Focusing on cardio for fat loss is keeping you fat!!!
We have always been told that if we just move more and eat less we should be able to keep in shape or keep weight/fat off.
However, this advice is wrong, misleading and is actually causing people to have very little muscle and excess body fat! Don’t get me wrong, its not that activity doesn’t work for fat loss…its that the WRONG type of activity doesn’t work!
The “skinny fat army “ they come into the gym everyday to use a piece of cardio equipment for an hour or more. They never change their body shape, they always look the same…very little muscle and carrying excess body fat, and they been doing this for years!!
They wonder why? Well It’s all about the signal they are sending to their bodies…
Yes cardio burns calories but it also sends a signal to the body telling it to adapt. When you exercise intensely this creates stress on the body. The body senses this stress signal and becomes more resilient so the next time the same activity doesn’t produce the same stress. This is why you get better at exercise when you are consistent and your body adapts.
So how does your body adapt doing cardio?
Cardio burns more calories than any other form of exercise hands down. This is a good thing, in the short term, but terrible in the long term. Your body doesn’t want to burn tons of calories. As it burns a lot of calories your body “learns” to burn less both during exercise and when you are resting. Since cardio doesn’t require lots of muscle your body reduces muscle mass as part of this adaptation. This is why long distance runners have skinny
stick legs. Lots of cardio SLOWS DOWN YOUR METABOLISM. This is why when you do lots of cardio you lose weight at first…but then it all comes to a halt. Your body has become more efficient and is literally HOLDING ON to body fat to make you better at storing calories and it becomes better at burning LESS calories.
So how should you train to burn fat?
Weight train!!! Simple!
Weight training has the opposite effect on the body. It makes fat loss and keeping fat off so much easier. When you lift weights you send another signal to the body…except this time the signal says GET STRONGER. With proper weight training your body prioritises strength over becoming efficient with calories. As your muscles strengthen and build, your metabolism speeds up and this continues overtime with correct workout programming.
Now do not misunderstand me here.. I am not saying that you should never do cardio. It has tremendous benefits for your health, however if your goal is fat loss and you are not an endurance athlete, cardio should NOT be the cornerstone of your workout routine. All you need for health is a couple 30-minute sessions a week or some long walks.
Make weight training your cornerstone and watch your body shape change. Fat loss will start off slow but as your metabolism speeds up it will keep you staying lean all year round!