Main menu


8 Cardio Mistakes Slowing Down Fat Loss

Cardio Mistakes Slowing Down Fat Loss

 cardia can help you improve the function of your heart and lungs it can help increase your endurance and stamina and when used correctly it can also help you burn fat however there are many misconceptions about the role that cardio should play in the fat loss process and if you're doing cardio the wrong way you can actually be hurting your progress rather than helping it so today I want to go over the eight top cardio myths that are slowing down your progress and potentially even causing you to gain fat or lose muscle which is exactly the opposite of what you're probably doing cardio for to begin with and one of the core myths is that all types of cardio are effective for fat loss this simply is not true and there's lots of evidence to support this for example a meta-analysis of 14 studies with a grand total of a thousand 800 overweight and obese participants evaluated if cardio benefits weight loss and the conclusion was that isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy for these patients now I know that that may seem strange after all cardio burns calories and since fat loss is mainly about being in a calorie deficit then cardio should help right well it's not so simple for example one downside of cardio is that it causes constrained energy

expenditure this means burning calories through cardio tends to lower your general activity levels and energy expenditure throughout the day which often counteracts the calories burned from the cardio itself your body burns a lot of calories throughout the day when you're not exercising this is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis or neat and neat uses a good chunk of calories however due to the constrained expenditure your body will look for shortcuts to save calories limiting the effectiveness of using calories strictly for the purpose of fat loss the next myth that many beginners fall for is this idea that cardio is more effective for fat loss than resistance training it is true that incorporating both resistent training and some cardio into your workout routine can be very effective but cardio only based programs have many drawbacks when comparing cardio only programs to resistance training programs resistance training tends to be more effective especially over the long term largely because contrary to cardio it doesn't cost strained energy expenditure and like I said according to the studies this constrained energy expenditure makes you compensate for

the calories that you burnt during your cardio workout by reducing your physical activity throughout the day these are little changes that you might not even notice like not having the energy to walk your dog or sitting and laying down when you would normally be moving around or even simply fidgeting less throughout the day even though this may not sound like a big deal when your body is trying to save energy it is very effective at doing so and cardio pushes your body to save that energy meanwhile researchers have said that resistance training appears to do the opposite so it facilitates non-exercise activity thermogenesis scientists also say that this is particularly true on non exercise days which may lead to more sustainable adaptations in response to an exercise program on top of that you burn about the same number of calories during a resistance training session as you do during a cardio session this was shown in the 2015 study published in the Journal of strength and conditioning research so in that regard resistance training is just as effective but unlike cardio lifting weights also helps prevent muscle 

loss while on a diet which not only helps you look better when you're done dieting but it also helps support your metabolism ultimately helping you keep the fat off the next cardio myth isn't necessarily going to cause weight gain but you should still know that according to the latest evidence fasted cardio is not actually better for fat loss than doing your cardio after you already ate for a while it was believed that since insulin levels are really low first thing in the morning by skipping breakfast and keeping them low while doing cardio you would be able to burn more fat also it seemed to make sense that since an overnight fast while sleeping reduces your glycogen levels your body would be more likely to burn fat for fuel instead of glycogen or in other words it would burn fat instead of carbohydrates since your stomach would be empty in reality however there's no difference in fat loss results between fed and fasted cardio and we can see that this is the case in a number of studies in one of these studies they split the participants into two groups and both groups maintained a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories the the only difference between the groups was that one group would do three hours of fasted cardio per week while the other group performed the same amount of cardio but in a fed state and ultimately the results showed that both groups did lose a significant amount of fat after four weeks but there was no difference between the groups in other words fasted cardio and fed cardio were equally as effective for fat loss and like I said this isn't the only evidence that

points in that direction a systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that fasted compared to fed exercise does not increase the amount of weight and fat mass loss the researchers of that study also mentioned that weight loss and fat loss from exercise is more likely to be enhanced by creating a meaningful calorie deficit over a period of time rather than exercising in a fasted or a fed state another huge cardio mistake is believing that if you do enough cardio you can eat whatever you want this is totally not true most of you I'm assuming have already heard the quote you can't outrun a bad diet many people believe that by simply adding cardio they'll automatically lose fat faster than if they focused on dieting alone without doing any cardio at all remember whenever you want to reduce calories you could either increase the amount of exercise that you perform or you could reduce the amount of food that you eat sometimes adding in some cardio can be the best option if you don't want to reduce your calories any further but you should also know that you can burn just as much if not more fat by simply focusing on what you eat without doing any cardio at all this was shown in a couple studies for example there was a study designed to compare the effects of maintaining a specific calorie deficit either through diet alone or diet combined with cardio both groups maintain the same calorie deficit throughout the study and sure enough body mass and body fat decreased significantly in both groups but there was no significant difference between them in other words given the same calorie deficit you'll lose the same 

