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 Cardio For Weight Loss

I’ve upped my cardio, but can’t seem to lose much weight, what’s happening? – Tony L.

Stop All That Cardio! 

Ok, I’m going to save you from the “blah-blah-blah” regarding the molecular underpinnings of exercise, fat breakdown and utilization, and hormonal cascades that relate to hunger, fat storage/release, and metabolism…and keep it simple.

Look around the cardio room next time you’re in the gym and you’ll probably notice the same people you’ve been huffing and puffing next to all these years, look the same as when you first saw them. And I have a good feeling they jumped on that cardio machine with dreams of stepping off a leaner person. 

Doing long or intense cardio is NOT the optimal, best, or in my opinion, ANY way to lose the “bad” (fat) weight and keep it off. 

When I was in 8th grade, I was heavy, so I stopped eating and ran..and ran…and ran.  I lost a lot of weight, I looked super thin, but I certainly didn’t look fit.  Cardio results when you were 16 are not gonna work for anyone over 30yrs old. 

Building muscle will (no matter what age!) 

Think of muscle as your caloric sink.  Whenever you eat calories or breakdown places that have calories (e.g. fat), those calories need to find a healthy home.  That home, is MUSCLE.  If there is no home for those calories to go, they start roaming the streets (e.g. your bloodstream) rioting (causing destruction) and then meet up with other nomad calories in storage warehouses (e.g. fat) 

Your muscles are engines that are fueled by calories, you fire up the engine, it pulls in and then burns up the calories and puff, literally “puff” (you breath out the fat – more on that in another email). 

So isn’t two engines better than one? Isn’t a hemi charged, V-12 engine better than a V-4? Which one is gonna be calorie guzzler? 

You want to build the biggest engines you can (not in excess, no need to be “Arnold”). 

Cardio is NOT going to do that. In fact, the way most perform cardio – intense, sweating like crazy, breathing heavy, etc…is not only NOT burning fat, but burning up muscle! (read my blog on Zone 2 training) 

Listen, if you have a pear shape, like I did, and want to look like a smaller pear, then deprive yourself of calories (diet) and do cardio all day.  At best, you’ll just be a smaller version of yourself that will inflate back up once you start eating again.  
But if you’re looking to burn existing fat, keep from storing more excess fat, and change the way your dimensions look (e.g. flatter stomach, tighter love handles, leaner “whatever”), then get into the weight room and be a “mechanic” – start building up your engines (all your muscles) and make them powerful!