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The Cardio Myth

 Most of us make the mistake of thinking that doing endless hours of cardio is the answer to losing belly fat. It is not.  Before I transformed my body, I too, was a victim of the cardio fat loss myth. I used to do endless hours of cardio all the time and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight or my belly fat. 

I was frumpy, frustrated and looked like a perpetual “before” picture despite my efforts.

While endurance cardio does have its benefits, and burns calories while you are performing the activity, the downside is that it does not help preserve or maintain muscle mass.

What’s the solution???
What you want to do is prevent muscle loss and boost your metabolism.  To do this you want to increase the intensity of your exercise with strength training and body weight interval training aka burst training.

Strength training will help you build, maintain and preserve muscle mass.  Muscle is what gives your body shape, is metabolic and boosts your metabolism. 

Body weight interval training boosts metabolism and improves fitness.  Body weight interval training consists of short bursts of exercise, such as sprinting, where you are doing high intense bursts of exercise for 30-60 seconds and allowing 30-60 seconds of recover.  You want to repeat this cycle for 3-5 minutes to get the metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of this type of training so there’s no need to be on a treadmill, stair stepper, elliptical, etc., for an hour or more.

For more in-depth information on this, refer to my article The Physiological Benefits of Exercise

No more wasting time on the hamster wheel
Stop wasting endless hours of time on the hamster wheel running yourself no where  and not getting the results you want.  When you combine burst training and strength training in your workouts, you’re burning fat, building muscle and improving your strength.  It’s a win-win combination.

Putting it all together
When I put my workouts together for myself and for my clients, my first 2 exercises are always high intense burst training exercises that get your heart rate up followed by intense resistance training exercises.

For instance, I may start out doing 4 intervals of speed skaters in 30 second bursts with 30 seconds rests and follow that up with 3 sets of 15 reps of body weight jump squats with 30 seconds rest between sets and then move on to 5 sets of 8 reps of Barbell Squats, 8 sets of 5 reps on the leg press, 4 sets of 12 reps of Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlifts and finish off with 4 intervals of mountain climbers in 30 second spurts with 30 seconds rest.

The video below is an example of a shoulder workout where you are combining burst training with strength training.




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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By Andrew Poletto | Reply

    Shari, this is so true! I always tell people that just doing long cardio will NOT change your body shape. You MUST do some sort of strength or interval training. You are right on track with this post. Great Job!

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