8 Cardio Mistakes Slowing Down Fat Loss

 

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Cardio can help you improve the function of your heart and lungs, it can help increase your endurance and stamina, and when used correctly it can also help you burn fat.

However, there are many misconceptions about the role that cardio should play in the fat loss process,

and if you’re doing cardio the wrong way you can actually be hurting your progress rather than helping ut.

So today I want to go over the 8 top cardio myths that are slowing down your progress and potentially even causing you to gain fat or lose muscle,

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which is exactly the opposite of what you’re probably doing cardio for, to begin with.

1.And one of the core myths is that all types of cardio are effective for fat loss.

This simply is not true and there’s lots of evidence to support this.

For example, a meta-analysis of 14 studies with a grand total of 1,847 overweight and obese participants evaluated if cardio benefits weight loss. (1)

And the conclusion was that “isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy for these patients.”(2)

Now I know that may seem strange. After all, cardio burns calories, and since fat loss is mainly about being in a calorie deficit, then cardio should help… right?

Well, it’s not so simple for example one downside of cardio is that it causes ‘constrained energy expenditure.’

This means burning calories through cardio tends to lower your general activity levels and energy expenditure throughout the day,

which often counteracts the calories burned from the cardio itself. (3) Your body burns a lot of calories throughout the day when you’re not exercising.

This is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis or neat and neat uses a good chunk of calories.

however, due to constrained energy expenditure, your body will look for shortcuts to save calories limiting the effectiveness of using cardio strictly for the purpose of fat loss.

Aside from that, many people believe that if they do cardio, they can eat much more food, but as I’m sure many of you know you can’t outrun a bad diet.

2.The next myth that many beginners fall for is the idea that cardio is more effective for fat loss Than Resistance Training.

It is true that incorporating both resistance training and some cardio into your workout routine can be very effective,

but cardio-only based programs have many drawbacks. When comparing cardio-only programs to resistance training programs,

resistance training tends to be more effective especially over the long term, largely because, contrary to cardio, it doesn’t cause constrained energy expenditure. (4)

And like I said according to the studies this constrained energy expenditure makes you compensate for the calories you burnt during your cardio workout by reducing your physical activity throughout the day. (5)

These are little changes that you might not even notice, like not having the energy to walk your dog,

or sitting and laying when you would normally be moving around, or even simply fidgeting less throughout the day.

Even though this may not sound like a big deal when your body is trying to save energy it is very effective at doing so and cardio pushes your body to save energy.

Meanwhile, researchers have said that “Resistance training, appears to do the opposite, so it facilitates non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

Scientists also say that this is particularly true on non-exercise days, which may lead to more sustainable adaptations in response to an exercise program.”(5)

On top of that, you burn about the same number of calories during a resistance training session as you do during a cardio session.

This was shown in a 2015 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (6)

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So, in that regard, resistance training is just as effective, but, unlike cardio, lifting weights also helps prevent muscle loss while on a diet,

which not only helps you look better when you’re done dieting but also helps support your metabolism ultimately helping you keep the fat off.

3.The next cardio myth isn’t necessarily going to cause weight gain,

but you should still know that according to the latest evidence, fasted cardio is not actually better for fat loss than doing your cardio after you already ate.

For a while, it was believed that since insulin levels are really low first thing in the morning,

by skipping breakfast and keeping them low while doing cardio you would be able to burn more fat.

Also, it seemed to make sense that since an overnight fast while sleeping, reduces your glycogen levels,

your body would be more likely to burn fat for fuel instead of glycogen, or in other words,

it would burn fat instead of carbohydrates since your stomach would be empty. In reality, however,

there’s no difference in fat loss results between fed and fasted cardio, and we can see that this is the case in a number of studies. (7)

In one of these studies, they split the participants into two groups and both groups maintained a daily calorie deficit of 500 calories.

The only difference between the groups was that one group would do three hours of fasted cardio per week while the other group performed the same amount of cardio but in a fed state.

And ultimately the results showed that both groups did lose a significant amount of fat after four weeks,

but there was no difference between groups. In other words, fasted cardio and fed cardio was equally as effective for fat loss.

And like I said this isn’t the only evidence that points in that direction. A systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that “fasted compared to fed exercise does not increase the amount of weight and fat mass loss.”(8)

The researchers of that study also mentioned that “weight loss and fat loss from the exercise is more likely to be enhanced by creating a meaningful caloric deficit over a period of time, rather than exercising in a fasted or fed state.”(9)

4.Another huge cardio mistake is believing that If You Do Enough Cardio,

you Can Eat Whatever You Want. This is totally not true. Most of you I’m assuming have already heard of the quote,..

you can’t outrun a bad diet. Many people believe that by simply adding cardio they’ll automatically lose fat faster than if they focused on dieting alone without doing any cardio.

Remember whenever you want to reduce calories you can either increase the amount of exercise that you perform or you can reduce the amount of food you eat.

