Proof or STFU

Yeah, I post about fitness sometimes. I haven’t forgotten where I came from; I’m reminded every single day of the ongoing war against slavery and injustice that threatens the very existence of my people. It’s ok though, you can judge me if that helps you out. I don’t mind.

What I do mind is people calling bullshit on things I say but unable to back it up with anything more than an uneducated and uninformed opinion. Make no mistake, you are entitled to your opinion and I am able to respect it provided you actually have a platform to stand on. Simply saying it is so because you say so doesn’t hold any muster.

Here’s a perfect example.

I’ve been preaching the ineffectiveness of Cardio for a while now. That’s big C Cardio, not little c cardiovascular. Cardiovascular is a very important part of every workout. Cardio is a waste. Period. End of discussion.

Of course, I may be partially to blame here. Some people may think I believe strength training and cardiovascular training are on polar opposites of the spectrum, that one negates the other. This type of close-minded thinking just goes to show you don’t know me at all. Strength training and cardiovascular training are not mutually exclusive. In fact:

  • strength training builds muscle – Building muscle is extremely important for fat loss. Muscle has a strong appetite for fat. It eats it at all hours of the day, not just during your workout like regular cardio does. As you sit there and read this entry, your body is mobilizing fatty acids and feeding it to your muscle. So yes, while you might (and I do mean might) burn more fat calories during a steady-state cardio session, a strength training session will continue to burn calories – possibly forever!
  • Strength training creates a favourable metabolic environment for fat loss – I continue to repeat over and over again to use exercise to create a metabolic environment that is conducive to fat loss, and then use nutrition to lose the fat. Without strength training, you’re at a disadvantage when you try to drop body fat. Strength training boosts several hormones, including testosterone and growth hormone, and it stimulates the release of many chemicals that help mobilize fatty acids.
  • Strength training creates an afterburn effect – The afterburn effect, also known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), helps you continue to burn calories hours (even days) after your workout. Your body uses extra calories after intense strength training to return your heart rate to normal, to re-oxygenate the blood, to replenish muscle glycogen stores, and for cellular repair. The EPOC effect is most closely correlated to exercise intensity, but strength training has been shown to provide a larger effect.

Of course, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t have proof.

TEST YOUR MIGHT

Still skeptical that strength training is a far better cardiovascular workout than Cardio?

  • Load up the bar with your squat 10 rep max. Get under the bar and knock out those 10 reps, but wait! Once you finish those 10 reps, don’t rack the weight. Let it sit there on your back while you catch your breath.
  • Now, go down and do another rep. Catch your breath again, but don’t rack the weight.
  • Do another rep. Continue doing reps without racking the weight until you hit 20 reps.

That my friends is what you call 20-rep squats, and it’s guaranteed to have you lying on the floor for an hour after your workout. Do that and then tell me you need to do some kind of separate Cardio. Done correctly, strength training is a very intense interval training protocol that will shed the fat like no other.

There’s your proof. Now STFU.

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