Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Myth number 2) To lose weight, I need to do lots of cardio

Myth number 2) To lose weight, I need to do lots of cardio

Imagine a glass. In your mind fill this glass with three parts water and one part olive oil. As you know, water and oil don't readily mix so the oil will float on top of the water. This glass represents your total body weight; the water represents your lean tissue (muscle, bones and internal organs) and the oil representing your body fat. Most exercisers are only concerned with what they weigh, not what that weight is made up of (correctly termed body composition). Using our glass analogy it would be easy to pour off either liquid and reduce the contents of the glass, however, the reality is we want to keep the water (lean body tissue) and ditch the oil (fat). Getting rid of muscle and keeping fat is just pure madness, but with someone who exclusively uses cardio exercise for weight management, that's exactly what they're doing.

Cardiovascular exercise is essential for our health - it keeps the heart, lungs and circulatory system in tip-top condition, and also burns energy (calories) when we're doing it. However, because your body is the master adapter and responds to the stress you put upon it, it will do everything it can to make cardiovascular exercise easier. The body lays down new capillaries to aid in oxygen delivery and lactic acid removal, grows bigger/more cells called mitochondria to produce more energy giving ATP, makes the heart bigger and stronger and improves the function of the lungs to increase the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, and rids it self of any extra muscle not actively used in the chosen cardiovascular activity. Think about it. Muscle is vascular - it needs oxygen to survive. Even when you are running, the muscles of your upper body still need large amounts of oxygen. To increase the amount of oxygen available for the running muscles in the legs, it makes sense from a survival perspective to get rid of some of the redundant muscle mass of the upper body. It's like trimming unnecessary weight off of a car chassis to give greater performance.

This is all well and good for runners wanting to run faster or further, but for someone who wants to control their body fat and look good, this is about the worst possible thing you can do. Muscle needs fuel (food). Less muscle = less food required. We call the daily amount of energy you need your Basal Metabolic Rate - or BMR for short. The resulting loss of muscle mass lowers your BMR resulting in an energy surplus which will most likely turn into fat when that energy is not used. A two pound loss of muscle will result in a approximate 70 kcal drop in daily energy requirements. This means our aerobic loving exerciser will lose muscle, gain fat and look worse than they did before starting their exercise regime.

What is the best way to maintain/gain lean tissue I hear you ask? The answer is "Lift weights". It's a simple case of use it or lose it. The body will maintain/increase its muscle mass if that muscle is being called on regularly to perform work.

A small increase in muscle mass will result in a higher daily BMR which means our exerciser will need more energy on a daily basis, and if they are under eating, that extra energy will have to come from body fat stores. So, the take home message is that a combination of cardio and weight training is best for fat loss. Weight loss can occur when we lose muscle but the reality is that it's the fat we need to lose, and keep the muscle.


👉 Introduction : Women, Weight and Weight Training
👉 Myth number 1) Strength training will cause big, bulky muscles and make woman look masculine.
👉 Myth number 2) To lose weight, I need to do lots of cardio.
👉 Myth number 3) To tone up I need to do lots of reps with a light weight.
👉 Myth number 4) Free weights for men, machines for women.
👉 Myth number 5) Muscle turns to fat when you stop training - I don't want that to happen to me!
👉 Myth number 6) Strength training makes muscles short and bulky - I want long slender muscles like a dancer so I do yoga instead.
👉 Myth number 7) Strength training just takes too long and I have to go too often - I don't have time!
👉 Myth 8) I can't strength train because I have back/knees/shoulder pain.

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