Why our Clients Don’t Use Treadmills and Ellipticals Anymore…
That was no typo; we always encourage you to work out and be active, but we want to be sure you are always working toward your GOALS. Many women think that more cardio will get them closer to their goals, right? WRONG! Here are some reasons our clients have traded their traditional cardio workouts (i.e. time on the treadmill and elliptical) for other, often shorter, workouts.
1. Steady state cardio doesn’t promote fat loss.
Cardio is excellent for heart health. So, if you love logging hours on a cardio machine, go for it. Just beware that if your goal is fat loss, high intensity intervals have been proven over and over again to promote much faster and more effective fat loss in women. If your exercise goals are related to fat loss, make sure you’re not wasting your time on cardio that will not deliver the results you’re looking for in a timely manner.
2. Longer cardio workouts increase the stress hormone cortisol.
Long, steady state workouts can result in increased cortisol levels, which lead to a suppressed immune system and tendency to break down muscle and more fat storage to the abdomen area. Simply put, prolonged cardio at the same pace can give you extra fat around your middle, instead of reducing it.
3. Prolonged cardio results in increased catabolic state.
When your body is in a catabolic state, the body begins to waste muscle, which is critical in losing/burning fat. Building and maintaining lean muscle mass is essential for long term weight loss. This is why our clients get such great results in our transformation programs – they get strong and that makes them lean.
4. Overdoing the same kind of workout increases your chance of injury.
When you do the same kind of exercise over and over and over, you dramatically increase your risk of overuse injuries. With cardio, these injuries are often in the form of knee, hip or back problems. In addition to your body wearing down from the repetitive motion, you are at risk for injury, particularly if you’re not doing strength training as well as cardio.
5. Cardio does not help you build lean muscle.
Resistance training is widely recognized as the best way to build muscle and tone. More muscle allows the body to more effectively burn fat. It also keeps your metabolic rate up so you burn more calories all day and all night – yes, even while you sleep. Women must consider strength training to be of equal or greater importance to cardio training if long term weight loss is your goal. A few minutes of strength training after a long cardio session is not going to help you get stronger and leaner. Resistance training and varied, cardio interval workouts like we do in our classes are key for long term, sustainable weight loss.
So, now what do you do with your valuable workout time? Assess your fitness goals. If you want to run a marathon because that has always been a dream of yours, that’s great! You should follow a program specific to that. If you want to lose 10-50 pounds, like most of our clients, then you should be focusing on these things to keep your workouts effective and goal specific:
- – Go with a circuit-training workout with high/low intensity intervals. These are the kinds of workouts you’ll find in all our classes.
- – Be sure strength training is a cornerstone of your workout program.
- – If you are doing cardio on a machine, such as the treadmill or ellipitcal, vary your intensity frequently. Utilize rest periods appropriately, so that you can also have intense work phases in each workout.
- – Find a group or environment that supports your goals and gives you some accountability. Our boot camps are well known for both of these components. We know how to make your workout fun and challenging at the same time, with your desired fitness goals in mind. We coach you through varied workouts specifically designed to help you gain lean muscle mass and burn body fat through improving your metabolic output around the clock. Our clients find that in addition to amazing results, they feel more confident and empowered than ever after learning how to workout so efficiently and effectively.