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Be Inspired: How This Reader Rapidly Lost Fat

May 13th, 2010

You know how I’m always talking about cardio as one of the greatest evils of the exercise world? The fact that most of what the health industry teaches on the matter is absolute rubbish, that many experts believe it’s a complete waste of time, that it can exacerbate stress and cause you to store fat faster, and that certain types in particular will build up your booty in a most unwelcome manner?

Well I’m guessing that even if you want to believe me on all that, it’s kinda hard to do so. I understand. The fear of dropping cardio down was with me for years, and even once I did so and noticed the weight melt off I still felt bad about it. Which is pretty ridiculous, but hey, that’s what years of conditioning (brainwashing) does to you.

Anyway. I thought this email from a fellow reader might help you make up your mind to take the leap of faith.

Hi Kat,

I am good, thank you – thanks for following up.  I have hit a
strange phenomenon for me though.  I had to go about a month without
exercising (cardio), and I lost a lot of weight (including fat) and my eating was so in control.

Now that I am allowed to exercise again, the weight piles back on
and my eating is more out of control.  I am slowly losing the
motivation to exercise (other than lifting weights) – as I can now
see my body does better when it is not under the stress of constant cardio exercise.

Is this what happened to you when you cut right down on the cardio?
I don’t want to lose my cardiovascular fitness though!

Vicki

Just to allay any concerns on the fitness side of thing, here’s part of my answer to Vicki, plus my take on fitness.

Hi Vicki

That’s good news! I did think the exercise was too much of a source of stress for you …. great that you’ve had it ‘proven’ to you!

With myself, it wasn’t so sudden because my diet was still a mess when I dropped cardio. But I have had lots of clients who also notice almost an overnight change when they drop cardio. And because cardio increases cortisol it leads to cravings, which is why you are more in control of your diet when you’re not doing it!

On the fitness side of things, the latest research I was shown in a recent course update indicated that weight training is just as effective for cardiovascular health, and I certainly know from clinical experience that HIIT training (which I don’t put in the same category as cardio) coupled with well-structured anaerobic weight training can result in what os often higher fitness than that of repetitive and ultimately stressful endurance work.

Oh – and if you absolutely cannot give up cardio, then be sure to check out this article on how to makeover your routine and finally get lean!

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6 people have commented
  1. Rad says:

    Hi Kat,

    I also wonder if my loss of 2-3 kgs in 1.5 weeks I mentioned today has been to the fact that I’ve reduced protion sizes but also that I’m not doing any football training? By this time I would have completed 4 training sessions for an hour to an hour and a half.

    Based on your thoughts re cardio vs HIIT what are your thoughts for people who like sports like football where aerobic and anaerobic energy is required as well as sport-specific muscle conditioning?

  2. Kat Eden says:

    For sports specific conditioning I believe that the best performance will come from weights couple with a combination of sprinting, jumping and throwing. Strongman training is also very effective. I don’t think that aerobic training is of benefit. I know that’s very against the grain! But time and time again I’ve seen people’s performance soar after taking time off (usually cause they had to – injury!) from aerobic training. I believe this is due to the detoxification of cortisol and thus inflammation that comes when taking a break from aerobic. Of course it could also be as simple as just the fact that taking a break from anything once in a while allows performance to boost!

  3. Consider me a “brother in arms” against Cardio Kat!! haha … Although, I truly enjoy a run, I save it for sporadic and random days when I’m just “feeling it.” It’s a tough battle to get this through the minds of all those out there looking to shed the LB’s… We’ve been taught that harder training equates to better results. Those that experiment and realize that low intensity cardio or no cardio coupled with a consistent weight training program will be the ones who reap the rewards of their efforts.

    Thanks Kat!

    Patrick Hitches

  4. Kat says:

    Thanks Patrick, always great to have some support! I think you’re right in saying experimentation is key … I’m fine with people sticking with traditional methods of fat loss if they can honestly say they’ve tried a more modern (i.e. HIIT, circuit training, proper heavy lifting) approach. Can’t knock something you haven’t tried!

  5. I hear ya big time Kat!! Keep preaching the weights and soon … SOON the day will come when the skinny fatty’s of the world will hop off the tread and spend their time where it needs to be spent – In the squat rack! 🙂

    Cheers!

    Patrick

  6. […] Be Inspired: How This Reader Rapidly Lost Fat […]