I just read a rather hysterically toned article addressing how doing traditional cardio for weight loss is not only going to make you fat, it will probably make you so fat that YOU WILL DIE.
By traditional cardio I mean all your classic movement workouts: aerobics, running, elliptical, dancing, bicycling, just to name a few.
While I do believe that weight training to ensure that your body has an adequate amount of metabolically active muscle on it which will happily burn calories all the time, even when not in use, I still find this article to be both disingenuous and a bit histrionic.
Yes, I agree that muscle training is more important than cardio. I also have long crusaded to try and convince women that they need embrace the idea of building up their muscles, not fear that their breasts will vanish and they’ll become veiny, bulging bodybuilders. Additionally, weight training at home is easy, inexpensive and takes up relatively little space in your house. It also gives you a feeling of quick gratification as you see the amounts you can lift and reps you’re capable of doing go up from week to week.
Also, it's true that most exercise related injuries occur during cardio. All of the ones I've suffered (and I have had a lot) happened when I was moving too strenuously past my fitness level during a cardio workout or just being clumsy and not careful enough with my fragile ankles and hips while moving.
However, movement is always better than no movement. Taking a run, or a walk, or dancing along to Just Dance 3 will always be better for you than sitting on your sofa watching Pirates of the Caribbean (even if Jack Sparrow does increase your heart rate some). If you are moving, you are burning more calories than if you are sitting.
The difference is this: from a long term goal perspective, cardio burns calories while you’re doing cardio whereas weight training burns calories all the time. So for me, you can see why one is a more attractive prospect than the other.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; women do not have enough testosterone to significantly get big from weight training if they’re simply doing it moderately – such as a half hour to forty minutes three to four times per week.
Me, I do both. I try to weight train at least three times a week and then supplement that with another two to three sessions of dancing, taking a walk, gardening or cleaning my house.
Yes I’m still fat. No – it is definitely, absolutely not because I do cardio. The sugar and fat filled desserts and salty fatty snacks I’m helplessly addicted to are far more likely to be the culprit. Or, the culprit may be completely beyond my control – I’m still doing research to try and puzzle all that out.
Kind of reminds me of that guy I met in a weight loss support group who was convinced he’d gained weight that week from eating six grapes. Not even a whole bunch of them – just six.
Denial. Not just a river in Egypt.
|You will not wind up looking like this (although personally, I wouldn't mind looking like them at all!)