Think about when you first go into a commercial gym right after New Years day, what do you see everyone doing? Every piece of cardio equipment is taken with people generally reading a magazine or even watching tv. Here’s the problem with this, most people that start going to a gym unfortunately see no results and eventually give up. In fact last time I checked this number is around 95%! I find this statistic very sad considering when I ask people if they enjoy cardio machines 9 times out of 10 they hate it. Of course this will only lead to a lack of progress as well as eventually throwing in the towel.
The people that I would see in the gym in the best shape were always in the free weight section, men and women alike. They weren’t able to read a magazine or pay attention to a TV because real training needs absolute focus. Next time you are at the gym take a look around at who is doing the aerobics classes and doing cardio, are these the people you are trying to look like? If not then why train like everyone else? This should be proof alone why traditional cardio is mainly useless when it comes to fat loss. The biggest reason why it is useless is that overdoing cardio will raise you cortisol levels. This stress hormone can lead to excess abdominal fat as well as other health problems. Look at your typical sprinter versus a marathon runner.
Another problem with doing traditional cardio is that you body becomes very efficient at doing it which means the more you do it the less fat your body has to use for energy. This is why doing hours of cardio on a weekly basis literally gets you nowhere fast! I have known plenty of people that incorporated running into their routine and even started to run marathons and haven’t dropped a pound. Not to mention the beating your joints take and achy swollen knees will only hinder your fat loss goals further. It’s frustrating I know and I hate to see people work so hard towards their goals only to be going the wrong route. Now don’t get me wrong here, if your goal is to perform in some kind of an endurance event then that’s great and you will have to train accordingly. However I am strictly talking about changes to your physique and what is the best and fastest way to achieve your goals.
I want to share a study done by two of my former teachers at the University of Connecticut on how weight training paired with a proper diet yields greater results then aerobic training (traditional cardio).
Kramer, Volek et al.
Influence of exercise training on physiological and performance changes with weight loss in men.
Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 9, pp. 1320-1329, 1999.
Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds)than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).
The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn't result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.
Thirty-six sessions of up to 50 minutes is a lot of work for one additional pound of fat loss. However, the addition of resistance training greatly accelerated fat loss results.
This study speaks for itself and there are many others to prove it but I am going to give a quick explanation why weight training is superior. Traditional cardio will only burn a certain amount of calories during the session itself while weight training has been show to burn calories not only during training but the metabolism is elevated anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after! This means while you are at rest and even sleeping you are burning more calories than normal.
So when it comes to women weight training the biggest concern is that they don’t want to get big and bulky. Now I completely understand this but here is a big secret that the media and every fitness infomercial doesn’t want you to know: YOU COULDN’T IF YOU TRIED! I don’t want to get into the science of it but basically women do not have enough of the hormone testosterone to put on any real amount of muscle. Also to gain any substantial amount of muscle you would have to eat thousands and thousands of calories per day to even have a chance. What you see in bodybuilding magazines of women with muscles and veins popping out everywhere is the result of steroids not just because they lifted some heavyweights a few times.
Jamie Eason lifts weights and so should you.
I’m sure we all know plenty of guys that workout and are obsessed with getting big but how many do you know have really put on some muscle? My guess is not many, I have guys come to me all the time seeking out my advice on how to put muscle on and they are usually spending hours in the free weight area doing curl after curl. Just to prove my point if guys who have plenty of testosterone in them are having trouble putting on muscle then women really have nothing to worry about.
Ok now I know plenty of you really do think that you do get bulky pretty easy, well I have some bad news for you. It is not the muscle of your legs and arms that are making you look bulky it is the body fat around them. I guarantee that 99% of women that say this could get down to 20% body fat they would not think they would have bulky muscles anymore.
In summary if you want to lose body fat then your nutrition is number 1. Theold saying “you can’t out train a bad diet” will always hold true. Some people say that no matter what your goals nutrition is 85% of your results. No one knows the exact percentage but I would have to agree with this statement. So please stop wasting your time in the cardio area when it is not something you enjoy in the first place. As we have seen a proper diet along with intense weight training will bring the greatest results and the fastest which we all know we want results yesterday.
By Matt Mills