If You’re Adding Resistance to Your Cardio Machine, YES!
As a former bodybuilder who went on to own a gym, I have spent more than my share of time around cardio and weight machines.
The one thing that always amazes me is how people will take a perfectly effective, scientifically designed, thoroughly adequate exercise machine and adapt it thinking “more is more.”
In fact, more is more is one of the worst philosophies to have when exercising because, in fact, when you do it right less is actually more.
Less time, less effort, less weight, less often – IF you follow the rules and give it your all each time.
Unfortunately, everyone is so busy multi-tasking in every other part of their lives – eating while in the car, taking a conference call on your morning commute, with multiple windows open on every computer screen – that we naturally think we must do the same at the gym.
So I see people barely using any weight and trying to perform an exercise while talking on the cell phone. They use the gym more as a time to socialize than for what they are meant to do there: lift weights!
Others do the same workout every time (with no break in the routine): they come in and go down the circuit of machines in the same order and then decide, “Well, that’s it; workout’s over and I feel good! Time for a post-workout smoothie…”
Resistance training (free weights, stationary weight machine, etc.) can be a fabulous way to build muscle, boost your metabolism, increase toned muscle mass and increase your overall health.
Likewise, cardio exercise (Stairmaster, exercise cycle, treadmill, etc.) can increase your heart rate, burn fat and expend calories quickly.
So naturally, you might think, combining the two is the surest way to both build muscle and burn fat, get your heart rate up and expend lots of calories fast. But, in fact, doing more when it comes to resistance and cardio actually produces fewer results.
That’s because when exercising you should put like with like.
In other words, a great resistance workout can produce much better results when you concentrate purely on resistance, focusing on the tension of the weight, the number of sets and reps, really feeling the burn and completely focused on those main goals of resistance, i.e. building muscle and boosting metabolism.
Likewise, a great cardiovascular workout should focus strictly on cardio to produce maximum results.
The last thing you want to be doing while running around the neighborhood is fiddling with your weight straps or figuring out how to drink from your water bottle in one hand while adjusting your easy-grip, five- pound barbells in the other!
So when it comes to exercise, put like with like; resistance, resistance, resistance, cardio, cardio, cardio – not resistance, cardio, resistance or cardio, resistance, cardio.
I see this drastic mistake at the gym all the time.
I witness people, especially women, on a stair stepper machine, who add resistance thinking, “Wow, my butt (glutes) and legs are getting a hard workout.”
And they are, but the fact of the matter is this is THE most counterproductive way to perform cardio.
In fact, this is using a method of weight training called “time under tension” and what it will do is force the body to store more glycogen – and possibly fat – to the lower half of your body—actually making your butt bigger, because your body has to know how to anticipate the load, so the body says, “We need help; store more there!”
And that sure isn’t the reason why you are doing cardio in the first place, right?
So remember to use no resistance when doing cardio and only apply resistance when weight-training. One of the best methods I teach my clients to burn the most amount of fat is to do a method called H.I.I.T. (High Intensity Interval Training) or fat burning intervals.
The treadmill should always be set with no incline and if you use other exercises remember to stay away from resistance or any type of tension when doing cardio.
ALWAYS make sure to do weight training first and cardio last to get the most fat burning results out of your workout.
Remember, like with like: resistance with resistance, cardio with cardio for the most effective results every time.
Written by N.Y. Times Best Selling Author and Fat Loss Expert: Wendy Chant
Now that you understand “time under tension”, just hit the “like” button below and we’ll be back in a couple days with THE absolute best approach to interval training and cardio.
Conclusion: 25 people or more hit the “like” button = The 3 most powerful, proven, and effective Pillars of Attacking Body Fat with the GL-12 interval cycling workouts. (coming your way in the next few days).
Shaun and Karen