Sometimes adding in some cardio can be the best option if you don’t want to reduce your calories any further.

But you should also know that you can burn just as much if not more fat by simply focusing on what you eat, without doing any cardio at all.

This was shown in a couple of studies. For example, (10) there was a study designed to compare the effects of maintaining a specific calorie deficit either through diet alone or diet combined with cardio.

Both groups maintained the same calorie deficit throughout the study. And sure enough body mass and body fat decreased significantly in both groups,

but there was no significant difference between them. (11) In other words, given the same calorie deficit,

you’ll lose the same amount of weight regardless of whether you do cardio or not. That’s because energy balance alone determines almost all the changes to the number on your scale.

So even if you do a lot of cardio, but you’re still not in a calorie deficit, you’re not going to lose weight no matter how hard you train.

To make matters worse if you’re eating so much that it puts you into a calorie surplus, even if you’re doing a ton of cardio, you’ll end up gaining weight rather than losing it.

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the bottom line is always to remember that cardio can’t make up for a terrible diet…

5.next we have the common myth that the best way to avoid gaining excess body fat,

while your bulking is by also incorporating cardio. the truth is that preventing fat gain during a bulk is once again all about energy balance.

You want to set up the calorie surplus in such a way that you can build muscle effectively without packing on pounds of fat in the process.

Cardio doesn’t change this fact. You can’t just do a dirty bulk, eat twinkies all day, create a huge calorie surplus,

and expect to stay lean just because you’re also doing some cardio. On top of that, doing too much cardio during a bulk may impair muscle growth.

For example, a 2012 meta-analysis found adding cardio to a resistance training routine reduced muscle growth effect size by 39 percent. (12)

most of this negative effect was noticed in the lower body rather than the upper body most likely

because most forms of cardio like running, cycling, and stairclimbing target the lower body and not the upper body.

but The primary reason for this negative effect on muscle growth is because cardio reduces the activity of mTOR,

which is a crucial enzyme for muscle growth, while also raising AMPK, which is an enzyme that impairs muscle growth. (13)

now Not only does this reduce the amount of muscle you build making a bulk less effective, but it may also increase the percentage of fat you gain, simply because less of the energy from the calorie surplus will be used for building muscle.

6.the next mistake is to perform Cardio First, right before lifting Weights.

If you have to do cardio and resistance training in the same session, it’s best to do the resistance training first and then the cardio afterward.

this is because if you do the cardio first, the glycogen depletion, the neuromuscular fatigue,

and the muscular damage caused by the cardio can interfere with your resistance training session. (14)

this can definitely reduce your performance and your strength output which means you won’t be able to introduce an optimal stimulus for your muscles to grow.

this is especially true if you do a lower body specific weight training workout after performing a lower body specific form of cardio like cycling or jogging.

However, even if you target your lower body for your cardio session by doing something like running,

and then when you hit the weights you switch over and only target your upper body, you’ll still deplete the glycogen that you need to perform at your best when lifting weights.

even though you are targeting different parts of your body with the cardio and weight training you’ll probably either not be able to lift the same amount of weight as you would if you just started with weight training fresh,

or you’ll be going for fewer reps. on the other hand, doing resistance training first has much less of an adverse effect on the quality of your cardio workout even if it’s done directly after.

now if your main goal is to build muscle and you definitely want to incorporate cardio then according to the research Ideally,

you would want to spread out your cardio and resistance training session by at least six hours because that will reduce what’s known as the interference effect. (15)

the interference effect is also known as concurrent training just points to the fact that the adaptations required for endurance training are usually inconsistent with the adaptations that are required for strength training.

so essentially one interferes with the other. so if you’re really serious about getting stronger,

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it’s in your best interest to not overdo cardio and to not perform your cardio and strength training sessions too close together. In fact, research shows that there is almost no interference effect when cardio and strength training is done at least 24 hours apart. (16)

7.another popular myth that came about at the same time that high-intensity interval training started becoming more mainstream is something known as the “After Burn” effect.

this after-burn effect was essentially a theory that suggested that certain forms of cardio like Hiit,

could boost your metabolism by hundreds of extra calories per day for several days even after the workout was finished.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is actually an ‘afterburn’ effect after exercise. This is more formally known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC.

However, even after extreme cardio sessions, EPOC generally lasts only anywhere from 3 to 24 hours after the workout and it makes up just 6 to 15 percent of the net total oxygen cost of the exercise session. (17)

meaning it’s not going to burn all that many calories. On average after a HIIT session, the amount of calories burnt from EPOC is only around 30 to 60 calories.

Meanwhile steady-state cardio creates almost no EPOC at all. now Combine this with the fact that cardio tends to cause constrained energy expenditure,

which as we talked about earlier is your body finding ways to conserve energy and you’ll see that the small number of calories burned through EPOC becomes highly insignificant.

