Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Traditional Cardio Is Not The Answer To Fat Loss

Are you one of those people who thinks that lots of cardio is the best way to drop excess weight?

In most gyms, you see the same people on the cardio equipment. Day after day, week after week, month after month (until frustration sets in and they quit).

Now, think about it. When was the last time you saw a significant body transformation in any of them?

Contrary to what we were told for years, traditional cardio exercise is not the key to fat loss.

Did you know that a study published in the medical journal, Obesity, found that women who performed 300 hours of "moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise" per year lost only 4 pounds? That comes out to 75 hours of cardio per pound! Does that sound like an effective fat loss tool to you?

Men in the study fared only slightly better, losing 6 pounds per year. It would only take them 50 hours of cardio to dump one pound.

(Obesity 15:1496-1512 (2007). Exercise Effect on Weight and Body Fat in Men and Women. Anne McTiernan*, et al.)

I'm not telling you not to do traditional cardio. It definitely has health benefits. I'm trying to get people to understand that if your primary goal is fat loss and/or if your exercise time is limited, traditional cardio is not your best option.

So if you're not already strength training, start. And in place of hours on the elliptical, stationary bike or treadmill, try cardio intervals or metabolic circuits.



jau jau said...

Yay! FINALLY. Someone says it. No. More. Pink. I have actually been looking into the p90x system, but I am really fat, so I am not sure if I should. The thought of giving myself an instant heart attack scares the heck out of me.

Mickey said...

Trying again. Blogspot being weird.

Hi jau jau,

Thanks for your comments.

Although I don't think you'd give yourself a heart attack, why not start out with something more suited to your current physical condition?

You might consider something from Craig Ballantyne. There's a link under my Recommended section. A lot of Craig's people start out overweight or as beginners. He also uses a lot of bodyweight exercises and doesn't do plyometrics like P90X.

Mickey said...

jau jau,

I just realized you're from Lancaster! You should give me a call at (717) 509-7777.

jau jau said...

Thank you so much! And Blogspot has been weird. I noted a number of places where I was commenting only to have them disappear! I hope they get it fixed.