Here’s a fact: if you want to GAIN WEIGHT, then you should get on the treadmill.
Most people believe that the key to losing fat and getting in shape is to spend lots of time running on a treadmill, stepper or cycle….
But that’s dead wrong.
You see, long, slow cardio actually trains your body to store fat. It makes your body guard its fat closer than a hungry dog guards his food.
I know you’ve seen that famous button on the treadmill that reads: “Fat Burning Zone” but that button should really be called the “Fat STORING Zone” because that’s the real effect it has on your body.
When you spend 30, 40 or even 50 minutes pounding away on the treadmill, you send your body a powerful signal to start storing fat instead of burning it.
It’s all in your hormones.
Here’s what smart scientists (and trainers) know:
According to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology-
People who performed intense cardio suffered from decreased T3 hormone production.
(Eur J Appl Physiol. 2003 Jan; 88(4-5):480-4.)
T3 is the hormone produced by your thyroid to burn fat. When you do cardio, your body reacts to the stress by suppressing this fat burning hormone. This means your body starts gaining fat immediately. Why? Because your body needs the fat to function.
But it gets worse…
Doing cardio also puts massive amounts of stress on your body.
According to a 2011 study in the scientific journal Psychoneuroendocrinology-
Cardio increases the stress hormone cortisol.
(Skoluda, N., Dettenborn, L., et al. Elevated Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Endurance Athletes. Psychoneuroendocrinology. September 2011.)
Cortisol is associated with heart disease, cancer and visceral belly fat. That’s the kind of fat that hangs around your waist.
If cortisol and T3 weren’t bad enough…
During long, slow cardio – your appetite also increases.
Have you ever CRAVED sugary food after you finish a long run? It always happens to me after swimming any distance!
I’m sure you have and it’s all because your body gets very greedy for food after you finish your cardio session. That’s why Gyms sell sugary snacks and drinks, it’s not because they’re good for you!
In fact, your body overreacts to cardio like a dramatic teenager, causing you to eat more and more food. Even worse, you always end up eating more fat-gaining calories AFTER you work out which means that you gain more and more weight.
A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that-
After cardio exercise, the subjects end up eating 100 calories more than they just burned off.
(Sonneville, K.R., et al. (2008) International Journal of Obesity. 32, S19-S27.)
Researchers have even found that people on a long term cardio plan actually GAIN weight instead of losing it. A 2006 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that runners who ran the same distance or slightly more each week had LARGER waistlines at the end of the 9 year study.
Not what you want to hear if you’ve been putting the hours in a the gym!?
But, you’re reading this because you still haven’t got the results you want….
Time for a change in approach to your training, perhaps.
More fat loss next time-
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