Cardio Does NOT Make You FAT!

I saw a blog article posted online, and immediately found so much wrong with it. I’m not going to say anything negative about the author, because that wouldn’t help matters, but I will say that putting purely one-sided information out there (without citations, I must add), can lead to unintended consequences. I am certified by 3 different agencies for group fitness and aquatic fitness, and am also working on my Personal Trainer certification (expect to achieve by April 10). My qualifications aside, the data from any one study can easily be countered by another, especially if you consider whose side a study is being funded by or written for.

Cardio does NOT make you fat! Lifting weight does NOT make you bulk up! Fat gain / loss is a mathematical calculation – caloric intake minus expenditure will equal either a surplus or deficit. The quality of those calories also plays a part. The body gets energy from calories, and grams of everything we put in our bodies have varying levels of energy to fuel us. Knowing how you workout and what you consume will help you tailor your diet to your physical activity levels in order to achieve goals that are specific to you. You should seek the help of a nutritionist for assistance here.

Remember this: an overall lean physique (i.e. a six-pack) begins at the mouth, not at the feet! Just because you do an hour of cardio every day does NOT mean you can now splurge and consume that Burger and Fries, washing it down with a Milkshake!

It is true that your body will adapt to exercise methodologies, so I always suggest to my clients to constantly change up how they are working out! THAT is how you counter the adaptation principle. If you only lift weights, your body adapts, so you’ll always need to be increasing your weight and/or repetitions. If you only do cardio, you consistently need to change how your body is working for that same cardio burn and/or increase / alternate your activity levels. Multiple studies prove that intermittent and interval training (i.e. Zumba, HIIT, Tabata, etc) work the best to combat the adaptation principle in cardio.

A balanced workout approach, lifting weights AND cardiovascular exercise, is the best way to combat a varied diet for a maximum overall health benefit. My prescription to everyone is this: find the cardio that you like, work in some weight lifting, and find the balance that works for your lifestyle. If you start getting too comfortable, CHANGE IT UP!

Here’s the blog I saw posted, simply for reference, in case you are interested in the perspective that made me write all this out:

http://blogs.denverpost.com/fitness/2013/11/23/is-your-cardio-routine-making-you-fat/13461/