Ever wonder how certain myths get started?
Like, I literally just found out a few days ago that the whole “humans swallow 8 spiders per year in their sleep” myth is total BS.
How the hell did that even get started in the first place?!
The fitness industry is riddled with ridiculous myths and I must say it gives me great satisfaction to bust them.
Before I do, I have a question for you …
Would you be interested in a neurotyping challenge?
I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a Neurotyping Challenge for several months.
It would be a totally free 6 week challenge with a $1,000 cash prize.
I’d provide a complete nutrition and training prescription for each of the 5 profiles that would cover 6 weeks of body composition improvements.
I need to stop dragging my feet and just commit to doing it or not.
So my question is … would you be interested?
It will take a lot of time and energy on my end for a free program, but I also think it would be super fun.
Have you heard of this fitness myth?
Ok, now let’s bust one of the most common myths in the fitness industry today.
This myth is like a cockroach that just won’t go away (similar to Cowboys fans who still talk trash even though they haven’t won a Super Bowl in 25 years lol #gobirds).
The myth: Cardio is superior to strength training for fat loss!
Honestly, the myth could simply be: cardio is an effective tool for fat loss … period. Although that one requires some nuance.
So, let’s address why this is false.
The reason for this misguided statement is simple … cardio burns more calories per session than strength training (most of the time).
Therefore, if you burn more calories in the hour or so of exercise, then wouldn’t that be more effective for fat loss?
There’s the whole issue with the other 23 hours of the day AND what happens to your body based on different training styles.
Let’s start with the other 23 hours of the day.
Here’s why cardio is NOT the best tool for fat loss …
When you do an hour of cardio, you are manually burning more calories during the session. But, not necessarily burning more calories the rest of the day.
The reason: your body doesn’t have to work very hard to recover/repair from the cardio session.
In fact, your body often tries to preserve energy after a cardio session to “make up” for the calories you burned during your workout.
When you do an hour of strength training, you are burning less calories during the session itself but more calories throughout the rest of the day.
That’s because after breaking down muscle tissue, your body needs to repair the damage which requires … you guessed it … energy!
So, you end up burning more calories the rest of the day while your immune system triggers the repair process to rebuild muscle tissue.
Think of it like digging a hole in the ground (which is what happens when you strength train).
Once you finish digging (your session is over), then you have to fill in the hole with dirt (ideally, with more dirt than before which would be the equivalent of more muscle). And, refilling that hole requires more energy.
Now, let’s discuss what happens to the body with cardio vs. strength training.
When you do cardio consistently, your body gets better at doing cardio.
Meaning, that you burn LESS calories by doing the same cardio workout.
For example, if running 3 miles once burned 300 calories, the more you run 3 miles, the less that calorie number gets.
If you’re not strength training, your body doesn’t see the need to hang on to muscle tissue.
And, since you’re burning a lot of calories manually with cardio, your body will break down muscle tissue to become more efficient with calories.
It’s truly an “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” type of situation.
Since muscle requires a lot of energy to maintain, you end up with a slower metabolism as a result. Plus, a metabolism that’s efficient with calories which is not a good thing if you like to eat food like I do. 🙂
When you lift weights, you become inefficient with calories.
Even though you may burn less calories per session, you are sending the signal to your body to maintain or build muscle which, again, requires more energy at rest.
Therefore, you are building your metabolism by building muscle (or even just training with the intent to build).
Lastly, the progressive adaptation that occurs with cardio simply makes things worse from a metabolic perspective. Again, I’m talking specifically about fat loss.
Circling back to the 3 mile example … well, what if you just started running 4 miles? Then 5 miles? Then 10 miles?
Once again, your body will continue to adapt and will continue to burn LESS calories per session and become even more efficient with calories.
This is fine if your goal is simply to get better at cardio or to compete in long distance events.
Not so good for fat loss or your metabolism.
With strength training, yes your body adapts to the weights you lift. But, that’s a good thing because the adaptation is greater strength, more muscle, and burning more calories at rest (aka a stronger metabolism).
Then, you can keep going up in weights! And, the continued adaptation has continued benefits.
So there you have it …
Cardio really ISN’T the best way to lose fat!
Next time you hear someone talking about cardio being superior for fat loss, you can confidently debate them … and win 😉
If you feel like your metabolism is compromised, and you want to be able to eat more while still losing fat and achieving your goals …
That’s a big part of what we do in the POP Method coaching program. After 6 months of working with us, you’ll have the body you desire and a great relationship with food.
Not to mention a roaring metabolism that will make it easier to stay fit for life!
If you’re interested in learning more and to see if you’re a good fit for the program, shoot me a private message on FB.