“…while cardio, is a great side dish, it can never be the main course to burning fat.”
When I go to the gym, I’m always amazed at the number of people (mainly women) on cardio machines. Most of them huffing and puffing away at a rigorous pace for an hour, all with the same goal in mind, to BURN FAT!!! Reducing body fat is the main plan for most cardio junkies. I refer to them as cardio junkies because they are addicted to doing cardio and with every bout they complete, they must burn more calories than they did during their last workout. They use it as an antidote for those days when they eat or drink WAY more than they should. They use it to sweat away the fat so that they can fit into that bikini on vacation, or a dress for a special occasion. For many it’s a daily battle with the machine to get their thighs smaller, their abs tighter, or make the bat wings disappear, and yet if you were to photograph these people once every 2-3 months for a year, you would see little to no change in their bodies. While this lack of change is a bit discouraging, many increase their resistance or speed and continue to do the same thing day after day with the hope that one day they will finally achieve their goal.
The failure in a cardio plan is that it is just cardio and while cardio, is a great side dish, it can never be the main course to burning fat. If you want to see true changes in your body, a flatter stomach, tighter thighs and arms, a perky butt, you have to incorporate weight training into your program, that along with a healthy balanced diet will get you to your goal, a lot quicker than just cardio. See there is no magic secret to burning fat, no tricks, or cardio tactics, it’s just basic science. Consistent weight training at substantial to high intensity will stimulate muscle fibers creating hypertrophy or growth. An increase in muscle growth, causes an increase in resting metabolism, causing the body to burn more calories throughout the day. When only large amounts of cardio make up a workout, too many calories are burned during the session and shortly there after. The body becomes catabolic ( feeding on the muscle) for nutrients causing a decrease in lean tissue (muscle) and a drop in metabolism. It is estimated for every pound of lean tissue, the body burns upwards of 50 calories a day depending on its health.
So if you are really looking to see results, don’t be afraid to incorporate weight training into your workout. Over time you will get leaner, stronger, and will burn more calories throughout the entire day.