Weight Loss. Is Cardio doing more harm than good?

On my hunt for a eating and workout regimen I found this article on my favorite site Bodybuilding.com/forum. Very interesting! Now note: This is moreso geared towards those that are very close to their ideal weight and have hit a plateau,

Good thread for diet http://forum.bodybuilding.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35

What program is good for FAT LOSS?

Fat loss is not really a product of any specific training program but a product of your diet. If your diet is not set up for fat loss, then you will not lose weight no matter how hard you train. You cannot out-train a bad diet. Go to the nutrition section of the female folder and read the stickies on Clean Eating and Cheating and on setting your calories and macros. Sure there are some programs better for fat loss than others but for the most part, people who participate in a good lifting program will be able to obtain their goals of fat loss with the correct diet. (NROL has a fat loss specific program)

Once you have established the correct diet, then you can work in a program to help you with your goals.

What about cardio?

Cardio is generally not recommended for most persons wishing to do body re-composition. (Even fat loss) This especially goes for the female population who has for so long been doing way too much cardio. In the book, New Rules for Women, the directive is given to all women to “Step away from the treadmill!” While cardio arguably can do some good things it generally is done far too much and for all the wrong reasons with the female population.

The biggest problem IMHO with just adding cardio outside of a weight lifting program is that it will potentially cause a woman to drop muscle faster than fat. Since most women have less muscle and lose it faster than men, this is a big problem. Doing only cardio or too much cardio results in women who are skinny fat. For some of the more overweight female populations, cardio can serve to help with the fat loss and will not have negative consequences. Keep in mind that the closer you are to an ideal bodyweight, the harder it is to preserve muscle.

If you pick a strength or resistance program such as NROL or NROL4W it will tell you what to do for cardio. I like these programs because they introduce HITT as opposed to ss cardio. Outside of the specific guidelines for cardio in a program I have found that as a general rule, trainers say about 20-30 min 2-3 times a week is maximum time for anyone wishing to do cardio and weight train.

Now here is the “rub” for those of you who are “hard-core” cardio queens and just cannot give it up. Doing cardio can actually completely stop or thwart your fat loss efforts especially as you get closer to your ideal weight. The way that works is that we all burn a certain amount of calories per day in NEAT type of activities. NEAT stands for Non Exercise Thermogenesis Activity and is basically all the moving that you do every day outside of exercise. This could be climbing stars, walking from the car to the door or even fidgeting. Some of us are really good NEAT people. When cardio is added to the mix of a training routine it has the potential to wear a person out and they decrease their NEAT. Net result is even less calories burned. Consider another scenario. Some people do cardio and it triggers mad hunger. They go home and EAT THE HOUSE. Net result is more calories added then burned.

Often times all a person has to do (if they are stalled on weight loss) is to stop all exercise except for NEAT and focus on diet. This will give them the “correct” baseline for diet and then they can add back in the exercise based from this baseline.

So the answer is not to just add cardio to your training program. Cardio is certainly not the root of all evil and there are legitimate reasons to do it. Just know that fat loss and muscle gain goals can be easily disrupted with too much cardio. It is about finding the right balance of food, lifting and cardio for you and your goals.

So I enjoyed that article and I hope you did too!

I will be purchasing this book today. “New Rules for Women” (Short title)

Apparently it gives myth busters on losing weight and targets a womans make up and the most effective ways to reach your goal.

More on the book

In The New Rules of Lifting for Women, authors Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, and Alwyn Cosgrove present a comprehensive strength, conditioning, and nutrition plan destined to revolutionize the way women work out. All the latest studies prove that strength training, not aerobics, provides the key to losing fat and building a fit, strong body.This book refutes the misconception that women will “bulk up” if they lift heavy weights. Nonsense! It’s tough enough for men to pack on muscle, and they have much more of the hormone necessary to build muscle: natural testosterone. Muscles need to be strengthened to achieve a lean, healthy look. Properly conditioned muscles increase metabolism and promote weight loss—it’s that simple.

The program demands that women put down the “Barbie” weights, step away from the treadmill, and begin a strength and conditioning regime for the natural athlete in every woman.

The New Rules of Lifting for Women, now in paperback, will change the way women see fitness, nutrition, and their own bodies.


The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess


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