6 Reasons Traditional Cardio Exercise For Fat Burning, Is NOT The Way To Go!

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.

GWomanJogging

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

  1. 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!

  1. 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)

Read the full study here

  1. 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!

  1. High Intensity Is Better For improving Muscle Mass

Strong athletic muscular woman

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

  1. 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!

  1. 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!

Yes you can Get Fit in Just 12 Minutes a Day

DrSearsPACE

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! 🙂

Michee

P.S Join others like the famous model Miranda Kerr and stay in tip top shape with PACE Express. With a 60 day money back guarantee plus great bonuses you’ll be so glad you did!

Michee

Certified Life Coach and Professional Health Coach. Passionate Health and Wellness practitioner for over 20 years. Business entrepreneur and Managing Director. Fitness enthusiast with a love for cycling! Writer (blogger), Poet and Mum.

14 Responses

  1. When I read Tim Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Body, this idea of high intensity training, it really made a lot of sense to me. I am a walker and never took to intense one hour in the gym routines that so many people bought in to as the only way to get lean and lose weight. It’s great to see and read that the idea you offer us here, is becoming more accepted and well researched and that so many different experts in this field are supporting it. I believe there are still people who love “overexercising”, (we have a woman who runs at least 2 or 3 hours a day in our neighbourhood) and I wonder if possibly they get addicted to it. I certainly enjoy a brisk walk and usually walk at least 4 or 5 days a week. Every day when the weather is my friend. Glad that you are involved in this amazing programme that sounds like it will be very helpful both to lose weight, strengthen and tone and contribute to heart health as well. Great post and very well presented. Enjoyed reading and confirming for myself that life is about rhythm and consistency and that there are ways that work for each of us to achieve that goal!

  2. I am impressed by how much you know about exercise. What a thorough description. But what I know is that facts often change over time. I just read about the difference between fat and sugar burning. Each person’s metabolism works differently. Unfortunately I never got into exercise, but now my goal is to increase the distance I can walk daily.

  3. Deb says:

    Lots of info here telling me that I’ve got to add some high intensity workout into my life! I found that when I do hill work for running, the workout is shorter and more powerful than my 3-5 mile run around a park. And what a bonus that you keep burning fat following the high-intensity workout. Time to bring it on!! Thanks for the motivation.

  4. Michee says:

    Yes that’s the best thing about a High Intensity workout, you get to burn baby burn watching your favourite show afterwards! Can’t ask for more than that. Keep up your hill work Deb, it will help with toning too! 🙂

  5. Michee says:

    Yes Roslyn there is so much information out there most of which is contradictory and it can get very confusing. What was fact today is non-sense tomorrow! But a fact that remains stagnant is the damage steady state cardio does to your body over time. I am glad you’re setting fitness goals, I think you’ll enjoy the difference it makes to your health and well-being.

  6. Michee says:

    I must say, I was much like your 2 to 3 hour per day neighbour and definitely enjoyed the runner’s high and sweat pouring down my face but not anymore. I had a minor knee injury from years of training in the gym and took up cycling instead which has helped it heal tremendously. I still get a good sweat but without subjecting my poor body to the rigour of an excessive work out. High intensity training is the way to go and the PACE program is excellent for core strengthening and toning. I do like the concept of of rhythm and consistence which I agree mirrors the flow of life. So glad you enjoyed reading and that it aligns with your own personal practices. Thank you for your comments Beverley.

  7. I have been on a HIIT (high intensity interval training) kick since earlier this year and I have definitely lost consistently. I see the difference in my body. Thanks for the confirmation that I have been doing the right things that lead to a leaner, healthier me.

  8. Hi Michee,

    This is an awesome post and very informational for me as I just started working out again 6 months ago and I do Cardio for about 25 min on a stepper like machine at Planet Fitness, where I became a member after years of “laziness” lol and have to say that I haven’t felt this good since way before I had my daughter in 1991! I also do weight training as well, so this post packs tons of info for me!

    Thanks so much for providing this as I have always thought, like so many others, that traditional cardio exercise was not the way to go 🙂

    Great post!

  9. Sharise says:

    Hi Michelle
    I have always been a fan of HI IT workouts and short blasts of lateral movements and weight training. Since I have used these methods more frequently I have maintained my weight and more muscle definition. I know people who run 10 miles a day and they experience no rests, yet they continue to put their bodies through this punishment! An athlete told me a few years ago HI IT was the way to go. Thank you for sharing!

  10. This is a great post! I remember being told that I had to exercise for such a long time to get my heart rate up to really have a good cardio workout. I soon discovered that not only did I not really like it – I didn’t really have the time to dedicate to it. I know intervals work a lot better for me. This was very informative. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Michee says:

    Glad to hear HIIT is working for you Niquenya, I’ve used it for some years now and love the results especially the time I’m able to save that would have otherwise been spent in the gym. I like the sound of leaner and healthier which is confirmation in itself that you are on the right track! Keep it up girlfriend. 🙂

  12. Michee says:

    Thank you Joan I can see you’ve really got your groove back and enjoying your fitness program. High Intensive Interval Training can be done on most elliptical machines including a stepper and you’ll see even better results than steady state cardio. There’s no better high that the one you get after a great work out so I can fully relate to how good you feel. Go you! 🙂

  13. Michee says:

    Yes! Love the muscle definition Sharise, it sounds like you’re doing a great job! I was ecstatic to learn about HIIT after spending hours and hours in the gym and not getting lasting results. Like you I am able to maintain the body I want by training less, seems ironic but it definitely works! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and keep up the good work! 🙂

  14. Michee says:

    It is one of the main appeals for me too A. Lynn, and frees up time to get on with life! Who would’ve thought less is more. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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