I have a couple of questions for you.
- Why do you exercise?
- How long do you exercise for at a time and how many times a week?
If the answer to 1 is because you are in training for a particular sporting event such as a triathlon or marathon then I expect the answers to 2 are 5 days a week and in excess of an hour a day.
Fair enough, I’m not going to argue with you if you are in training.
If you answered 1 as ‘to lose/maintain my weight’ or ‘improve/maintain my fitness’ as I suspect the majority of you will have. But how many of you answered 2 similar to those that are in training?
Do you know you don’t need to spend so much time exercising or undertaking fitness. In fact you may be doing your body more harm than good.
For years people have been told to lose weight and burn fat by doing cardio workouts at a low to medium intensity, which they call the fat burning zone. I still see people in gyms literally on a cardio machine for hours, watching the TV or reading books!? I never ever trained like that myself even when the industry was telling everybody to train like that. Spending hours on a cardio machine is not my idea of fun; I wanted to get in and get out as soon as I could.
My research lead me to do high intensity sprints over a period of 16 minutes because doing lots of long sessions of cardio was detrimental to losing weight, which is backed up with years of scientific research.
Yes, too much cardio is bad for weight loss!
Here are three shocking scientific facts that reveal exactly Why You’re NOT Getting the Fat Loss Results You Deserve if you undertake long sessions of cardio:
FAT FACT 1: Cardio Makes You Gain Fat Around Your Belly, Thighs, Hips, and Legs
Most people believe that the key to losing fat and getting in shape is to spend lots of time running on a treadmill.
But that’s dead wrong.
You see, long, slow and boring cardio actually trains your body to store fat. It makes your body guard its fat closer than a hungry dog guards his food.
I know you’ve seen that famous button on the treadmill that reads: “Fat Burning Zone” but that button should really be called the “Fat STORING Zone” because that’s the real effect it has on your body.
When you spend 30, 40 or even 50 minutes pounding away on the treadmill, you send your body a powerful signal to start storing fat instead of burning it.
It’s all in your hormones.
Here’s what smart scientists know:
According to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, people who performed lots of cardio suffered from decreased T3 hormone production.
T3 is the hormone produced by your thyroid to burn fat. When you do cardio, your body reacts to the stress by suppressing this fat burning hormone. This means your body starts gaining fat immediately. Why? Because your body needs the fat to function.
But it gets worse…
Doing cardio also puts massive amounts of stress on your body.
According to a 2011 study in the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, Cardio increases the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is associated with inflammation which in turn underpins heart disease, cancer and visceral belly fat. That’s the kind of fat that hangs around your waist and gives you that disgusting pear shape.
If cortisol and T3 weren’t bad enough…
During long, slow and boring cardio – your appetite also increases.
Have you ever CRAVED sugary food after you finish a long run?
I’m sure you have and it’s all because your body gets very greedy for food after you finish your cardio session.
In fact, your body overreacts to cardio like a dramatic teenager, causing you to eat more and more food. Even worse, you always end up eating more fat-gaining calories AFTER you work out which means that you gain more and more weight.
A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that:
After cardio exercise, the subjects end up eating 100 calories more than they just burned off.
Researchers have even found that people on a long term cardio plan actually GAIN weight instead of losing it.
A 2006 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that runners who ran the same distance or slightly more each week had LARGER waistlines at the end of the 9 year study.
FAT FACT 2: Cardio DAMAGES Your Heart, Joints, and Back
In 1977, Jim Fixx published The Complete Book of Running. In 1984, Jim Fixx died of a massive heart after his daily run.
He was 52 years old.
Fixx is the misguided man behind the entire cardio craze.
Even Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the founder of aerobics, recently admitted that he was WRONG about cardio. In his latest book, he said there is “no correlation between ‘aerobic’ endurance performance and healthy, longevity or protection against heart disease.
You see, cardio overworks your heart causing scarring and can lead to death by massive heart attack, all because your body has not evolved to handle long, slow and boring cardio.
The man who ran the first marathon, the Greek soldier Pheidippides, dropped dead as he arrived in Athens with news of victory. We weren’t meant to run marathons!
So not only does cardio damage your heart, it also wrecks your joints.
When running, did you know that every time your foot hits the treadmill or pavement it experiences 3 times your bodyweight in impact stress?
That means that if you weigh 200 pounds, every stride you take puts 600 pounds of pressure on your legs and back.
What do you think happens next?
Your joints aren’t used to having 600 pounds of pressure on them. Your cartilage breaks down and you get searing pain in your knees, hips, ankles, feet and back.
Every single step sends a shockwave through your entire lower body, which can cripple you. You’ve seen former runners suffer and limp along. They need knee replacements at 45 or have chronic overuse injuries that prevent them from walking without pain.
FAT FACT 3: Cardio Makes Your Entire Body Age Faster
You’ve now seen how cardio makes you fat and how it ruins your heart and cripples your joints. But cardio also ages your entire body…
A recent article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that:
Cardio causes immense oxidative damage and a flood of free radicals to the body.
