Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is Cardio Working for You???

Cardio exercise is such a strange thing. In theory, it should work so perfectly well for all men and women, but as anyone who has tried it knows, the practicality of it just doesn't add up.

Most of people who work in a cardio program do seven, ten or more hours per week, and still have fat in their waist to burn for a long time. But there are other people who look great with the same or with even a smaller lapse of time. Some researchers in Great Britain went insight into this paradox, and studied 35 overweight men and women, who weren't previously exercising.

The subjects exercised for 12 weeks, 5 times per week. That's a lot of exercise and it helped the subjects lose an average of 8.2 pounds, but it worked better in young men, who need the help the least!

If we analyse the results we'll find some surprises. The best subject lost 32.3 pounds in 12 weeks, but the worst subject actually gained 3.74 pounds. That's an immense variance in fat loss terms.

So, these were not good news for the scientists. At least not for the ones that wanted to go home. They discovered there were 2 groups of people, they called them "compensators" and "non-compensators". The first ones were hungrier and consumed extra calories every day, whiping the slate clean in cardio results terms. So, they lost just small amounts of weight.

Does your appetite increase when you do slow cardio? If it does, research shows it will ruin your cardio efforts. So if your cardio program is not working for you, check your appetite and calorie intake to see if you are "compensating" for your efforts. If you are, you might be better off using a program of high-intensity resistance and interval training (i.e. Turbulence Training) for your weight loss efforts.

The research of a professor in Australia (Professor Steve Boucher) has show that interval training increases hormones called catecholamines. If that hormone increases, causes fat-burning benefits like reducing appetite, among others.

In the real world, few people lose 33 pounds after 12 weeks of cardio. Heck, few even achieve an average weight loss of 8 pounds with aerobic exercise.

What you have to do is check your appetite, and consider giving high-intensity exercise a go for your next workout program. Beat the curse of cardio with high-intensity training.

Are you struggling to reduce body fat? Click below to sign up for my FREE 7 Day Trial online fitness program to see how you can reach your goals .

Train Hard!

Adam Freeman
Master Personal Trainer

1 comment:

Sandy Cooper said...

This is interesting. It's good to see some research on this subject.

I've been struggling for a full year with losing 18 pounds I put on because of medication. I have been fit and healthy my entire life. I've been working out 4-6 days a week for the last 25 years. I'm a total health nut. I've been working with a personal trainer locally for the last year who has been pushing the cardio very hard, but also lots of strength training too. I've seen no results in terms of weight loss.

I do have a really good resting heart rate, though (51!) I guess that's saying something.

I would really like to drop this weight. I will give intervals a try...again. *sigh*



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