By: Charles R Poliquin May 16, 2014
There are two main types of mistakes when you are using cardio for fat loss. Many people use cardio for fat loss, and yet are quite frustrated with the lack of results. It is probably because they make two main mistakes when using it.
Mistake 1: They are always performing low-intensity, “steady-state” cardiovascular work. With low-intensity, steady-state cardiovascular work, your body reaches maximal adaptations usually after six to eight weeks…for life. Therefore, it is better to move on to interval training if you want very rapid results in fat loss. And although the dogma of the aerobics gurus calls for one single cardiovascular training protocol for maximum weight loss, research suggests otherwise.
Further, the notion that low-intensity cardiovascular work is superior to high-intensity work was refuted years ago in a study published in the July 1994 issue of Metabolism, “Impact of Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism.” The authors reported, “The results of the present study show that for a given level of energy expenditure, a high-intensity training program includes a greater loss of subcutaneous fat compared with a training program of moderate intensity.”
Mistake 2:They perform cardiovascular work before strength training. There is a maxim that says “First things first.” Using that logic, trainers may recommend working on the fat burning first by performing cardiovascular work before the workout. In reality, the reverse is true: Emptying your glycogen stores through strength training actually primes the fat-burning process in the cardio program that follows.
Further, performing cardio before weights actually makes you weaker, as the blood pH drops because of the cardio, hampering the ability to recruit high-threshold fibers.
Charles R Poliquin