Free radicals are molecules that cause rapid aging in your body. During cardio, your body is filled with free radicals that wander around your bloodstream and attack your cells like a street thug.
Not only do free radicals cause damage to all your organs…doing long and slow cardio also damages your skin and makes you look older.
Dr. Laurence Kirwan, a plastic surgeon, claims that cardio can damage facial tissue and cause skin to sag. You see, cardio actually ages your skin and gives you that leathery, unattractive wrinkled look before your time.
That’s why you see runners who are in their forties with a wrinkled face like a 60-year old sun-worshipper. Their skin sags down and their face is a wrinkled mess.
Since long and slow cardio wasn’t the answer, I searched for a solution that would help me actually lose that stubborn fat without any of the side effects mentioned above.
What I discovered surprised me.
The solution is 2 to 3 workouts per week using short burst intervals that last no more than 20 minutes (including warm up and cool down).
My results were astonishing.
My fat body melted away and my new body made friends and family JEALOUS.
In less than 60 minutes PER WEEK I was burning off all my nasty body fat and I wasn’t a slave to the gym.
The program I followed and continue to follow (once a week for maintenance mode) is called PEAK 8 Sprint Training.
Researchers at East Tennessee State University compared PEAK 8-style workouts against long, slow and boring cardio.
After 8 weeks of training, they found that the interval sprints-style workout burned 200% more fat than the long, slow boring cardio.
Another study, published in the prestigious journal Metabolism proved that
PEAK 8-style workouts burned 450% more body fat than traditional, long, slow and boring cardio.
Sprinters train in short sharp, bursts to help them stay lean, fit and young and they have plenty of energy to enhance the other areas of their lives – family, business and health.
Burn More Calories
The high intensity nature of PEAK 8 Sprint Training enables users to burn calories at a greater rate than most other forms of exercise. This widely accepted scientific principle of EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) more commonly know as AFTERBURN.
In short PEAK 8 Sprint Training burns fat and causes your body to continue burning fat for hours and days after your workout is complete.
So how do you do it?
PEAK 8 can be undertaken in the gym using a static bike, recumbent or an elliptical machine. Treadmills can be used but you have to modify your routine slightly to cater for the speeding up and slowing down of the treadmill. PEAK 8 can be undertaken outside the gym too by running, on a bike or even swimming.
Warm up for 2 minutes (dynamic movement). Once you are warmed up you can move straight onto your first sprint. Push as hard as you can for 30 seconds; the first 15 seconds you will feel ok then the last 15 you will start to feel uncomfortable, muscles will burn and you will be come breathless. After the sprint come off the pace but keep moving (if you are just starting out, stop if you need too but start moving again as soon as you feel able). This recovery period last for 90 seconds. (Tip: Use an interval timer). Repeat the 30 second sprint and 90 second recovery another 7 times.
If you are new to fitness or just out of condition undertake 2 to 3 sprint cycles to start with and add one each time you undertake the workout until you reach the magic 8 sprints. Never go above 8 sprints however if you want extra challenge increase resistance on the machines or run or cycle up a hill.
I recommend that you wear a heart rate monitor to keep an eye on what your heart does through the workout. Rule of thumb is your maximum heart rate is calculated by taking your age off 220. PEAK 8 peaks your heart rate 8 times and by intervals 7 and 8 you should be meeting and possibly slightly exceeding your maximum heart rate. (Naturally, STOP immediately if you feel any pain or start feeling dizzy.)
When you undertake the sprints you are engaging your super-fast muscle fibres. This in turns on the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH”). (Note that long, slow cardio does not engage super-fast muscle fibres and therefore no HGH is produced). HGH has numerous biochemical properties but 3 that of note are that:
- its production burns fat,
- it builds lean muscle and
- it has anti-aging properties.
HGH production can halted in its tracks by consuming sugar so it’s is very important that you consume no sugar within 2 hours of completing a PEAK 8 workout. This also means no fruit as fruit contains fructose… a sugar.
You won’t have to wait weeks or months to start seeing and feeling the results of your hard work. From day one, your body will turn into a fat burning machine.
Even though you’ll see rapid fat loss results, another important change will happen in your body…
…you’ll start to feel younger and more energetic.
Imagine for a moment what it will feel like when you have all the energy you need to enjoy your busy life.
You’ll be able to work hard at your career. You’ll feel more satisfied in the office. You’ll have the energy to tackle big projects and get the results you deserve.
You’ll have the energy to enjoy playing with your kids when you get home at night.
You’ll feel happy and excited to be with your spouse again. And frankly, they’ll be happy and excited to be with the new, thinner and sexier you.
It’s time to train intelligently and effectively and it is time to start now, right here today.
- Stop doing long cardio sessions
- Undertake PEAK 8 Sprint Training 2 to 3 times a week
- No sugar consumption within a 2 hour period after you complete a PEAK 8 workout
- Read the article on the correct nutrition to complement your fat burning goals
- Subscribe to my mailing list to receive up to date effective health tips and informative effective health articles
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