A lot of personal trainers bash cardio. Others love it. (some too much)
As you probably know, I’m somewhere in the middle.
It is a necessary component of body transformation and overall health, but it definitely doesn’t need to be overdone in order to get great fitness results.
With that said, there are “smarter”, more efficient ways to workout than others. Again, as you probably know, that’s what I specialize in helping you do.
Over the last few days I’ve been doing some reading and came across a couple of new studies BOTH showing that cardio is important for fat loss.
The first study from BMC Public Health looked at the effects of strength training ONLY, strength training PLUS cardio, or cardio ONLY. All three areas of exercise combination took a look at measures of blood lipids, glucose and insulin, and changes in body weight and fat mass.
After 12 weeks, the results were in and showed that the strength training PLUS cardio exercise combination gave greater benefits for fat loss, lean muscle maintenance or growth, and cardio-respiratory fitness than cardio ONLY or strength training ONLY respectively.
Makes sense to me.
In a second study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers again looked at the same exercise combinations as above.
Interestingly, here the strength training PLUS cardio group lost the most fat compared to the cardio ONLY group (although they were a close second) and strength training ONLY group. Not surprisingly, the latter group had the greatest increase in lean muscle mass due to more calories being available for muscle growth and not burning off those excess calories through cardio.
Basically, these researchers are saying that cardio IS an important component of an exercise program for burning fat and lowering excess body weight. Strength training is needed for building and maintaining lean muscle.
Here is the take home lesson…
When you do a session with me you’re already getting some great strength training done that includes some supplemental cardio because we are doing it at an up tempo pace. (Awesome job by the way!)
BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE!
In order to get the best fat loss results you still need cardio on the days between our sessions and after you and I get done with your session.
Remember two things…save your fat burning intervals for your cardio ONLY days and perform 15-20 minutes of moderate cardio immediately after strength training to help burn more fat; never before strength training if you’re doing both in the same workout.
If you REALLY want to strip away that layer of extra body fat you’re carrying around and reveal lean, sexier bodies then you need to let me in on what you’re doing outside of your session with me.
It could be as little as one vital tip I can offer that will help you drop 1-2 pounds per week until you hit your goal.