What!?!? I hear you say. Shocking isn’t it? Not what you would expect to hear. There is certainly more than meets the eye. Everything is not always what they seem..
Although I am not a big fan of doing cardio myself, I’m not against cardio for what it is and what it can do for us. Cardio can be good for general cardiovascular fitness and helps us burn off those few excess calories. However, there is a point of diminishing returns. Too much of one thing, almost always turns into a bad thing, one way or another.
If you are doing a ton of cardio with the goal of fat/weight loss in mind then you may have a problem here. It is counter productive as it causes adaptive metabolic downshift (known as Adaptive Thermogenesis). It appears that the combination of a large quantity of aerobic exercise with a very low calorie diet resulting in substantial loss of body weight may actually accelerate the decline in resting metabolic rate. These findings may cause us to re-examine the quantity of exercise and diet needed to achieve optimal fat loss and preservation of resting metabolic rate.
Here’s the catch: It doesn’t seem to be the large amount of cardio alone that’s causing the adaptation. The slowdown in metabolism happens the most when you’re doing extreme amounts of cardio AND you’re severely cutting calories at the same time (ie., no eating much! Yes you know who you are!). It also appears that you can do a LOT of cardio without consequences if you fuel yourself appropriately. Just look at endurance athletes, they’re doing a ton of training, but they’re also eating a lot more to support the training demand.
This is not just scientific research as I often see this issue in the real world. I witness these culprits who are addicted to cardio machines as they step-on day in and day out with no changes in their body shape. A consultation with them revealed the truth that seems to validate the research.
In my previous articles I mentioned the benefits of doing weights so I won’t get into it again. Its time to break the hard wiring and old habits of, Cardio = Fat Loss. Leave the machines alone and pick up some real weights for real results.
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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