amount of weight regardless of whether you do cardio or not that's because energy balance alone determines almost all the changes to the number that you see on your scale so even if you do a lot of cardio but you're still not in a calorie deficit you're not going to lose weight no matter how hard you train to make matters worse if you're eating so much that it puts you into a calorie surplus even if you're doing a ton of cardio you'll end up gaining weight rather than losing it the bottom line is always remember that cardio can't make up for a terrible diet next we have the common myth that the best way to avoid gaining excessive body fat while you're bulking is by also incorporating cardio the truth is that preventing fat gain during a bulk is once again all about energy balance you want to set up the calorie surplus in such a way that you can build muscle effectively without packing on pounds of fat in the process cardio doesn't change this fact you can't just do a dirty bulk eat Twinkies all day create a huge calorie surplus and expect to stay lean just because you're also doing some cardio on top of that doing too much cardio during a bulk may impair muscle growth for example 2012 meta-analysis found that adding cardio to a resistance training routine reduced muscle growth effect size by 39% most of this 

negative effect was noticed in the lower body rather than the upper body most likely because most forms of cardio like running cycling and stair climbing target the lower body and not the upper body but the primary reason for this negative effect on muscle growth is because cardio reduces the activity of mTOR which is a crucial enzyme for muscle growth while also raising AMPK which is an enzyme that impairs muscle growth now not only does this reduce the amount of muscle you build making a bulk less effective but it may also increase the percentage of fat you gain simply because less of the energy from the calorie surplus will be used for building muscle the next mistake is to perform cardio first right before lifting weights if you have to do cardio and resistant training in the same session it's best to do the resistant training first and then the cardio afterwards this is because if you do the cardio first the glycogen depletion the neuromuscular fatigue and the muscular damage caused by the cardio can interfere with your resistance training session this can definitely reduce your performance and your strength output which means you won't be able to introduce an optimal stimulus for your muscles to grow this is especially true if you do a lower body specific weight training workout after performing a lower-body specific form of cardio like cycling or jogging however even if you target your lower body 

for your cardio session by doing something like running and then when you switch over to the weights you target only your upper body you'll still be depleting the glycogen that you need to perform at your best for lifting the weights even though you are targeting different parts of your body with the cardio and the weight training you'll probably either not be able to lift the same amount of weight as you would if you just started with weight training fresh or you'll be going for fewer reps on the other hand doing resistance training first has much less of an adverse effect on the quality of your cardio workout even if it's done directly after now if your main goal is to build muscle and you definitely want to incorporate cardio then according to the research ideally you would want to spread out your cardio and resistant training sessions by at least six hours because that'll reduce what's known as the interference effect the interference effect also known as concurrent training just points to the fact that the adaptations required for endurance training are usually inconsistent with the adaptations that are required for strength training so essentially one interferes with the other so if you're really serious about getting stronger it's in your best interest to not over do cardio and to not perform your cardio and strength training sessions too close together in fact research shows that there is almost no interference effect when cardio and strength training are done at least 24 hours apart another popular myth that came about at the same time that high-intensity interval training started becoming more mainstream is something known as the afterburn effect this afterburn effect was essentially a theory that suggested that certain forms of cardio like hit could boost your metabolism by hundreds of extra calories per day for several days even after the workout has already finished now don't get me wrong there is actually an after burn effect after exercise this is more formally known as excess post-exercise oxygen 

consumption or epoch however even after extreme cardio sessions epoch generally lasts only anywhere from 3 to 24 hours after the workout and it makes up just 6 to 15 percent of the total oxygen cost of the exercise session meaning it's not going to burn all that many calories on average after a hit session the amount of calories burnt from epoch is only around 30 to 60 calories meanwhile steady-state cardio creates almost no EPOC at all now combine this with the fact that cardio tends to cause constrained energy expenditure which like we talked about earlier is your body finding ways to conserve energy and you'll see that the small number of calories burned through epoch becomes highly insignificant finally last but not least is the myth of having to stay in the fat-burning zone if you want to burn the maximum amount of fat from your cardio sessions the fat-burning zone is considered to be about 70% of your maximum heart rate so many trainers recommend that this low to moderate intensity cardio is better for weight loss than doing it at a higher intensity that's supposedly because the lower intensity puts you into the fat-burning zone now it is true that you burn a higher percentage of fat for fuel when you do an activity at a low to moderate intensity for example jogging will use a higher percentage of fat and a 

lower percentage of glycogen when compared to a higher intensity activity like sprinting this is because higher intensity activities require a lot of energy in a short timeframe so you can quickly reach a point known as the anaerobic threshold and at this point your body can no longer rely only on fat because it needs more energy at a faster rate than what's available from fat oxidation so it has to also burn glucose to meet the energy demands however that doesn't mean that low or moderate intensity cardio is superior and there are a couple reasons for this first it doesn't burn as many total calories as higher intensity forms of cardio so even if you're burning a higher percentage of calories from fat with the lower intensities you'll have to do the lower intensity cardio for much longer to burn the same number of calories you would with the higher intensity cardio and the second issue is that it doesn't matter how much fat you burn in the short term but rather how your overall energy balance is affected over time that's why when energy expenditure is matched research shows that the fat loss results are the same between high and low intensity are do so forget about the fat-burning zone it's essentially a non-factor when it comes to fat loss so those are the eight cardio myths and mistakes that you want to avoid I really

table of contents title