07
Oct
08

Cardio will not help with fat loss

Cardio is not a good way to burn off body fat.  Let me say it again for those that think I wrote that sentence wrong.  Cardio is not a good way to burn off body fat.

This is a conversation that I will have at least twice a week with someone who believes that Cardio will help with fat loss.

Jack — How can you say such a thing?  We’ve been told that cardio is the best way to get rid of body fat for over 30 years now.   You mean to tell me that all the books written about cardio, all the trainers that sing it’s glory, and all the media attention given to cardio are wrong?

In a nutshell, yes.  And again I will repeat… Cardio is not a good way to burn off body fat.

But wait, I run everyday and I have no problem with my weight.

Have you ever had a problem with your weight?

Well no.  I’ve always been slim.

So you have never been fat a day in your life?

Nope.  Never had to deal with being overweight.

When a trainer or a friend that has never been overweight tells you that all you need to do is jog and not eat so much, they are usually in that group of people who have remained slim all their live.  In their case cardio is a wonderful thing.  But for someone like me who needed to lose a hundred pounds, cardio was not the best option.  Why is that?  Here are the reasons why cardio is not so good for weight loss.

Steady State Cardio does nothing to raise your metabolism after the cardio session is completed.  A person’s metabolism is slightly raised during steady state cardio and then drops after the cardio is completed.

If you look at a long distance runner, like someone who runs marathons, you will see that they don’t have much in the way of muscle.

Long Distance Runner

Long Distance Runner

Muscle is more energy demanding than fat.  More muscle means higher metabolism.  Higher metabolism means your body does not store fat and uses it for energy.  However, notice someone who is a sprinter.   He is built with lots of lean muscle that comes from sprinting (intervals).

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt

It’s easy to see from these two pictrues what is going on.

But if only this was the end of why cardio is not good for fat loss.  If a person is overweight, then the chances of that person getting injured from running are far greater.

If you run more than 20 minutes at one time, your body starts to use muscle as energy instead of fat.  This is why long distance runners have no muscle on them.  And in the game of weight loss, you have to have lean muscle to maintain high metabolism.

The list of reason goes on and on why Cardio will not work for fat loss.  Tomorrow I’ll write more on this subject and talk about what will work for fat loss.  Intervals.  Sometimes refered to as HIT, EPOC, afterburn, Tabatas, complexes or several other names.    Until then, work hard, play hard, train hard and rest hard.

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