THQ Trainer Posts – Truth about cardio and fat loss
By Matt Holloway
As someone who has trained as a competitive runner and cyclist I have a lot of experience using cardio as my main training modality.
And I can tell you now that for a body transformation and fat loss goal…. it sucks!
One of the most commonly believed myths in the fitness industry is that we need to do a lot of cardio to achieve fat loss.
This is often the first thing people do when they decide that they are going to get in shape and in my opinion is one of the reasons so many people fail!
Don’t get me wrong, we all need a good level of cardiovascular fitness in general. However so many people are put off from starting a fat loss journey as they think the only way to achieve results is:
- Long runs
- Daily HIIT classes
- Spinning sessions
- Hour long treadmill workouts
THIS SIMPLY IS NOT THE CASE!
To drop body fat we simply need to burn off more calories than we consume.
Create a calorie deficit. It’s that simple!
This simplicity is often lost amongst all of the rubbish marketing and misinformation that is constantly put out in the health and fitness community.
The better and higher your metabolism is, the easier it is to get into a calorie deficit on a consistent basis.
Lifting weights and getting stronger tells our bodies to burn off more calories at rest each day to help build and preserve muscle tissue, in turn INCREASING OUR METABOLISM.
Excess cardio tells our bodies to become more efficient with calories at rest each day, in turn DECREASING OUR METABOLISM.
Yes a 30 minute cardio workout will burn more calories than a 30 minute weight training workout but as soon as that workout finishes that’s it.
The fat loss benefits of the 30 minute cardio workout ends.
Whereas the fat loss benefits of the 30 minute weight training workout remains for days and days after the workout finishes.
In my experience cardio alone is one of the least successful long term fat loss tools that there is. It sends the wrong signals to our bodies, It is too difficult to keep up consistently and often too hard on the joints.
So the best way to drop body fat and keep it off is to USE WEIGHT TRAINING AS YOUR PRIMARY FORM OF EXERCISE.
Following a good programme 3 – 4 time a week and progressively trying to get stronger is the most efficient way to train for fat loss as it tells your body to maintain and add lean muscle tissue. This helps increase our metabolism and makes it easier to achieve a calorie deficit day in, day out.
Cardio can definitely be used as a tool to help increase calorie burn and can be a very effective one. But the main form of training in any fat loss journey should be progressively lifting weights. With cardio used sparingly to help supplement calorie burn.
This along with nutritional habits and lifestyle changes are the things that I have always found get the best long term, sustainable, fat loss results.
So feel free to add a bit of cardio into your week to help aid fat loss but remember, it should never be the foundation of your training when you are trying to lose body fat.