterburn phase or the so-called “afterburn effect” is the actual period in which the body burns most of the fat. The regeneration phase of several hours after intense exercise requires a lot of energy and is optimally used when it occurs during the day. If the regeneration phase is shifted to the night, it is not as effective, which is mainly due to reduced metabolic activity during sleep. The higher the training intensity of the cardio unit, the stronger and longer the afterburn effect.

If you do without carbohydrates after getting up, the performance of the body is not 100%. Because the supply of energy through the metabolism of fatty acids takes place much more slowly than with carbohydrates, one hundred percent performance is not achieved immediately after getting up if the carbohydrate stores are not sufficiently full. As a precaution, we advise against maximum strength training after getting up if the barbell is not to be the first breakfast.

In general, excessive cardio training is a hindrance to rapid muscle building . A positive energy and nitrogen balance (energy requirement constant energy deficit (energy availability

Why cardio training has to be planned well

So that the cardio training does not simply represent a senseless additional load for your strength training, the endurance training should be sensibly adapted to the muscle building training. Actually, we can arrange cardio training on a scale directly behind interval training, because cardio training is primarily characterized by decreasing training intensity while increasing the duration of the load.

These parameters have a direct effect on the way in which the energy supply your body needs to maintain muscular performance and other functional systems. While intensive strength training with heavy weights mainly uses the glycogen (storage form of carbohydrates) and creatine phosphate for energy supply (ATP resynthesis), wins with increasing exercise duration and decreasing intensity aerobic fatty acid oxidation (i.e. combustion under the influence of oxygen) is becoming more and more important. At this point you are finally burning off the excess pieces of cake that have manifested themselves as a lifebuoy on your stomach. The following graphic shows you this connection in an artistically highly demanding way!

We have summarized all the fundamental basics about physiology, training and nutrition in our Hypertrophy Guide for men and women. Particularly important to us was clear comprehensibility and a structured, readable structure of all important questions. There we also answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between cardio training and muscle building training?
  • How can I really lose weight effectively with cardio training?
  • When is the best time to do cardio?
  • Is cardio training bad for building muscle?


A dream body is not formed by dreams! Disciplined nutrition and training are prerequisites for your success. At you will find all the information you need for a successful cardio training. In our “Fat Burning” section, you can even find out in which pulse range you have to train in order to get the maximum out of your cardio training or which no-gos you should definitely give up.

No matter how effective cardio training is – if your diet is not adequately geared to your training goals, each of your sweaty workouts will at most increase the mileage of your washing machine, but in no way expose your six packs or tone your legs. We have developed nutrition plans specially tailored to the needs of women and men that optimize fat burning without any supplements.


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