Remember all that effort you put at the gym? Well all those miles you ran on the treadmill may have been for nothing if your goal was to obtain that perfect, summer bod.
When it comes to fitness, many of us want to put the most minuscule effort into everything we do despite wanting to look and feel our best. This includes finding every little trick and shortcut to aid us towards our respective fitness goals. This is a dangerous and potentially counterproductive tactic as many practices that are believed to be foolproof have no scientific evidence to support them.
Contrary to belief, running is not the best form of weight loss. In fact, it may hinder one’s process. According to Bodybuilding.com, long-distance walking and running are the two most popular forms of cardio and fitness in general. When it comes to fat loss, however, almost anything else would be a better idea.
Programs like Zumba have exploded in popularity within the last couple of years because of the idea that weight loss can be achieved with minimal effort being exerted. This is true for someone who has been inactive for the months leading up to suddenly taking a dance class. These classes are popular because of the results that come from upping one’s activity level following an extended period of low activity level. After the first month of so, however, many will find that dancing will only go so far after the body has gotten used to the movements and routine. Without a serious change in diet or any extra exertion, the body will become accustomed to the routine and start to require less calories to perform these movements.
According to an article from Bodybuiding.com, despite what you’ve been told, the best way to lose fast may not be cardiovascular exercise. “Studies have demonstrated that after a weight training workout, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout, meaning rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting and watching TV, you’re burning 70.”
That may seem insignificant at first glance, but extrapolate that over the span of a few days and then to a few weeks and those 10 calories begin to really add up. Not only has weight training been proven to burn more calories during/after a workout, but the effects may be even more apparent further down one’s journey.
TheHealthSuccesssite.com describes a metabolic rate as “how our body transforms energy (think burns calories) to be able to run all its functions to keep us alive.”
So if we are concerned with losing calories, we want to make our metabolic rate as active and speedy as possible. Adding more muscle mass to our body is one of the most effective ways to speed up our natural metabolism. More muscle equals faster metabolism.
BornFitness.com says that it is important to remember that “The majority of calories you burn in a day are not through activity, but instead through your resting metabolic rate or (RMR).” So with that in mind, we can interpret that adding more muscle will keep our RMR elevated to a greater point than what it would be with less muscle.
This is not to say that cardiovascular exercises have no place in our fitness journey, it just may not be the most effective way to go about that journey. Self.com adds on to these points by stating that “weight training can help a person burn an extra 25 percent on top of the calories you torched during your workout.”
That same site suggests that if you only have time for one of either cardio or weight training, do weight training. The lasting effects that come along post-workout will surpass whatever impact a simple run may do.
Something else that is hindering many aspiring gym-goers are the plethora of lies and deception that are in the supplement industry. Most of us want to get into the best shape possible in the shortest amount of time. It’s very easy to get discouraged when we don’t see the results we were hoping for in a certain time frame, so it would make sense for us to look for any type of aid or assistance that could help us boost our progress.
Unfortunately, some supplement companies are keenly aware of this fact and are willing to exploit consumers whenever they can. Trainers and executives will tell clients whatever they want to hear so that they may take an interest in their product.
This is a common practice outside of fitness as well and is something that we must take into account before making any type of purchases.
Marc Lobliner, owner and CEO of MTS Nutrition, coined the phrase “Nothing works unless you do,” in reference to the effectiveness of the products that he sells and recommends. Lobliner says that when muscles aren’t being stimulated over a period of time, you will experience atrophy. As stated earlier, the less muscle you have, the slower your RMR is. He echoes the article from Bodybuilding.com by stating that, “Walking and running are extremely catabolic exercises. When you weight train, you burn extra calories for about 39 hours after training. When you do cardio, your body burns extra calories for about two hours.”
It’s true that some supplements may have a positive influence on our weight loss journey and an investment may be worth our while. It is just important that we do our research and take what we hear from experts and friends alike when it comes to fitness. We must be aware of the fact that everyone is different and will have differing factors that go into what helps that specific person most.
So the best way for one to find out what works for them is trial and error. If you find something that works, stick with that. If you’ve seemingly hit a wall or are seeing a regression in progress, it may be time to switch up the routine. Remember to keep learning and to beware of the lies and deceptions that may be thrown out by companies that are solely trying to get your money. Cardio is not necessary for fat loss. Cardio does not make you lose fat. Figure out how to work cardio vascular into your routine without depending on it in order to will reap the most benefits.