Why Cardio Is So Ineffective For Fat loss?

Conventional aerobic exercises are not very effective way to lose weight, however optimal hormones, diet, and lifting weight is necessary for optimal weight loss.

Too many personal trainers, weight loss doctors and nutritionists claim that you can lose two pounds of fat each week with aerobic exercise.

Your metabolism is slow? Are you getting older and burning less calories? Is it genetics? You stick to the program, and still you don’t lose any fat.

Research clearly show that cycling, walking, rowing or jogging alone, is not really effective for fat loss, despite what you have been told.

Diet and aerobic exercise provides only a very marginal benefit (in terms of weight loss) when compared to diet alone.

The average weight loss after a 15-week program of regular aerobic exercise was seven pounds. Over the same period, dieting cut weight by roughly 17 pounds. When exercise and diet were combined, average weight loss was 20 pounds.

The exercise-only group lost just three pounds. This is despite the fact they exercised for almost four hours each week. Not surprisingly, the women combining diet and exercise got the best results, losing 16 pounds of fat. However, this was only one pound more than the group on the diet. These disappointing results led the researchers to conclude that aerobic exercise has only a minor, nonsignificant effect on fat loss.

Research carried in the Journal of Applied Physiology also shows that aerobic exercise has a minor effect on fat loss. A group of 24 obese men was assigned to either a low- or high-intensity exercise group for 12 weeks. The men were told to maintain their dietary habits during the study.

The exercise program consisted of cycling at either low-intensity (40% VO2max) or high-intensity (70% VO2max) three times per week. Each workout burned about 350 calories. The duration of each workout for subjects in the low-intensity and high-intensity training program was 57 and 33 minutes, respectively.

The conclusion is that aerobic  did not lead to significant changes in body composition.

Each subject was required to exercise three times per week for an average of 42 minutes. Researchers even went to the trouble of having each bout of exercise monitored by an exercise technician and a computer.

Scientists  admit that aerobic exercise is not a major factor in weight loss and fat loss.

What about your metabolic rate?

Some believe that aerobic exercise leads to an increase in your metabolic rate. However, researchers concluce that  aerobic exercise had no effect on resting metabolic rate, unlike weightlifting.

Another popular misconception is the idea that aerobic exercise increases caloric expenditure for several hours after  exercise. Unfortunately this is not the case, unlike intense weightlifting

Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is the name given to the increase in calorie expenditure following a workout, is more likely to occur after high-intensity weightlifting. Walking or jogging  has very little effect.

So, why does aerobic exercise is so unefficient for fat loss?

The most fundamental aspect of any weight loss program is to create a calorie deficit — to burn more calories than you eat. Unfortunately, you just don’t burn that many calories with a typical aerobic exercise program.

You need to burn an extra 500 calories per day to drop one pound a week. To lose fat at a decent rate (around two pounds per week) you’d need to burn 1000 extra calories per day. And the type of workout that burns 1000 calories, in terms of both time and effort, is not a realistic goal for most people.

For aerobic exercise to be effective, you need to do a lot of it, and you may lose a lot of lean mass.

Most modern exercise machines have digital readouts telling you how many calories you’ve burned. Unfortunately, these digital readouts can’t always be trusted.


The majority of research shows that aerobic exercise in the so-called “fat burning zone” is not a very effective way to lose fat.

That’s not to say that cardio is a waste of time. Interval training, or the type of high-intensity cardio recommended by my program, is another story entirely.

But in most cases, 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio three or four times a week isn’t going to deliver the results you want. My 9 principles that include both cardiovascular and resistance exercise, combined with a healthy nutrition plan, is a far more effective to burn fat.

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