Fat Loss Myth #3
Mar 15, 2011
Low intensity cardio is the right way to burn fat and boost endurance.
For all of you chronic cardio kings and queens out there that are a product of cardiovascular conventional wisdom, this message for you if your goal is fat loss: What you're doing is not going to make your body burn as much as fat as you'd like to believe! When you put your body through long bouts of continuous activity, such as jogging or pedaling away on the bike or elliptical, you're depleting your body of energy. Unfortunately our bodies are stubborn and love our fat stores so much that under these prolonged conditions, they begin to prefer muscle tissue for energy rather than fat--which is contrary to what has been drilled into our heads for so many years. Another truth to this is that after around the 40 minute mark, your body believes itself to be under distress and begins secreting the fat-storing stress hormone known as cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels are directly related to abdominal fat--one of the reasons you're hitting the treadmill in the first place. The good news is that you can by-pass this muscle-burning, fat-storing reaction during your cardio sessions by implementing short, intense bursts of hard-core sprints, whether on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical. Follow each intense bout with enough light recovery to perform the sprint again. Continue this pattern for no more than 20-30 minutes. This type of cardio will spare your precious muscle tissue, ignite the fat-burning (rather than fat-storing) hormones, and cause your body to burn a TON of calories after you're done working out! Now, WORK HARD and HAVE FUN!