DON'T DO CARDIO - Must Read!

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mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 490

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:00
Article Written by: Al Sears, MD
July 6, 2012
Lies, Damn Lies, and Cardio

I don’t do cardio – I hate cardio.

I hate what it [cardio] does to my patients. It makes them worn out. It burns away their muscle. It trashes their immune system. It wears down their joints. It causes inflammation.

Through testing at my Wellness Research Foundation, I discovered that when you do a lot of cardio, it also shrinks your lungs. Then it slashes your heart’s pumping power. And makes your bones weaker. It even zaps your sex drive.

In other words, it makes you old before your time.

I tell all of my patients to stop doing it. And they immediately start to feel better, look better and have more energy.

We do Anti-Cardio instead.

I’m doing everything I can to spread the word that cardio is a lie.

A very dangerous lie that will ruin your health in the long term.

The Ugly Truth About Cardio

When I say “cardio,” I’m not talking about going for a brisk walk… spending a few minutes on an elliptical machine… or swimming a few laps.

“Cardio” is short for cardiovascular endurance training. It’s the idea that you have to raise your heart rate for a long duration – at least 20 minutes, and usually much more. It’s when you spend 45 minutes on a treadmill, or run for miles every day. Or take an hour-long aerobics class.

This kind of exercising to exhaustion is just not natural.

Your ancestors didn’t jog for miles at a time. They didn’t jump around for an hour doing aerobics. They had short bursts of activity – sprinting to catch food, or to avoid being food. That’s how they stayed lean and strong.

The concept of cardiovascular endurance exercise – like marathon running or aerobics – goes against how your body was built to move.

And it can hurt you in the long run.

What’s worse is the advice of today’s fitness “experts” who tell you to do cardio so that you can get into the “fat-melting zone.”

The trouble is, you don’t want to be in the fat-melting zone.

Every time you enter that zone, you’re programming your body to use fat for fuel. You’re sending a signal that you need fat.

And your body responds by storing it up so you’ll have fuel to burn.

Let me say that again…

Cardio Makes You Store Fat!

You see, it doesn’t matter how much fat you melt while running on the treadmill… or how many hours you spend at the gym… or whether you do one of those “insane” workout DVDs.

All that matters is what happens to your body when you stop.

When you finish a cardio workout, your body goes to work storing fat to fuel your next workout. That’s why those last few stubborn pounds never seem to come off by just doing more cardio.

The cardio is working against you.

High intensity workout programs restore your body’s natural metabolism and retrains your body to store energy in your muscles, just like your ancestors did…

And it reprograms your body to dump that extra fat.

That’s a huge difference from what happens when you do cardiovascular endurance exercise.

When you train for endurance, your capacity shrinks. Your lungs shrink. Your heart’s ability to pump blood shrinks. Your muscles shrink, too, because your body is “downsizing.” With a smaller “engine,” your body can use less energy and go for longer… the problem is, no one ever stopped to think if that was beneficial to you.

40 years later, we have the answer. It’s “no.” Having a shrunken heart and lungs doesn’t make you healthier.

It’s dangerous.

When you lose lung-power, your risk of a heart attack goes up 200 percent.¹ In fact, the smaller your lungs, the greater your chances are of dying – from all causes.

1.Cook DG, Shaper AG, “Breathlessness, lung function and the risk of heart attack,” European Heart Journal. 1988;9(11):1215–1222.

this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
Satamic

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 1

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:03
So what are some beneficial alternatives?
mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 490

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:11
Not doing long cardio workouts. There are many mini interval or circuit type training that is done in as little as 15 or 20 minutes. The point is not to do endurance type training but replace with short duration high intensity exercise programs.
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:28
"Cardio Makes You Store Fat!"

[citation needed]

Actually, I'd love to see his support for most of the statements in that article, because I doubt they hold up under scrutiny.

Having said that, cardio isn't uniquely important, and it's entirely possible to lose weight through diet alone.

