Cardio: Why it's Not What You Think it is


Look in every gym, leisure centre anywhere in the world and you will find that most people will want to jump onto a cardio machine with one of two goals in mind, ‘getting their heart rate up’, and or to ‘get their body temperature up to burn some calories’.


Sound familiar? Of course it does.


Because no matter who you are, we are all simply looking for the most effective and efficient cardio machine or way to shed a few pounds of body fat.


It’s important to know however, that we only ever lose (or gain) a few GRAMS, not pounds, during a workout session, it’s an ongoing process. Most of us may be lucky to burn 30–50 grams of fat during a typical long duration cardio session (1lb = 454 grams). That’s about the equivalent of the cappuccino I’m drinking as I write this!


I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem efficient to me.


Typically when performing low-intensity cardio, it’s a known fact that you burn a higher percentage of calories from fat during the event, which is why it has taken a front seat in fat burning cults for a long time. The issue however, lies in what happens after you stop the session…


It’s now been shown that immediately after completing a low intensity steady state cardio session, your body essentially stops burning fat, and switches to using glycogen as its preferred source of energy.

Your body does this because it’s always doing whatever it can to remain in homeostasis, or, steady state. You end up having simply burned the minimal number of calories associated with low intensity steady state “fat burning” cardio.

One hour of this type of cardio typically burns around 300 calories and does very little, if anything, to accelerate your metabolism for the rest of the day.


So what should we do?