I am so sick of clients doing excessive cardio – I mean mindless long runs, or bouts on the bike or eliptical. I hear about clients doing 60 minute cardio sessions and they are stiff as a board and in pain. The part that ‘kills me’ is that they won’t stretch or even listen to me when I talk to them about doing some weight lifting. I know cardio is one fat burning strategy, but it is time consuming and the reality is that aerobic activities burn far fewer calories than you think. After doing 20-30 minutes of cardio you may feel as though you’ve burned 600 calories but the cold reality is far different. For example, researchers measured the number of calories burned when walking versus running. The study showed that the average man burns just 124 calories when running a mile and only 88 when walking the same distance. So by running three miles you can expect to burn about 396 calories and by walking three miles you will burn about 240.
Figures for other aerobic activities are shown below (these are calculated using a man who weighs 190 pounds).
· Stationary bike (light): 474 calories per hour;
· Walking uphill (3.5 miles per hour): 518 calories per hour;
· High impact aerobics: 604 calories per hour;
· Stationary bike (moderate): 604 calories per hour;
· Jogging (light pace): 604 calories per hour;
· Running (5 miles per hour): 690 calories per hour;
· Stationary bike (vigorous): 906 calories per hour;
To lose one pound of body weight – you have to burn 3000 calories through exercise activity, or decrease your intake of food calories by approximately 3,000 calories. One strategy I use is to decrease 250 calories of food daily and increase your activity by 250 calories per day to reach the 3,000 calorie mark each week to lose a pound a week. Make sense? You can do 30 minutes of cardio (I prefer intervals = sprints) to burn body fat or do some weight lifting to build muscle which automatically burns more calories during rest. I like to teach my clients to do a combo of cardio + resistance. That’s what I personally do.
Too much aerobic exercise will burn calories from fat but can burn fuel from muscle cells too – resulting in a loss of muscle mass – now you are screwed. The reason this happens is that periods of aerobic exercise cause the body to shift into survival mode. In this state, it strives to preserve access to fat cells by also burning fuel derived from muscle cells. It does this because the body is incapable of understanding our motivation for doing cardio. As far as it is concerned, it just needs to maintain fat reserves for any pending emergency situations where we might not have access to food.
By combining your workouts with resistance + cardio activities, you can burn up to 44% more calories. The bottom line is that resistance + cardio workouts burn considerably more calories and fat than ordinary cardio alone.
Just tell me what you like to do and I can turn any of your activities into a cardio + resistance workout. For example, if you like to walk or jog you can pick up a set of dumbbells, some ankle weights or even a weight vest. If biking is your thing, just kick up the resistance. Whatever cardio activity it is that you like to do, I’ll show you how to add some resistance and not only will you burn more fat but you’ll also be able to maintain more of your hard-earned muscle mass