See, e.g.: Effect of Calorie Restriction with or without Exercise on Body Composition and Fat Distribution
Quote:
Conclusion: Exercise plays an equivalent role to calorie restriction in terms of energy balance
. . . .
Our data suggest that when the level of caloric restriction imposed is precisely matched and carefully controlled, the changes in body composition and abdominal fat distribution are not further enhanced by the addition of exercise, rejecting our hypothesis. A novel finding was that fat depots, regardless of their location, were reduced by approximately 30% in men and 25% in women in such a way that fat distribution throughout the whole body (DXA) and specifically within the abdominal compartment (CT) was not altered by caloric restriction.
mrspackrat

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 490

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:39
I can tell you that I did long cardio last summer, tons of it and I lost no weight, was still as fat as ever. I implemented a program with short little workouts and I have lost a lot of inches. There's something to these short duration worktouts. Obviously, anyone can take this with a grain of salt.
this damn tracker below hasn't been right in months! My current weight is 137!
rudawg7890

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 49

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:40
This totally coincides with The Primal Blueprint. Mark Sisson suggest things like taking long walks, and do short sprints throughout your walk.
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:46
Well as the study I linked pointed out, you won't lose more (or any) body fat from cardio unless there's a corresponding calorie deficit. And even when there is, intense exertion can often mask fat loss on the scale through (mainly) fluid retention.

But since you're absolutely right that it isn't necessary, it sounds like you did the right thing by abandoning a strategy that wasn't working and finding one that did - and is sustainable. My only dispute is with the idea that cardio is necessarily counterproductive.

EDIT: Adding, the study I quoted is a little misleading, in that it refers to "exercise" when it should really say cardio, since that what was studied. Had weight training been examined, they would have found differences in body composition and LBM retention in particular.
CJT1217

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 224

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 12:58
I think this is flawed. There's no talk about one's dietary intake broken down into protein, fat, AND carbs. Most of my intake comes in the source of protein and fat. I USE fat for energy. I HAD lots of it stored up and used it up by training my body to use fat over carbohydrates. Fat is a more efficient fuel source for longer bouts of activity compared to carbohydrates (which is awesome for athletes who need those big bursts of energy!). I do multihour sessions of trail running and hiking and have plenty of energy.


Also, our ancestors didnt have highly processed carbohydrates. They had corbohydrates in the form of fruits, veggies, and nuts. Simple and easily broken down. Fat for energy use and organ cushioning; protein for cellular structure and muscle maintenance.

Stay the course, stay on point, stay motivated, dedicated, and you won't be stopped. Discipline. Perseverance. Focus. Dig deep and you will be victorious.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 266

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 13:35
Quote:
When you train for endurance, your capacity shrinks. Your lungs shrink. Your heart’s ability to pump blood shrinks. Your muscles shrink, too, because your body is “downsizing.” With a smaller “engine,” your body can use less energy and go for longer… the problem is, no one ever stopped to think if that was beneficial to you.



Pretty sure that is BS. Cardio improves your lung capacity and strengthens your heart. The highests VO2Max is found amongst distance, endurance athletes like nordic skiers, cyclists, runners. Lance Amstrong has a resting heart rate of 32 beats per minute. His heart was that efficient and strong.
erika2633

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 799

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 14:38
Last year when I trained for my half marathon, I didn't lose any weight, but I also wasn't tracking my food intake - with some added stress from online classes, pretty sure I was eating more than I was burning.. I gave myself the "you ran today, you can eat what you want" excuses.

This year, I trained for that same half marathon while tracking my calories and being aware of my protein/carb intake, and I lost 25 pounds - and it was not 25 pounds of muscle, my quads are stronger than ever!

I also agree wholeheartedly with Jess about improved VO2Max and heart rates.. My heart rate monitor has me do a 'fitness test' each month, and everything about my fitness has improved.


Someone who is busier than you is working out right now.
There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.
HCB

Joined: Apr 12
Posts: 208

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 14:48
I frequently read research studies about a varied number of things as part of my work. One thing to remember is statistical information can be skewed (sp?) to suit the author's theory! People crunch the numbers and interpret how they wish to interpret.

