Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 8 - Exercise Myth

If I want to lose weight, I should do more cardio exercise. MYTH. 

Cardiovascular exercise is fantastic for your brain, circulatory system, and can burn calories. However, strength training raises resting metabolic rates for hours after a tough workout so you continue to burn calories long after you have left the gym!

What does 'Resting Metabolic Rate' mean? Your body is burning calories at all hours of the day. Processes in your body require energy to complete. These processes can include replacing/repairing tissue, digesting food, thinking, breathing, etc.

Unfortunately, most people seem to have 2 different training styles stuck in their head; cardio and resistance training. Why can't you combine them? Many people feel as though to burn calories and do "cardio", they should hop on the treadmill or elliptical, get their heart rate up to a respectable level and then keep it there for an extended period of time.

This is a common fallacy because unless you are training for a marathon, there is absolutely no need to keep an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time. Instead, why not add some total-body resistance work into your training and perform exercises in circuit (moving from one body part to the next with little to no break) so that you never stop moving. That way, you are working your muscles, but also getting "cardio" work at the same time. Remember, cardiovascular exercise means that you have an elevated heart rate, your body doesn't care if that's achieved from running or pushups!

Not only that, but oftentimes when individuals are 'doing cardio', they elevate their heart rate about mid-way to their max heart rate, then keep it there for an extended period of time, but never really pushing themselves to their max effort. By doing high-intensity interval exercises, your heart rate is climbing and falling multiple times throughout a workout which has been shown to be far more beneficial to overall health than steady-state cardiovascular exercise.

Quote of the day:
"Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still."
~Chinese Proverb