6 Cardio Myths That Are Making You Fat

8 Cardio Myths That Are Making You Fat

What?! Cardio makes you fat?

Is cardio the answer to fat loss?

There are many different views on what type of cardio is best, as well as how long and how often you need to perform it if you’re trying to lose weight.

The number of theories out there is enough to make your head spin.

These common misconceptions might be keeping your scale stuck, but there are easy ways to change that and lose more weight.

MYTH #1 – TO SPEED UP WEIGHT LOSS, SKIP STRENGTH TRAINING AND FOCUS ON CARDIO

TRUTH: Strength training is not only better than cardio for weight loss, but there are other benefits to strength training like building lean muscle mass. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn on a day-to-day basis. Not only that, but you can do circuits of strength training which even double as cardio! Try the workouts in the 21 Day Weight Loss Jumpstart and you’ll see what I mean!

MYTH #2 – DO CARDIO FIRST, THEN HIT THE WEIGHTS

TRUTH: It is better to do intense cardio sessions and intense strength training sessions on separate days! But, if you’re going to do them on the same day, then do the cardio after the strength training. Why, you need every ounce of energy and focus for the strength training to keep proper form, prevent injury and to benefit fully. Once done, you can give everything you have left to the cardio! And think of the calorie burn of having the ongoing burning calories of the strength training and the cardio session! The fat will just melt off!

MYTH #3 -YOU SHOULD BURN AT LEAST 500 CALORIES DURING YOUR CARDIO SESSIONS

TRUTH: Trudging away laboriously on a treadmill to hit some magic number is a waste of time and energy. More importantly focus on the intensity of the cardio. You can burn a lot more calories with high intensity interval cardio sessions then steady state cardio. Use a heart rate monitor, like the Polar FT7, to track your calorie burn and intensity levels.

MYTH #4 – STAY IN THE “FAT-BURNING ZONE” IF YOU’RE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT

TRUTH:Your body does burn fat as fuel during lower-intensity workouts (a.k.a. the “fat-burning zone” of about 65 percent of your max)—however that’s not necessarily what you need to focus on for weight loss. More importantly focus on the total calories burned. You can burn more calories with high intensity interval training. However, if you want the benefits of both the total calorie expenditure and the fuel source, then do 20 minutes of high intensity cardio intervals followed by 10 minutes of steady state cardio!

MYTH #5 – TRAINING FOR A RACE IS A GREAT WAY TO SLIM DOWN

TRUTH:There a tons of benefits to running a 5K or marathon—improved cardiovascular fitness, more stamina, working out for a good cause if you run for charity—but seeing the number on the scale go down isn’t necessarily one of them. All the training you do to cross the finish line makes your body efficient at conserving energy so you can go the distance, and as you increase endurance, you’ll gradually start burning fewer calories during your runs. To meet your race goals and shed a few pounds in the process, supplement your running program with up to three resistance training workouts a week. Also switch out one day of running for a cross-training cardio workout or cardio interval training to help prevent injury and offer a new challenge to your cardiovascular system.

MYTH #6 – IF YOU DO ENOUGH CARDIO, YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT AND STILL LOSE

TRUTH:We wish! Not only do most of us (and the machines we work out on) overestimate how many calories we burn during our workouts, we underestimate how many calories we’re eating too. Exercise alone just isn’t effective enough to burn fat. A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately five pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone. That’s an awful lot of work for very minimal results, so don’t forget the “calories in” side of the equation and follow a healthy diet that delivers the calories you need to eat to lose weight. For a complete fitness and nutrition program, check out the 21 Day Weight Loss Jumpstart!

Let me know which myth you believe in the comments below!

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15 comments… add one
  • Rick P March 13, 2013, 6:22 pm

    I went to the gym the other day and couldn’t help but notice all the people that would jump from cardio machine to cardio machine and never touch a weight. After months and months they probably can’t understand why they haven’t changed.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 13, 2013, 6:40 pm

      It is a real shame Rick! Putting so much work and effort into something that isn’t helping!

