The Big Calories Burned Myth
How do I get away with staying leaner than when I was in my 20's while doing virtually NO cardio and never even bothering to check my calories burned during exercise?
I used to slave away on the stairmaster, treadmill, or elliptical for 45 minutes 5 days a week and stress about those dumb calories burned during exercise readouts the machines pumped out and even though I was consistent with my workouts I ALWAYS struggled to maintain my weight and a decent bodyfat when I was in my mid 20's and early 30's but Craig Ballantyne changed all that and now Bodyweight Exercise Revolution has really turned me off to inefficient cardio workouts.
The truth is I don't like long duration cardio and especially because it always results in overuse injuries (more on that in the video below).
The only type of long duration cardio I enjoy is going for an easy 20-30 minute walk around the neighborhood on active recovery days or going for a fun 13 mile hike that includes 2000-4000 ft. of elevation gain or some fun bouldering.
The fact is burning calories is only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to fatloss. Here's the truth about fatloss and what it takes to makeover your body.
Calories Burned Myth: I need to burn 500 calories each workout to lose fat.
"If you depend on classic aerobic cardio for fat loss, you probably spend 30 minutes on a machine trying to burn a set number of calories. But does that work? Does burning 500 calories per day cause you to lose 1 pound of fat per week?
Well, according to science, it should. But if it did, you probably wouldn't still be reading this article. Back in the day, I used to write a column on fat loss myths for Men's Fitness magazine. Here's a classic fat loss topic I covered.
Myth: I need to burn 500 calories each workout to lose fat.
Truth: Possibly one of the worst inventions for fat loss was the calories burned monitors on treadmills, elliptical machines, and stairmasters.
Because of these, millions of men and women now obsess about the number of calories burned during exercise. You've probably even been one of those people, watching it creep up ever so slowly during a slow-cardio session. All the while knowing that you can wipe out a 30-minute, 300-calorie treadmill session with one fell swoop of the Krispy Kreme hand.
Too many people are brainwashed into thinking that if they don't burn 300-500 calories per session, then they won't lose fat. After all, that is what you've been told time and time again in those fluffy fitness/fashion magazines.
The problems with this approach to fat loss are numerous. First off, it's difficult to say if the calorie counters are even accurate. A story on CBS news showed that cardio machines overestimate calorie burning by up to 20%.
Next, depending on slow cardio for advanced fat loss is relatively useless and at the very least, inefficient. It takes a long time for you to burn a lot of calories...
and one study showed that men who only used cardio training for weight loss ended up with a reduced resting metabolism.
You are basically undoing the calorie burning by depending only on cardio. On the other hand, guys in the same study that used strength training didn't suffer a reduced metabolic rate.
So what is the solution to burning fat in a faster, more efficient method? The answer is to use strength and interval training to burn fewer calories in less exercise time, but with a more intense form of exercise.
Your body will burn more calories after exercise when you useintervals than it does after you do slow cardio and your metabolism will stay high. Some experts refer to this as the afterburn effect. How do you do intervals? Well, you could sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 90 seconds and repeat that for 6 sets - using the bike preferably or treadmill if you are experienced with it.
Within that short time frame the intervals will cause your muscles to go crazy with activity (I call it a metabolic turbulence). This crazy metabolism boost causes lots of calorie burning after exercise to get your body back to normal. The result is you would end up burning more fat and more calories in the post-exercise period as your body tries to get things under control.
Now there is one time where you'd want to count calories, but that is when you are counting up and determining how many calories you eat per day. Again, you can wipe out an entire workout's work in less than a minute simply by eating garbage. Without some structure and discipline to your nutrition, there is nothing that even my programs can do to help you lose fat.
So exercise nutrition control and interval training. These are the two anti-calorie counting methods that will help you lose fat and get lean."
Burn More Fat & More Caloires & Get A Better Body Faster
Here's a video of my favorite fat burning cardio workout. It's fun, it's challenging, it's quick, and it works!
I don't waste time on long duration cardio anymore or "calories burned" readouts and I'm able to stay leaner now that I'm nearly 40 than when I was in my mid 20's and early 30's.
Want to start getting the same results. Get started with Craig's fatloss hormone secret.
You can also check out Craig's 7 day jump start fatloss plan.
Struggling With Fatloss? Find Out Why
I get tons of emails asking me the same fatloss questions over and over (they sound different but they're really not). One question that seems to come up the most often is how much more exercise do I need to lose the stubborn fat.
It's always the same answers too and it's usually the truth that people just don't want to hear but if you're sick of being fat then you'll find this advice very useful.
Remember, more exercise isn't better, better exercise is better. Check out my fitness advice to people struggling with fatloss.
BTW, my fitness advice isn't going to make me hefty commission checks from treadmill and ab gadget companies but I'm not going to lie to you just to make a buck. I leave that to all the other greedy trainers who care less about your health and more about their bank accounts.