Why Cardio is Making You Fat
If you think that getting on a treadmill will guarantee you lose weight, you may be in for a surprise.
To explain why, let's start off talking about your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body converts food into energy or, conversely, stores it as fat. As we age, the metabolism naturally slows down and the amount of calories we need gets lower, meaning if we eat the same number of calories every day at age 50 as we did at age 20, we would have gained a significant amount of weight.
So why is cardio making you fat? Well, if all you do is steady state (maintaining the same speed) cardio, odds are you are actually slowing it down even further. That's not to say you aren't burning calories, you are! But steady state cardio is shown to reduce your muscle mass which is a huge part of your metabolism.
There are a few ways to counter this, the main one being to increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns a lot more calories at rest than fat does, and as we age, we naturally lose muscle. You don't have to become a bodybuilder to gain the benefits of this, even gaining a few pounds of lean muscle will make a huge difference in your metabolism.
Now, this isn't to say that incorporating steady state cardio into your routine is bad. It can actually be quite an effective tool to help you burn calories and strengthen your cardiovascular systems. But it needs to be done in conjunction with resistance training. If you feel overwhelmed in creating a plan that helps you burn calories, increase muscle mass, and rev your metabolism, schedule a complimentary assessment with us today.
Ramsey Bergeron owns and operates Bergeron Personal Training in Scottsdale, AZ. He is an NASM CPT, 7-time Ironman, and former spokesperson for a national supplement company. He has been seen in Men's Health Magazine among other periodicals and over 40 million newspapers across the country. He is also an expert contributor to various online fitness articles. He also founded Bergeron Adventure Travel which he uses to motivate clients to by preparing them for and leading them on hikes and trips around the world. Having led groups over the Inca Trail in Peru and the Milford Sound in New Zealand, he is currently planning a trip for his clients in 2018 to hike the Lysefjord in Norway.