      Reply
  • The Practical Social Media University March 13, 2013, 8:11 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Will keep that in mind to stay fit and healthy! have great Blogging Wednesday!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 13, 2013, 9:02 pm

      You’re welcome!

      Reply
  • Alan March 15, 2013, 12:19 pm

    I have lost 15 lbs since 2/02/2013 by just eating very little fat and eating lots of fruits and veggies, some beans. I am very strict on this and it works! Did I work out? Not much as I have some arthritis at age 62 that was bothering me. I went from 184 to 169, but from 9/2011 I have dropped 24 lbs. I did this with very little excercise. My goal is to start to exercise after the weight loss. My goal is 160 but I may go lower to 150 if it feels right. The KEY for this weight loss IMO is eating very little fat. When not consuming fat, your body uses up what it has stored and your excess fat just melts away. I eat no grains. My only fat is in a salad dressing. We make out own soup so the whole food plan is low fat, low sugar and low salt! I also found out years ago, the more you have to loose, it will come off faster until the last 20 lbs or so and then it gets a bit harder but it will still come off if you just stay the course! So no grains, or any kind of meat, poultry or fish. I eat fruis like a snack. I’t my breaksast. I have soup or salad for lunch and dinner and eat all I want. I drink coffee with a little half & half and artificial sweetner. I use S&W. On berries I use like 1/2 teaspoon natural sugar sprinkled on the berries but I only do this maybe 3-4 times a week. Salads we use a variety of veggies. Just don’t add starchy veggies or if you do, very little!

    Anyway, that has worked wonders for me. I have started using some weights and doing squats and the treadmill a little. Nothing major so far. Good luck all. I plan to be at my goal by June 1st! Alan

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 15, 2013, 12:28 pm

      Congrats Alan on that 15lbs! 160 sounds like a great goal. At 62, I would definitely recommend some strength training. There are many studies that have shown that strength training will help with bone density as we get older, as well as, help with the loss of muscle mass. Keep up the good work!

      Reply
      • Alan March 15, 2013, 12:36 pm

        I wanted to mention my height is 5’9″. Many years ago when I was about 28 I weighed 235 and lost 87 lbs and had got down to 148. But I was looking too thin in the face so I found that 160 was a good weight for me and probably still is. I actually am on a eating plan developed by someone else widely known. I will not mention it by name as I am in your website, but what I have written above works. I was very impressed with it and how easy it was. Never hungry!

        Reply
        • Lee Graves March 16, 2013, 1:42 pm

          I’m happy to hear that you’ve found something that works for you Alan and that you can stick to!

          Reply
  • Alvin March 16, 2013, 2:14 pm

    It is always good to review all this. I love it that you have the sections with huge letters, that way people who sometimes skip the paragraphs can still learn from the titles. Loved the post.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 16, 2013, 2:18 pm

      Thanks Alvin!

      Reply
  • Rick Repin March 17, 2013, 7:10 pm

    This is awesome!! Everyone’s bodies are different and we each have to figure out what works for us. Honestly people think that because I work out all the time that I can eat whatever I want! So very untrue.

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 23, 2013, 7:02 pm

      Spot on Rick!

      Reply
  • Jana Upper90Fitness March 20, 2013, 11:28 pm

    Great info Lee. In the past I was always one of those “cardio first” types…after having such great success with Les Mills PUMP, I am a HUGE believer in lifting weights and wish the message could get through to more women…on the other side of the coin is the Myth about weightlifting – you will not get BIG (unless you lift big, eat big, and supplement…and most women still wouldn’t have the ability to add a lot of mass). Thanks for all the relevant posts!

    Reply
    • Lee Graves March 23, 2013, 7:02 pm

      The more folks that get the message the better!

      Reply
  • Tammy Fuller March 23, 2013, 11:29 pm

    I enjoyed this post. You give great information and keep it simple. Thank you.

    Reply

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