Fitness Lifestyle – Get A Healthy Toned Body and Don’t Ditch the Cardio! With Callum Melly’s ‘Body In 8’ Programme

September 5, 2016


Callum Melly

Cardio and weight training combined with a healthy bikini diet, are how I have achieved and now maintain my toned champion bikini athlete body.  Weight training is not enough to give me a healthy conditioned, cardiovascular fitness level whilst looking ‘aesthetically pleasing’ competing on stage in a bikini.  So I have never ditched the cardio.

The road of a bikini athlete is a tough fitness journey which requires incredible discipline and focus on the training regime and bikini diet.  The biggest question I get asked from people – men and women, is how much cardio I do in my self-devised athlete training program in order to stay lean and sculpt my body.  Cardio has always played an important part in my training sessions, even when fitness professionals told me to ‘ditch the cardio’ and just lift weights.

Fitness is a lifestyle choice and over the last four years I have seen my body change shape drastically.  I have carved out my own fitness regime, training with weights and cardio sessions as I ‘prep’ and compete as a Masters (Over 35) bikini athlete on stage.  To date, I have competed in over 10 competitions, flying the flag for women Over 40 in the fitness industry and competitive bodybuilding world.  At the age of 43, in my first year competing, I won a title Bikini Diva Champion 2013.  I was one of the first women in the UK Over 40 to compete in the Over 35 category in a fitness show and win!  Now at 46, I still compete in the Over 35 category.

My gym training sessions consist of both cardio and weights, geared to improve and enhance my tall long and lean (ectomorph) body shape.  These sessions get me stage-ready and also  for photo shoots in the press.

The big debate in the fitness world however, is the amount of cardio that is good for you on any fitness and exercise program, to get and stay fit.  I wanted to put the spotlight back onto the importance of cardio, so I spoke to Men’s Fitness Magazine cover model, personal trainer and body transformation expert, Callum Melly.

Callum Melly has designed and developed the world’s first virtual training program – The BODY IN 8 program which is an all-in-one 8 week lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and support program that comprises weekly training guides along with 40 bespoke virtual personal training exercise videos that cover every day.  Including delicious healthy recipes, nutritious meals (all under 350 calories) and nutritional advice, this will help you fuel your workouts, recovery and promote fat loss and muscle growth.  Nutrition calculators will help you create and enjoy structured meal pans to fit around your everyday life.

Callum agrees that cardio sessions should be a vital part of any healthy fitness regime and body-sculpting program.  “It’s all good having an aesthetically pleasing body, but if you can’t do anything with it, what’s the point?  Anyone can add external stimulus to their body from weights (resistance) training and eat a healthy balanced diet that will naturally encourage your body composition to change.”

“Lifting weights without cardio sessions will not give you the best results.  So here’s why looking pumped up with a ripped 6-pack and muscles doesn’t always mean you are healthy-fit” Callum says.  “However, without cardio conditioning, you are limiting your ability to burn stored body fat & improve your muscular performance”.

Cardio training helps burn stored body fat and improve cardiovascular fitness levels and muscular performance.  It plays a vital role in any fitness regime for a healthy, fit athletic & toned body.  Callum points out “I always integrate specific cardio training (LISS & HIIT) into both my personal & clients exercise routines; it is a great way to improve cardiovascular & muscular performance, burn stored body fat, increase speed, power & strength”.

Callum also defines the difference between these two main types of cardio: “I believe that if you want a shaped, toned & lean body, then it is vital to combine your weights & resistance workouts with a LISS (low intensity steady state) & HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio routine.”

“I would recommend performing LISS cardio 3-5 times per week for 30-60 minutes & the best times would be either fasted (upon awakening & before eating) or post-resistance workout; this is because you would have little carbohydrates readily available as an energy source & providing you are working at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, (in the fat burning zone) you will be able to fuel this workout intensity with stored body fat as an energy source.” says Callum.

Callum advises that weight-lifters should also do cardio, incorporating both LISS & HIIT cardio into your exercise routine to burn more stored body fat and build a leaner, more toned body.  Both muscular performance and general cardiovascular fitness levels will improve, while your body will be more efficient in pumping oxygen around the body, supporting performance and recovery.

The great thing about LISS is that you don’t need to be an elite athlete or bodybuilder to do it. It’s a great way to get started on a fitness regime, isn’t too demanding on the body and will burn stored body fat, plus you don’t need to be a gym member.  Callum advises also to incorporate HIIT training into your exercise routine if you are physically able with no underlying injuries.  He prefers to do LISS cardio post weights and resistance workouts on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s.  He then performs HIIT cardio on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s with a 48 hour rest period to maximise fat burn from EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), whilst allowing enough time for his body & CNS (central nervous system) to recover.

Unlike LISS cardio, HIIT is extremely taxing on the body, but also very productive for burning calories for up to 48 hours after, as well as improving cardiovascular conditioning, speed, strength and power.

So my advice is never ditch the cardio – it should be an essential part of any fitness & training program.  Combined with weight training sessions and a healthy diet, cardiovascular fitness promotes fat loss and helps maintain lean muscle mass for a beautifully toned healthy-fit body.

You can check out Callum Melly’s 8 week virtual personal training, lifestyle & body transformation programme ‘BODY IN 8’ at

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Rachel Evans

Ask us about this article


Connect with us

Licence Programme

Enquire Offices