And you don’t have to starve yourself either.
Its almost the first thing most people think about when they think about burning fat. Long sessions of running, images of treadmills and jogging around a park for hours.
Often when I meet a new member at the gym and they tell me they just want to lose weight they almost immediately request I show/instruct them on which piece of cardio equipment will do the trick.
Now are they wrong? Of course not. Any exercise done consistently with garner results. But what about those of us who just dislike cardio and want to still drop the kilos without having to succumb to a diet that resembles that of a rabbit.
Quite simple. Get stronger, build some muscle and focus on dietary change.
Lets briefly go over why.
1.You’ll burn more calories over the course of the day (kinda)
As you get stronger, your body will start to develop more muscle. You’ll slowly require more food to keep up with your exercise routine (to fuel recovery etc.). Is this due to increased muscle mass? eh, kinda. You’ve probably heard somewhere that gaining muscle will increase your metabolism and allow you to eat 100’s of extra calories per day. Yeah – no. The real reason why you’ll burn more calories over the course of the day is more likely due to the fact that your body requires energy to rebuild muscle after a workout. See doing cardio doesn’t result in much muscle damage, weights training however does, and the process of rebuilding our muscle takes hours (24-36 hours in fact).
2. Look better naked.
Acquiring more muscle and focusing on dietary improvements will lead to a reduction of fat and increase in muscle mass. This is called is a change in body composition. What this will result in is a change in how you look but possibly little movement on the scales. And boy will you look better naked. Increasing your strength and improving body composition will leave you looking more firm and masculine than your cardio only counterparts.
3. Won’t have to starve yourself.
As mentioned earlier, an increase in strength and muscle will also increase the amount of calories your body requires to maintain it. What this means is that you’ll be able to eat more food than regular dieters. Traditionally this is the method of weight-loss advocated by misinformed individuals: “exercise lots, reduce your calorie consumption, and keep reducing it”. But what ends up happening is that an individual will reach a point where they reduce their food consumption so much that it will become very difficult, mentally, to maintain adherence. By participating in regular strength training you’ll get to eat more food whilst changing your body composition and looking better. Lock it in Eddie!
What if I really want to do cardio?
So if you really do want to do cardio, I’d suggest H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training) purely based on time efficiency. You can read more on HIIT cardio in a previous blog post. Click HERE
Or better yet, participate in sports. I’m a big advocate for sport participation wherever possible due to the team aspect and sense of belonging it develops. Oh and I guess the fitness component of it.
Hope you’re having a killer start to the week.
Chris ‘all weights, no cardio’ Watts.