Before I get a hate mail or any tirade from people calling me an idiot, let me clarify. Cardio works to lose fat. That’s obvious. Cardio is great for general health, heart health, and just getting up. However, when it comes to losing fat fast, especially for busy moms and dads, cardio workouts are very, very overrated. Is it sacrilege for a personal trainer to say that cardio is overrated or doesn’t work?
I do not believe it. In my personal opinion, it is lazy and uninformed personal trainers, nutritionists, medical professionals, and any other healthcare professionals who should be ashamed and feel stupid for not doing the job and actually helping the people who come to them for help. . . Before I burn any more bridges, let me go over some of the reasons why cardio for fat loss is the most overrated type of exercise known to man (followed closely by abs).
1. Traditional cardio for weight loss is a huge waste of time.
When you think of cardio for weight loss, how long do you think you need to do it? Most of the people I come across tend to think that you should do it for a minimum of 30 minutes and some even go so far as to say that you should do it for 60-90 minutes A DAY to get any kind of weight loss benefit. Do you really have 60 minutes of free time to devote to ineffective cardiovascular exercise?
Your body is very intelligent and adapts to whatever form of exercise you put on it. That’s one of the reasons you need to change your training every few weeks, but this is especially true when it comes to cardio for weight loss. Let me give you some numbers to consider. Let’s say you traditionally do a cardio workout for about 45 minutes, 3-6 days a week, and that burns about 400 calories. Sounds good right? But what you don’t realize is that every time you do that workout, your body adapts to that workout, which means you burn fewer and fewer calories every time you do it.
So after a few weeks, instead of burning 400 calories, you will burn 380. You can take that further and say that in a few months you are only burning about 300 calories. But how do you solve that problem? The goal is to burn more calories, not less, right? To fix it, you would have to do your cardio for a longer period of time or work harder in those 45 minutes. Sounds good. You can do that … but remember, you’re working harder and taking longer to convert the same amount of calories you burned a few months ago when you weren’t working as hard. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s the goal you’re looking for.
3. The ‘fat burning zone’ does not exist.
This is one of my favorite cardio workouts for weight loss myths because it’s a pretty skewed way of looking at science. Yes, your body burns a higher PERCENTAGE of fat in a certain heart rate or work zone, but who cares. When I’m sitting on my butt in front of the TV, my body is burning a higher percentage of body fat than when I’m working hard doing a fat-burning workout, but that doesn’t mean I’m burning more fat. The keyword is ‘percentage’.
Do you want to burn a higher percentage of fat or just more fat? If you’re like most people, you just want to burn more fat and don’t give a damn about the percentage of fat calories compared to non-fat calories. To burn more fat, you should stop doing so much low to moderate intensity cardio and start doing more resistance training and interval training. Resistance training shouldn’t take long and should include lots of full-body workouts and full-body exercises. It should take you less than 20 minutes (hopefully around 10) so you have no excuses not to.
You should not focus on useless exercises like tricep kicks, chest movements, leg extensions, bicep curls, etc. And you should focus on exercises that allow you to burn more fat for your money. So stop putting all your faith in the treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike, and step and stop going straight to the cardio area at the gym as soon as you walk in the door because that’s not the best way. to lose fat. There are far better ways to lose weight than traditional cardio workouts that will burn fat much faster and make you feel better and healthier in much less time than most cardio addicts spend warming up.