Free weights

Is Cardiovascular exercise that good for you?

“This one is aimed at those cardio fans out there in gym world. I can see you now, jogging along on the treadmill, then onto the bike, then the cross trainers and maybe a bit on the rower then onto those stomach exercises. Day after day working hard on those machines burning body fat and losing weight!”

Or are you??

Did you know that if you carry on training like this then you will lose weight but it will be muscle weight not body fat. You may hit that target weight on the scales but it may be more fat than muscle!

Why?

To answer this you need to rethink your ideas about weight and fat. They are not the same. Your weight is made up of bones, internal organs (e.g. brain, lungs etc), muscle and fat. You cannot do anything about bones and internal organs but fat and muscle you can. If I was to ask if you wanted to lose fat or muscle, most people would say fat.

So, to lose fat you need to increase your metabolism and use up your stored energy. Your stored energy is body fat. But your body fat is also a survival tool. If you were to go hungry for a few days your body will store more body fat to sustain it through this lean spell. It will lose muscle because muscle needs a lot of calories to keep it working.

So, if you are doing an excessive amount of cardio you will start to burn away muscle and your metabolism will drop. As it drops your body holds onto fat thinking it will experience a lean time ahead.

Muscle weighs more than fat so you may hit your target weight but it will be fat, bone and internal organs.

So, do weights to reverse this muscle loss, increase your metabolism, burn fat and ignore the scales.

See an instructor to book in for your free review to measure body fat/muscle percentages and to give you a new programme

By Mark Dopson
Reynolds at Rainham

06/07/2009