Here are 5 great reasons to remind you why cardio is not the way to go for fat loss…unless you enjoy all that time in the gym.
Posted by Joel Marion
Over the next week or so we’re going to be talking quite a bit about metabolic resistance training (i.e. “cardio with weights), but before we do I want to address something that slightly concerned me when reading through the stack of VIP one-on-one consultations in my inbox and many of the exercise-related questions coming in.
Apparently, many people are still stuck doing long duration, low-intensity cardiovascular exercise — yikes!
Here’s the deal: if you’re looking to achieve maximal benefit from the time you put into your workouts, long duration “slow-go” cardio is NOT the way to go, and for many reasons.
Here are my top 5:
1. Minimal calories burned — 45 minutes on the treadmill may burn a whopping 300 calories if you’re lucky, the equivalent of ONE TENTH of a pound of fat. Exercise ten hours a week and you might just lose a pound!
Which brings me to my next point:
2. Way too much time involved — I don’t know about you, but I don’t have hours and hours of my time to pour into working out each week. In fact, very rarely do I ever exceed three hours of exercise weekly, and you know what? That’s ALL you need.
Beyond that, slow-go cardio is:
3. BORING as heck — Sitting on an exercise bike staring at the wall in front of me for 45-60 minutes? No thanks.
But perhaps even worse is the fact that slow-go cardio provides:
4. No prolonged metabolic benefit — Did you know that with higher intensity exercise it is possible to continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours post workout? It’s true (and we’ll be discussing this “afterburn” effect in another post very soon). But you know what else is true? Long duration, low intensity cardio provides virtually NO prolonged elevation in metabolism. In fact, with slow-go cardio, metabolism returns to baseline almost IMMEDIATELY following the exercise session.
And finally, the reason that trumps all the others:
5. Minimal fat loss — Minimal calories burned during the session and virtually no additional calories burned afterward = minimal, if any fat loss results. And let’s be honest, the only reason anyone is doing cardio is for the “result”.
So if slow-go cardio isn’t a great solution, what is?
Short duration, high-intensity exercise. Less time, faster results — THAT’S what it’s all about.
And keep in mind, “high intensity” is relative to you. I don’t care if you’re already in great shape or if you’re 40 lbs overweight, you can exercise with intensity.
So what about you? Are you stuck doing slow-go cardio or have you embraced the benefit of much shorter, higher intensity sessions?