All of my weight loss programs revolve around weight lifting. I don’t use any traditional “cardio” in my weight loss programs at all, which seems to confuse people at first…until I explain the hows and whys.
Over the years people have been led to believe that the best way to lose weight it to spend endless hours doing cardio because that is what burns the most fat. Wrong. Actually cardio is being proved more and more to actually be very ineffective for weight loss. This is why most people quit their weight loss program. They will do endless hours of cardio, which is extremely boring and hardly lose any weight. They just figure it is too hard and they end up quitting. Little did they know is that if they had a different program that they probably would have succeeded, or had a way better chance at the very least. So why is weight training superior to cardio for weight loss?
- Cardio raises cortisol. Long duration cardio raises the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes the body to hold on to fat…especially around the mid-section.
- Cardio is boring. Most people find cardio extremely boring…myself included. I have never heard once from anyone that they find weight training boring.
- Weight training increase growth hormone production. Growth hormone is a potent anti aging and fat burning hormone that is released by the body. Cardio does not raise GH production.
- Weight training produces an “afterburn.” After you train with weights your metabolism is raised for many hours afterward. When you do cardio your metabolism goes back to baseline shortly after you are done.
- Weight training increases metabolism. Weight training causes a person to put on muscle. Each pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories/day just be being there. So if you put on 5 lbs of muscle your body will burn and extra 250 calories/day. Cardio does not do this. In fact cardio can slow down metabolism in that it actually breaks down muscle tissue.
- Cardio should be avoided by strength and power athletes at all costs. Cardio will cause the fast twitch muscle fibers-which are responsible for strength and power to take on characteristics of slow twitch fibers. Thus being able to produce less strength and power.
All of the reasons I have just stated why weight training is superior to cardio for weight loss can only be seen if the weight training program is designed properly. Some weight training programs can actually be ineffective for weight loss as well. You must pay special attention to exercise selection, reps, sets, rest period, and tempo. All of these factors can be manipulated to give more or less fat loss. It is also important to note that any program should only be done for about 6 session before you must change it. It is shown that after 6 sessions your body adapts to the stress and the program becomes less effective. This is why I will always change my weight loss programs after 6 sessions. Exercise selection, reps, sets, rest period, and tempo will change from program to program to make sure maximum fat loss is seen.