I know what you’re probably thinking, cardio is the only way to go when it comes to burning fat and getting super sexy right? Wrong! But I don’t blame you for thinking that way.
Before I discovered a much better and more effective way of working out, I thought that way too.
In fact I was the original gym junkie spending hours at a time in what was once, my second home!. Unless sweat was pouring down my face and my gym clothes dripping wet, it didn’t even feel like a worthwhile work out! Burn baby burn was my mantra repeated over and over through gritted teeth.
I was so hardcore when it came to my gym that I swear the elliptical machines would deliberately play up when they saw me coming their way! Maybe it had something to do with working the rowing machine so hard one day, it accidentally broke! Oops, my bad, sorry! 🙂
Now, fast forward 10 years later and I can tell you with absolute certainty that cardio is definitely NOT the way to go.
In this blog you will learn why steady state cardio is a heavy price to pay for that slim, trim body you’re in! (or wanna get in!)
I should preface that by saying cardio itself is good for your body. It is the low intensity steady state cardio (LISS) I am referring to that is carried out consistently over a long period of time. Your traditional 50-minute jog around the park would be a good example of this.
Before getting in to the meat of the matter so to speak, let’s look at a couple of terms used regularly in the fitness world.
What is Cardio or Cardio Vascular Exercise?
Cardiovascular exercise is quite simply any form of physical exercise that increases your heart rate. It may include jogging, cycling, zuumba, power walking or swimming.
There are two forms of cardio vascular exercise that you may come across. Aerobic and Anaerobic.
Aerobic operates in the presence of free flowing oxygen during your cardiovascular workout. The intensity of this type of exercise would allow you to talk during the activity and can be carried out for longer periods of time. You are exerting your body to around 50 to 70% of its capacity.
Anaerobic operates without the presence of free flowing oxygen. The intensity is so great that it would be difficult to converse during this type of bout that can only be sustained for very short periods of time. You are exerting your body to the full 100% of its capacity.
I’ve provided a fuller explanation here:
Moving on to 6 Reasons Why Traditional Cardio is NOT the Way To Go
- Time Consuming
Come on now, it’s a fact, life is busy! Carrying out your traditional workout program can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. I bet you could fill your day with a ton of other stuff rather than being cooped up in a smelly, sweaty gym! And if the gym is not your thing, let’s keep fingers crossed that the weather holds up for your 60 minute jog around the park!
- Less is More when it Comes to Burning Fat!
This may surprise you! By doing less in a high intensity program you can burn up to 6 times more body fat than following a steady state program. A recent study carried out in Australia found more favourable results in women who followed a 20 minute high intensity program consisting of 8 second sprints followed by 12 seconds of rest. This was compared to another group of women that followed a 40 minute cardio program performed at a constant intensity of 60% maximum heart rate (MHR)
- Over Train Causes Pain!
Working out over extended periods of time over the course of a few years will seriously takes its toll on your body.
Torn muscles during your workout is a normal process so that they can be replaced with new and stronger muscle fibres. Over training breaks down your body faster than the muscles are able to be repaired resulting in damaged, unhealed muscle. Not only is this painful, it prevents you from reaching your weight loss goals.
Eating a post workout meal packed with the nutrients your body needs to repair and rebuild muscle is important to preventing further muscle injury but giving up steady state cardio is really the key for preserving your well earned muscle fibres!
- High Intensity Is Better For improving Muscle Mass
Steady state cardio or short bouts of high intensity? Which way to go when it comes to improving your muscle mass? You’ll find hundreds of arguments for and against both methods but I vote for high intensity every time.
Not only does it maintain muscle mass, there is a growing trend in the fitness world that believe it is a better option for building muscle mass too.
Just comparing the physique of sprinters and distance runners is compelling enough. Long distance endurance runners are smaller, thinner and are far less muscular than their sprinter counterpart.
It is due to the time it takes for nutrients to travel within the muscle fibre. In the case of a of an endurance runner who have smaller muscles, it takes less time for nutrients to be delivered to that area. This actually speeds up the fuel burning process and over time trains muscle fibres to be more aerobic with greater endurance.
Here’s a great article for further reading
- Keep Burning Even After Your Work Out
With traditional cardio when it’s over, it’s over in respect of your work out. But the great thing about high intensity training is that your body takes advantage of the post work out after burn. This means you continue burning fat for fuel hours after your work out! How cool is that? Imagine you could be enjoying season six of the Good Wife on your snuggly sofa and still be burning off fat!
How is this even possible? It is due to a process in your body called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). During an intense workout, your body takes in an increased amount of oxygen to compensate for the amount expended during your workout. When your body is resting, the ‘reserved’ oxygen is used to fuel the restorative processes in your body such as cellular repair, hormone balancing and oxidizing lactic acid.
These chemical processes require energy which it gets by breaking down fatty acids from fat stores in your body.
So burn baby burn, even hours after your workout!
- Less Cardio Is Kinder On Your Body
Long steady state cardio reaps havoc on your body in a variety of ways:
- Wears down your cartilage and can lead to the development of osteoarthritis.
- Weakens your immune system
- Damages your heart
- Shrinks your lungs
- Weakens your bones
- Negatively affects your libido
Your heart in particular is at risk from endurance training explained in more detail by Dr Mercola
Cardio is not cool but there is an alternative. It is more effective and guarantees better results in a much shorter time. In fact in only 12 minutes a day you can say hello to a super, sexy, slimmer, trimmer you!
From the highly acclaimed Dr. Sears, PACE Express is the ONLY fitness program you’ll ever need.
Not only will you get rid of fat, your whole body is transformed keeping you lean and active for life! Most importantly PACE Express is a brilliant program for strengthening your core which is your body’s powerhouse. Building a strong core is essential for protecting your organs and central nervous system, preventing injuries, improving posture and banishing back problems.
PACE Express is an easy to follow DVD program you can do at home. It is designed for maximum fat loss by progressively changing your routine over time.
Here’s how else you will benefit from PACE Express:
- Build the strength and power of your heart and lungs
- Reduce your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease
- Enjoy deeper, more focused breathing
- Develop a powerful and disease-resistant immune system
- Dramatically increase your level of liveliness
- Increase your lean muscle mass, and
- Melt fat, even while you rest!
I love this program because not only will you lose weight and improve your overall health, your risk of heart attack is eliminated.
Remember the ‘reserved oxygen’ in paragraph 5 I mentioned earlier? Well using PACE Express results in you building a reserve capacity quickly and easily allowing you to draw on this ‘reserve account’ during times of emergency.
I know how difficult it can be to change your mind-set particularly if you’re anything like me and enjoy a runner’s high. But ‘high’ is the price you pay for traditional cardio on your body and your health. It’s simply not worth it!
And besides, who wouldn’t want more for less?
If you are new to fitness don’t get in to bad habits and total body burn outs. After reading this article, get started with a clean slate and healthy approach to wellness and weight loss!
Commit to a Fitter, Healthier YOU! 🙂