Cardio, cardio, cardio, elliptical, treadmill, stairmaster; in the famous words of Forest Gump, “I was running” and still haven’t lost a pound. This is the one thing that will drive the average gym goer crazy, but why is that? Why isn’t the scale reflecting all of your hard work? The answer is actually very simple. Cardio alone is not the fastest way to lose body fat, and is most certainly not the only way. Below I’m going to dispel some myths about working out.
You CAN NOT burn body fat with resistance training.
FALSE: So many of us focus on how many calories we can burn while we’re running on the treadmill for two hours. Individuals will typically burn calories throughout the day no matter what they are doing, this is your metabolism; steady state cardio increases that fat burn but once your cardio session is over, the body will return to a slower metabolic rate. Resistance training helps build muscle and as we all know, muscle helps burn fat. So if we know that resistance training builds muscle and muscle helps burn fat, why are so many against it?
Resistance training makes women look too bulky.
FALSE: I honestly wish this myth would just DIE!!! This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard; the sad part about it is that most women truly believe this! For ANYBODY to seriously bulk up there are two factors in that equation, proper nutrition and consistency with hypertrophy (muscle gain or heavy lifting) type training sessions. Without either one of those you are wasting your time. Women are actually at a serious disadvantage when it comes to adding muscle; to add muscle, the hormone testosterone must be present in the body and unfortunately females have about one-tenth of the testosterone a man has. In a perfect world, with the perfect diet, and the most consistent resistance training routine, a woman could only add about one-forth of a pound of muscle per week which averages out to 12 lbs of muscle a year. Remember, that’s only in a perfect world. On the other hand, women who lift weights on a regular basis will have tighter, more toned bodies versus a woman who does not lift weights.
Cardio is the best way to be fit.
FALSE: Don’t get me wrong here, cardio is GREAT, but it can put added stress on muscles and joints, and could lead to muscle loss without the proper nutrition. Doing an excessive amount of cardio can lead serious injury; strengthening your stabilizers in your hips/knees, as well as strengthening your core reduces this possibility. How do you strengthen your core and stabilizers? Resistance training! There are several methods to get in shape, cardio is great, it’s simply one out of many options.
Think about this, cardiovascular exercise coupled with weight training is the most effective way that I have found to reach your fitness goals. Coupling these two aspects of fitness will not hinder athletic performance or cause you to gain an excessive amount of muscle in a short period of time. If you are having a hard time seeing changes in your body, then its probably time to change what you are doing.
About DeLano Daniels
After many years in health and fitness and enduring some of life’s hardest trails, DeLano Daniels launched his own fitness company Pin Fit in 2012 to help motivate, inspire, and guide individuals who are wanting to change their lives. Not only is DeLano a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, but also a sponsored athlete, natural bodybuilder, writer, and college graduate. When DeLano isn’t training for shows, he can be found training individuals for special occasions, personal goals, fitness competitions, and most importantly better overall health and wellness. For questions regarding fitness, nutrition, or training, contact DeLano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 832-775-3590.
*Disclaimer: Empower Magazine does not make any specific health claims or product endorsements. The health claims or product endorsements in this article are the strict responsibility of the featured fitness columnist.