For decades, cardiovascular exercise was touted as the panacea method to lose those pesky pounds. Walking, running, aerobic and spin classes: these sorts of workouts would lead you to the promised land of less fat. Whether or not this cardio push was more the result of an industry trend or the wide-spread advice of health care professionals is up for debate, but the fact remains that, for a long time, cardio was widely considered the Queen of Weight Loss.
Things have changed. Now, fitness and health care pros know that while traditional, steady state cardiovascular training can help with weight loss, you do not actually need to do this sort of cardio to lose weight.
OK, OK. Let's back up a bit and unpack what we just said.
Do you need to do cardio to lose weight? No.
Cardiovascular training alone is not necessary for fat loss. Walking, running, using the elliptical or stepper: you don't need them to lose weight. Since weight loss is mostly about cleaning up your food choice (i.e. you can't out-train a bad diet), eating less crappy, processed food is the most crucial part of weight loss.
Also, overall, resistance training burns more calories than cardio. Not only does it facilitate caloric burn during the training, but also for hours after while your body repairs itself. And then, as you gain more overall muscle mass, it increases your metabolism because it takes more energy to maintain that lean muscle mass than fat. So, if you never step on a treadmill in your life, you can still lose serious body fat.
But you should train your cardiovascular system. Cardio training promotes better lung, heart and brain health, which will lead to better health overall. Still, this doesn't mean you need to do standard cardio training if you don’t want to. High energy resistance training, like HIIT based resistance training, will do this. By working with weights as hard as you can for a short, preset interval you will really get your heart pumping and get an insane resistance workout at the same time. And you don't have to spend hours sweating it out on a stationary bike. A max of 30 minutes of HIIT training is enough to significantly increase your cardiovascular health and weight loss efforts more than cardio training alone — and as little as a few minutes of super hot and heavy HIIT can do the trick too.
By all means, do cardio if you want: the real key to lasting fat loss is sticking to a balanced diet and workout routine you can sustain, and enjoy. This will almost certainly include doing a combination of types of workouts to keep you mentally and physically thriving. One day, running, one day HIIT resistance, one day yoga — you get the idea. But, you do not need to do standard, steady-state cardio to lose weight.Ready to kick-start your weight loss? Check out our Heart Racing Sale! When you buy more, you save more. Score 15%, 20%, or 25% off when you buy 2, 3, or 4 or more items!