I will say, however, recently I have been doing circuit training DVDs that include short bursts of cardio (3 minutes), then strength training (2 minutes), then stretches (1 minute.) Each cycle repeats three times per circuit. Then I do a total of 6-8 ciruits in a session. The resuts have been noticeable with inches lost and weight slowly changing.

As my friend CJT1217 says: "The mirror trumps the scale." BUT, I also do long cycling sessions of cardio and have days where I walk miles - I thin ( think - wow, Freudian slip? ) the key is to mix it up!! No one thing is perfect.

Our ancestors may have used short bursts to catch food or avoid being food - but also they were nomadic and walked miles and miles to find their favorite hunting grounds!
If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.
CJT1217

Joined: Sep 11
Posts: 224

      quote  
Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 14:52
A healthy body will always adapt to cope with the physical stresses it's put through. Taking in the correct fuel sources the body requires will enhance this adaptation.

Stay the course, stay on point, stay motivated, dedicated, and you won't be stopped. Discipline. Perseverance. Focus. Dig deep and you will be victorious.
yduj57

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 48

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 15:00
Cardio is not the only thing that effects your heart rate. I have a resting heart rate of about 48. And I am obese. My 16 y.o. daughter who is skinny as a rail, and eats whatever she wants has a resting heart rate of more than 100.
I started doing interval training twice a week a few months back, and I am finding it does more to get me in condition than the endless hours of slogging away at the cardio. Short intense bursts, with easy recover cycles, for a total of 20 to 25 minutes. I have had to increase the resistance level on the bike four times in the last four months. I am in better condition, and it is easier on my knees.

I think that the science as far as exercise is still evolving, just like the understanding that fat is not what makes us fat. I just read another article this morning along the same lines as this one:

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2012/07/13/high-intensity-resistance-training.aspx?e_cid=20120713_DNL_artNew_1

A bad moment does not have to be a bad day, bad week, or a sign that you can't do this. It is a moment. Just that. Pause and go back to the person who really wants to be healthier and happier.
Lindsay6384

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 70

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 15:04
what he said Razz
“What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination.”
yduj57

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 48

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 15:04
One other thing. Recent studies of people who run marathons repeatedly show elevated levels of heart enzymes which are indicative of damage to the heart muscles. Further testing showed scarring on some individuals.
A bad moment does not have to be a bad day, bad week, or a sign that you can't do this. It is a moment. Just that. Pause and go back to the person who really wants to be healthier and happier.
erika2633

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 799

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 15:09
Someone can be overweight and be in better cardiovascular shape than someone who is skinny. That's where the term 'skinnyfat' has come from..

I'm not saying that long-distance/hours and hours of cardio is the only way to go, I'm just saying it's ridiculous to say that doing cardio for 20+ minutes is working against you, keeping you fat, and shrinking your heart/lungs. What?!


Someone who is busier than you is working out right now.
There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 266

      quote  
Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 16:32
erika2633 wrote:

I'm not saying that long-distance/hours and hours of cardio is the only way to go, I'm just saying it's ridiculous to say that doing cardio for 20+ minutes is working against you, keeping you fat, and shrinking your heart/lungs. What?!


Exactly what I meant. I agree wholeheartedly with HIIT being good for you, and that slugging away for hours on an elliptical isn't always the best way to drop pounds. (It's diet). I read the report about too much endurance training working against you - but that's those ultra marathon crazies Wink I think my running 30-45 minutes 3-4 days a week training was good for me. I felt fit.
JessWhatINee...

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 266

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 16:39
and yeah, bradycardia is also found in nonathletes for other reasons - the elderly, people with heart tissue damage, hemochromatosis, lupus, underactive thyroid. (got these from Mayo Clinic website)
Baxie

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 105

      quote  
Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 19:31
The word moderation comes to mind...
Every day I wake up breathing is a good day!
Baxie

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 105

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Posted: 13 Jul 2012, 19:32
Hey! Where's my blue line?
Every day I wake up breathing is a good day!



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