There’s no denying that endomorphs see significant benefit from adding cardio into their workout routines. As an endomorph, you’ll typically find that you can gain body fat quite easily and can also find it difficult to then burn it off.
If you find yourself relating to this then one of the best tools you can utilize is a solid cardio routine (alongside carefully tracking your calories). While there are multiple cardio options that you can choose from you’ll find that cycling is one of the best forms of cardio for an endomorph.
Is cycling good for endomorphs? Cycling is a good form of cardio for endomorphs to burn body fat as it’s low impact (meaning it’s joint-friendly for a heavy endomorph) whilst also requiring minimal technical skill. Cycling on a stationary or spin bike would be the best option to start with due to having a higher weight capacity.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best cardio options for endomorphs and ensure that you’re getting the maximum results for your effort.
Is Cycling Good for Endomorphs
Is cycling good for endomorphs and are endomorphs a good fit for cycling are two very different questions that you need to consider when choosing your preferred form of cardio.
I’m going to make the assumption that if you are reading this article then you are likely displaying some common characteristics that are typical for most endomorphs:
- Large frame – wide shoulders and hips with very dense bone structures.
- Low tolerance for cardio – endomorphs typically have a higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibres so are more suited and responsive to explosive style training (they are not the best over long distances)
- A higher level of body fat – this is the main issue that most endomorphs will struggle with and likely the reason that you are reading this article. Endomorphs not only tend to store more body fat on average but also tend to gain additional body fat incredibly quickly due to their carb sensitivity.
When considering your ideal cardio choice it’s essential that you factor in some of the above characteristics in order to optimize your results (mainly fat loss and cardiovascular health).
The first point is that cycling is good for endomorphs. It’s a low impact form of cardio which means that the stresses of this exercise on the joints are minimal.
This is a crucial factor to consider because endomorphs will typically be heavier than the average person, larger and denser bones combined with a high level of body fat (and typically more muscle mass) means that any high impact cardio will place significant stress on the joint.
High impact cardio will typically involve running, jogging or jump rope and it’s the repeated contact with the ground that means the ankle, knee and hip joints need to absorb the shock with each stride.
As an endomorph, you want to look at low impact cardio options like swimming (the lowest impact form of cardio), cycling and rowing.
Being a low impact form of cardio isn’t the only thing that makes cycling a great cardio choice for endomorphs; cycling can burn between 400 and 1000 calories an hour depending on the level of intensity and fitness level of the individual.
When looking at other cardio options, cycling actually burns the second most calories (only bested by running) on average. In terms of the ratio of calories burned to the level of impact, it’s hard to argue against cycling being good for endomorphs.
The only issue that needs to be factored in is whether endomorphs are a good fit for cycling. The reason for this is that most people that take up cycling, are those that are around 6% – 11% body fat in males and are typically weighing in the region of 160lbs or less.
Most road bikes have a weight limit and while I’m sure many reading this will not be at risk of testing these capacities, I’m also sure that there will be some individuals who might actually be above the weight capacity for a lot of bikes.
This isn’t meant to be a deterrent, there is still an obvious option that is open to an endomorph wanting to cycle and that is to make use of a gyms stationary or spin bike. These have a much higher weight capacity, require no balancing or stability and you can focus purely on burning some body fat.
Does Cycling Make You Skinny
I often see this question come up when people are looking into the best form of cardio and it’s also closely related to endomorphs looking into cardio options.
The truth is that any form of cardio will support weight loss, however, skinny is a very subjective term that has no real, tangible meaning.
I prefer to look at weight loss in terms of body fat percentage and this is because a lower body fat percentage when combined with a relative amount of total body muscle mass will look much more impressive than someone that is aiming for just ‘skinny’.
A lean body fat percentage of around 10% – 12% is very much attainable for many endomorphs and cycling is certainly an excellent tool to assist you with this. The important thing to note is that in order to lose weight, you’ll need to either increase your energy expenditure whilst consuming the same number of calories or consume a calorie deficit while keeping energy expenditure the same.
** Note – you can of course increase energy expenditure whilst cutting calories however, that is not necessary for 99% of people until you get to a low body fat level and need to use all the techniques that you can!
With this in mind, you can’t look to cycling as a fat loss cure, it’s simply going to be one of the many tools that you can utilize for fat loss and it will need to be used in conjunction with a calorie deficit and resistance training regime for optimal results.
What Exercises Should Endomorphs Do
I’ve just touched on this above and when it comes to exercise selection for endomorphs you’ll need to find a combination between resistance training and regular cardio session.
If you are looking to choose cycling as your primary form of cardio then this will be ideal as you can utilize both High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) rather easily.
HIIT style cycling would involve short 10-20 second sprints (high intensity) followed by 20-30 second moderate cycling bouts (low intensity) repeated over a number of rounds. HIIT cycling is not only great for burning calories in a short period of time but it can also continue to burn calories in the immediate hours after your session.
LISS style cycling is much simpler than HIIT and would simply involve 30-60 minute periods of cycling at a moderate pace. This style of cardio is much easier for beginners looking to build up their cardiovascular fitness and is also an ideal accompaniment for endomorphs that are engaging in frequent and heavy weightlifting training sessions.
A balance needs to be struck between cardio frequency, resistance training and most importantly rest and recovery.
If you are looking to use cycling as a form of cardio then I’d recommend utilizing both HIIT and LISS style training into your weekly routine (LISS can act as active recovery whilst burning calories). Try adding HIIT to your sessions 2-3 times per week and make use of LISS on alternating days 2-3 times per week.
Take Home Message
When it comes to choosing the best form of cardio as an endomorph you need to take into consideration a few key factors; Is it low impact and joint-friendly, does it allow you to perform both HIIT and LISS and finally, is it something you can enjoy and keep in your routine (adherence is key).
With cycling, you can be sure that you are checking all of these boxes and therefore cycling is going to be one of the best forms of cardio that an endomorph can do. When getting started it’s best to stick to the stationary bike but eventually, you can move on to spin and road cycling if you prefer.
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