8.finally, last but not least is the myth of having to Stay in the “Fat-Burning Zone” if You Want to burn the maximum amount of fat from your cardio sessions.

The fat-burning zone is considered to be at about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

So many trainers recommend that that low- to moderate intensity cardio is better for weight loss than doing it at a high intensity.

That’s supposed because the lower intensity puts you in the “fat-burning zone.”

Now, it is true that you burn a higher percentage of fat for fuel when you do an activity at a low to moderate intensity.

for example, jogging will use a higher percentage of fat and a lower percentage of glycogen when compared to a higher intensity activity like sprinting.

this is because, higher-intensity activities require a lot of energy in a short time frame, so you quickly reach a point known as the “anaerobic threshold.’

and at this point, your body can no longer rely only on fat, because it needs more energy at a faster rate than what’s available from fat oxidation.

so it has to also burn glucose to meet the energy demands. however, that doesn’t mean that low or moderate-intensity cardio is superior.

and there are a couple of reasons for this. First, it doesn’t burn as many total calories as higher-intensity forms of cardio.

So, even if you’re burning a higher percentage of calories from fat with the lower intensities you’ll have to do the lower intensity cardio for much longer to

burn the same number of calories you would with the higher intensity cardio. And the second issue is that it doesn’t matter

how much fat you burn in the short term but rather how your overall energy balance is affected over time.

That’s why, when energy expenditure is matched, research shows that the fat loss results are the same between high and low-intensity cardio. (18)

So forget about the fat-burning zone, it’s essentially a non-factor.

So those are the 8 cardio myths and mistakes that you want to avoid I really hope you enjoyed this video.

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To learn more click the link below or you can visit my website directly at gravity transformation.com

My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first of 3 transformation studios in 2011. I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 3,000,000 subscribers! I can happily say that we've helped over 15,000 people get in great shape over the years. I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to support@gravitychallenges.com

Founder // Gravity Transformation, Max Posternak

Rather than hurting your chances for success.

And most people that have a goal of fat loss use cardio as their main form of exercise that most people turn to when they’re trying to burn fat.

1. A meta-analysis of 14 studies with a grand total of 1,847 overweight and obese participants found that “isolated aerobic exercise is not an effective weight loss therapy for these patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21787904
2. Cardio can lead to constrained energy expenditure: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26832439/
3. Unlike cardio resistance training doesn’t lead to constrained energy expenditure
4. “Results of the present study suggest a compensatory reduction in PA in response to aerobic exercise. Resistance exercise, on the other hand, appears to facilitate non-exercise PA, particularly on non-exercise days, which may lead to more sustainable adaptations in response to an exercise program. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26702387/
5. You burn about the same number of calories during a resistance training session as you do during a cardio session https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25162652/
6. There’s no difference in fat loss results between fed and fasted cardio https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25429252
7. “Fasted compared to fed exercise does not increase the amount of weight loss and fat mass loss.” https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/2/4/43
8. “Weight loss and fat loss from the exercise is more likely to be enhanced through creating a meaningful caloric deficit over a period of time, rather than exercising in fasted or fed states.” https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/2/4/43
9. You can burn just as much if not more fat by simply focusing on what you eat, without doing any cardio at all. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/111162
10. “Body mass and body fat decreased significantly in D (–1.95 ± 1.13 kg or –1.47 ± 0.87%; p < 0.05) and DE (–2.23 ± 1.28 kg or –1.59 ± 0.87%; p < 0.05), but there was no significant difference observed between the groups.” https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/111162
11. There was a study designed to compare the effects of maintaining a specific calorie deficit either through diet alone or diet combined with cardio. Both groups maintained the same calorie deficit throughout the study. And sure enough body mass and body fat decreased significantly in both groups, but there was no significant difference between them https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22002517/
12. A 2012 meta-analysis found adding cardio to a resistance training routine reduced muscle growth effect size by 39 percent https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22002517/
13. Cardio reduces the activity of mTOR, which is a crucial enzyme for muscle growth, while also raising AMPK, which is an enzyme that impairs muscle growth https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11715023/
14. If you do the cardio first, the glycogen depletion, the neuromuscular fatigue, and the muscular damage caused by the cardio can interfere with your resistance training session. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30096988/
15. You would want to spread out your cardio and resistance training session by at least six hours because that will reduce the “interference effect” http://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2016/03000/Specific_Training_Effects_of_Concurrent_Aerobic.10.aspx
16. Research shows that there is almost no interference effect when cardio and strength training is done at least 24 hours apart https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29658408/
17. “Even those studies incorporating exercise stimuli resulting in prolonged EPOC durations have identified that the EPOC comprises only 6-15% of the net total oxygen cost of the exercise.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17101527/
18. When energy expenditure is matched, research shows that the fat loss results are the same between high and low-intensity cardio: https://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(13)00140-3/abstract