Jan 6, 2021
In part 2 of this series with Dr. James Fisher, Brian and James
discuss the downsides of cardio and why so many people can’t seem
to resist binging after cardio exercise. Learn why cardio is
important and useful when done right, and how it can lead to even
worse health outcomes if not done properly.
- While improving heart health is great, it’s not everyone’s goal
when exercising or doing cardio. Weight loss is another major focus
and cardio can certainly help accomplish that.
- When doing cardio and exercising at a low enough intensity we
are using our aerobic energy system, and that’s reliant on our fat
stores as energy. So it’s easy to think that if you do cardio you
will burn fat, but the reality is that anything that raises our
energy expenditure and increases our metabolism is beneficial for
- Building muscle is great for maintaining a higher metabolism
and burning more fat.
- With a low-intensity exercise, we see an increase in our stress
hormones, as well as a fluctuation in our leptin and ghrelin
levels. These are the hormones responsible for hunger and they
regulate how our body replenishes and restores calories. When we do
higher resistance training we don’t get the same hunger response.
The big problem is that going for a long run or bike ride may feel
great, but the following hunger response may undo all the work you
- More movement and more steps in a day is a good place to start,
but if you go out and start running, cycling, or swimming you are
going to swim against the tide and your body will start to resist
- Increasing muscle mass is about increasing the quality of our
body composition, and that itself is increasing our metabolism. If
you look at the bigger picture, cardio alone doesn’t lay the
foundation for long-term weight loss.
- Studies generally show that the weight loss that occurs from
cardio and a caloric reduction is 50% muscle, which is probably the
worst possible outcome, especially as we age. Whereas if we perform
resistance training and pay attention to protein intake the weight
loss is almost exclusively fat.
- When people say they want to lose weight, they mean they want
to lose fat. We need to do something that allows us to hang on to
the muscle we’ve got. Starting with resistance training, and then
nutrition, with cardio as a tertiary thought is the best method to
achieve fat loss and optimal long term health.
- If we do what it takes to protect our muscle with proper
nutrition and strength training, the weight that we lose leads to a
better body composition since fat takes up so much space on the
- Start with resistance training and nutrition, then add cardio
if you feel like it.
- When we think of older adults we think of frailty, despite the
fact that they are often lean. The reason they are frail is because
they are not carrying a high proportion of muscle mass. If we do
resistance training and focus on maintaining as much muscle mass as
we can when we age, we are setting ourselves up to be lean and
functional as we age instead of merely frail.
- An epoc is Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, it’s also
known as the afterburn effect. When performing high effort exercise
our heart rate is elevated for a time after the exercise is
complete but with low-intensity exercise, there is almost no
after-effect. The energy expenditure from prolonged low effort
exercise is about the same as interval training or resistance
training a third of the duration. A 20-minute high-intensity
workout has the same energy expenditure as a 1-hour run.
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