Cardio not the answer for fat loss

Q I continue to hear about your “cut out the cardio” for fat loss philosophy and, quite frankly, I have heard people say that you are crazy. Can you give me your perspective? I wanted to give you a chance to respond to my inquiry, even though you probably won’t publish my letter publicly. — Anonymous

A Thanks for giving me an opportunity to wake some people up to the realization that cardio is not the answer for someone who wants to lose weight and get in shape.

After all, there are millions of people doing cardio every day and our society is fatter than ever!

People need to be educated on fitness with real information that works.

Any specific cardio exercise that one does (treadmill, bike, stairmachine, running, etc.) will burn a small amount of calories during the exercise and then cease to burn additional calories within hours after the exercise is completed.

By eliminating the cardio exercise, you will still achieve the cardio benefits of working the heart, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and also help stabilize blood sugar levels. At the same time, you will utilize more energy (calories) and burn more fat while also increasing your metabolic rate by having more lean, firm and toned muscle. The end result will always be a lean, firm and fit body with the capabilities of staying that way.

Let me explain how this works by asking you a question.

If you were to take apart a living room wall unit and then begin to put it together, could you rebuild that wall unit without using any energy at all?

The answer is obviously no.

Any activity is going to utilize energy, and even though you expended energy taking that wall unit apart, you will expend more energy rebuilding it because it will take more time to do that.

Now lets look at a challenging strength training workout that lasts just one hour a day. During that hour you will expend more energy then you expend walking or running on a treadmill. Why? Because you are engaging more muscle and your intensity level is higher. But here is the kicker and the reason why strength training and a properly implemented nutritional program for recovery and rebuilding is more effective than cardio at melting away fat:

During a great workout, the body breaks down tissue. Following the workout, the body works hard to rebuild that muscle tissue and, in order to adapt to the demands that you placed on the muscle, even builds additional muscle tissue, providing you are ingesting the right foods and the right amounts.

This process takes between 48 and 72 hours. During that time the body is using tremendous amounts of energy to rebuild and recover. It is this energy (calories) that is helping us burn our bodyfat stores and get in great shape.

We are also building new shapely muscle, which is going to increase our metabolic rate and even burn more fat and help us stay fit and healthy for years to come.

So why cut back on the cardio?

Simply because the first thing that the cardio will burn is ingested calories and we want those quality calories to be used to build muscle after a workout, therefore allowing us to burn more fat.

It’s a very simple formula and one which has helped so many people attain their goals when properly implemented. The key is to have a strategically planned program, the proper nutrition and a trainer to challenge you with progressive workouts that will produce results and target the areas that need to be targeted.

Fitness Expert and Fitness Hall of Fame recipient John DeFendis is the Director of Exercise and Fitness at Coop’s Health & Fitness in Spartanburg, Anderson and Greenville. A former Mr. USA and a personal trainer for more than 34 years, his specialty lies in weight loss and health.

*Results may vary from person to person.

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