gain muscle

Why Cardio Sucks For Fat Loss

Want to lose Fat? Stop doing a bunch of cardio!

Are you someone who wants to "tone" and lose fat but spend your time running or doing a bunch of cardio and wondering why the fat is not coming off? Diet of course is important but also understand what you are telling your body when you do cardio all the time. 


Cardio is great for cardiovascular health.  It is great for improving your endurance.  But it is not going to build you muscle, aka the "toning" you desire.  When women want to "tone", what they really mean is they want to build muscle.  

Our body is a great machine that is good at any adaptation that we throw its way.  When you do a lot of cardio, you are sending an adaption signal to be good at endurance and you don't need a lot of muscle for endurance.  In fact, what happens is over time with excessive cardio, your body starts to store fat.  

Believe me, I was a marathon swimmer- I swam for 3-6 hours in the ocean or pool (5-6 days a week) and not lost a single pound - and my body composition looked the same.  My body had no reason to lose fat because as it adapted, it became more efficient to swim long distances which means it got easier and my body was not using much energy to do it.  

So what's the answer? RESISTANCE TRAINING.  When you do resistance training, you are now sending a whole different signal to your body to BUILD muscle.  

Why build muscle? It increase your resting metabolic rate! Even though side by side, an hour of cardio burns more calories than an hour of weight training, but every pound of muscle you gain you increase your resting metabolic rate by about 50 calories a day.  That's your body burning calories by doing nothing.  

For your cardiovascular health, keep your cardio to twice a week for 30 minute sessions.  Your daily movement can count towards your cardio.   Or a walk around the block with your dog.   But no need to spend 60 minutes on a treadmill each day.  Do resistance training 2-3 times a week is way more beneficial than a daily run (if your goal is to lose fat).  

As you build muscle and have a proper nutrition that goes with it, your body composition will change.  But the scale can go up or down depending on a variety of factors- sleep, diet, carbs (holds water), stress, and/or your workout.   You CAN LOSE WEIGHT AND NOT LOSE ANY BODY FAT!  You can also see an increase in scale when you start to build muscle as well.  That's why it's beneficial to work with a trainer who can help you monitor all these different aspects since the scale is very deceiving when you start doing resistance training.  


WHY WOMEN SHOULD STRENGTH TRAIN - Benefits of Lifting Heavy Part 1

WHY WOMEN SHOULD STRENGTH TRAIN - Benefits of Lifting Heavy Part 1

Culturally, women do cardio and men lift weights. For whatever reason this divide happens at every gym, and it wasn't really until Crossfit came along that they did a good job of making lifting seem cool to women.  Now we are seeing more women in the weight room, but it is still in the minority compared to men.  

Popular reasons for women not wanting to strength train:
1) Boredom.  Women often find the same lifts boring and can't stay excited to do it.

2) Lack of Education.  Women often don't understand the full benefits of why they should do it.  "Running is good enough for my health" or "These group exercise classes I do are enough fat burning for my health." 

3) Gym-timdation.  Women often find  the scary looking weights/machines intimidating to approach.  And they have no idea how to use them.  Not to mention the dudes who are grunting in the corner and women are worried the guys are judging or trying to hit on them.
4) Becoming The Hulk.  Women think you lift heavy and BOOM you become The Hulk.  Ladies, those images of shredded women you see take YEARS of training 5-6 times a week and they most likely take drugs.  

Once I became a trainer, I feel like I learned a secret that most women don't know:

Strength Training is the answer to everything. 

Do you want to...

Look sexier and feel more confident? Strength Train
Decrease bone loss as you age? Strength train
Combat and recover from disease and illness? Strength train
Pick up your toddlers or move furniture around without pulling your back out? Strength train
Increase your sex drive? Strength train
Do better at your sport without injury? Strength train
Feel more alert and creative at work? Strength train
Sleep better, improve mood and live a longer life? Strength train

You say, "Well my life is great now, I don't need it! How do strength training solve all these problems anyways?"  Tune into the next blog to find out!