There’s an unsightly affliction attacking gym-goers everywhere, and this might include you. It’s the syndrome of the ‘Chunky Fat Aerobics Instructor’ (a fantastic term, coined by Strength Coach and creator of the BioSignature method, Charles Poliquin). It’s defined by a big ole booty and ever-expanding thighs. Now I’m not being mean nor am I being facetious.
Chunky Fat Aerobics Instructor Syndrome is a real problem and in fact it’s one you could unwittingly be suffering from. Sure, you might not have heard the term before, but I’ll bet you’ve seen the ever-spreading (no pun intended) consequences of exposure to the syndrome.
I’m talking about the instructors who’ve been around for years, teaching up to 18 classes a week of mostly cardio. Of course, many sufferers of the syndrome are not instructors. No, they’re the cardio queens (and kings) that you meet in every gym. The people who go from class to class, and then do a little extra cardio afterwards, ‘just to be sure’. Or maybe they don’t even make it into the class, but just hang out in the cardio theatre, forever pounding or pushing those oh-so-pointless machines. An hour at lunch, another 40 minutes before dinner, and they’re sure to get a walk or run in at every other opportunity. You know the ones. You could even be one.
These are the people who get fatter with every passing year and wonder why they just can’t stop the bulge. Despairing at how unfair it is that they do waaay more exercise than many people but just can’t fight their ‘bad genes’.
Could this be you? Are you well and truly sucked into the cardio myth? Sure that it’s the answer to your fat loss problems despite the fact that it doesn’t seem to, well, um, work? And despite the fact that every cardio junkie you observe in the gym is overweight? It’s time to listen up and learn what cardio really does to those hips abs and thighs.
How To Avoid Chunky Fat Aerobic Instructor Syndrome
Here’s how it works: According to Coach Poliquin, clinical experience shows that aerobic exercise causes subcutaneous fat to be stored, and in particular it causes it to be stored on your legs and butt. What this means is that frequent aerobic exercise will cause blood fat to go up. This is a protective mechanism – your body is using foresight to provide energy in advance for all the aerobic work you will, based on past behavior, no doubt be doing in the future.
But that’s not all. In fact, that’s just step one of the big butt cardio problem. Step two is that your ever-so-smart body decides to be even more efficient. Why store fat in the blood as dangerous triglycerides when you could take those physique and health destroying fats and keep them somewhere even closer – like your muscles? Yep – after just 6 weeks of cardio your body adapts and then goes right ahead and converts as much food into fat as possible. Where does that fat go? Well, oh cardio worshiper, among other places it’s sent straight to the inside of your muscle cells, actually changing the density of those cells. Needless to say, this process is quite tough to reverse. Particularly if it’s been going on for a long time. But there are some things you can do –
- Switch the cardio room for the weights room. Regular weight training increases your basal metabolic rate and WILL result in body fat loss, unlike it’s well-marketed counterpart, cardio. Of course, the weight training must be quality. We’ve all seen people in the gym pretend to know what they’re doing with weights and barely raising a sweat, or – worse – ‘social training’.
- Detox those bad fats from your booty by eating enough good fat and minimising starchy carbohydrates in your diet. Good fats include coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, raw organic nuts and seeds, and a quality Omega-3 supplement. Do NOT just buy any old brand here – many shelf Omega-3’s are rancid. Go for practitioner brands or contact me to find out my preferred brands.
- Ensure you drink at least 0.033 litres of water for every kilo of your body weight. (That’s every day). Poor hydration is a sure way to gain weight, and it doesn’t make you feel too great either.
- If in doubt, remember what we’re designed for – moving heavy stuff, mainly in the form of pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, lunging, twisting. Running and jumping around like a crazy person doesn’t really figure unless it’s because your life is in jeopardy, and if you’re a regular reader then you’ll know what that means – you’re storing fat. Fast.
With all that in mind I hope that next time you schedule a cardio slash class sandwich, you’ll stop for just a moment and try to let go of the paranoia and the fear. That you’ll consider the possibility that maybe it’s not working for you because It. Just. Don’t. Work.
I realize this post is somewhat controversial so would love to hear your comments and personal experience. Have you been a cardio king or queen over the years? Or been there and given it up like me? What have your experiences been?
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