Is cardio necessary for fat loss?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2007 11:58 AM GMT
    If you gain lean muscle mass and that increases your metabolism, your body should burn the fat the more muscle you gain. Before all of you write and give me a class in what cardio is for I know its good for you and your heart and all that. So many people include it in their workout programs to burn calories though, while they are trying to gain lean muscle mass. This question has come up to me after watching a mens bodybuilding competition in wheelchairs. There is no way for them to do cardio but all these guys are ripped and have a decent amount of muscle to them...so is it really necessary to do the cardio?
  • SpartanJock

    Posts: 199

    Dec 17, 2007 9:10 PM GMT
    You can still do cardio as a paraplegic. You don't need your legs for that. You can work your upper body the same way to increase your heart rate...just an FYI.
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    Dec 18, 2007 12:53 AM GMT
    If you can prove that it isn't I'd give you a metal. Heck I'd probably buy you a car & throw in the rowing machine too!!

    I hate cardio but my trainer insists on it & keeps telling me that walking briskly with the dogs won't cut it. Bastard.

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    Dec 18, 2007 1:01 AM GMT
    I've always heard that it's necessary. It raises your metabolism and is good for your overall health.

    Definitely not fun at times though.
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    Dec 18, 2007 1:06 AM GMT
    i engage in cardio about once a month. i often just have intense workouts but not always.
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    Dec 18, 2007 2:57 PM GMT
    As an endomorph I have read that cardio is absolutely essential for me to lose weight.

    It's boring as hell, though.
  • DiverScience

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    Dec 18, 2007 4:08 PM GMT
    No. It's not.

    Weight loss is caused by expending more calories than you take in.

    There are many methods to do this, but the bottom line is the same. You can decrease calorie intake until it goes below your expenditure or increase your expenditure until it goes over your intake. The second method is why most people do cardio for weightloss.
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    Dec 18, 2007 7:01 PM GMT
    I agree with DiverScience, a dietician told me once that weight loss was very simple, burn more calories then you consume. How you do that could be a variety of different ways.

    I personally love cardio (I don't like weights) since I can listen to my music, and get my endorphins going. However, if you have a terrible diet then you may have trouble losing weight.

    Another great thing about cardio is that it strengthens your heart and lungs, lowers your blood pressure, and for me improves my disposition.
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    Dec 18, 2007 7:04 PM GMT
    oh true, i only eat about 2000 calories a day. this is why i'm probably too small.
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    Dec 19, 2007 7:49 PM GMT
    I despise cardio but still do it three times a week.

    Interval training makes it more effective and less boring. With two minute long intervals I don't have enough time to get so bored I want to go back to do more calf raises.
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    Dec 20, 2007 3:51 PM GMT
    i got lean, 10% body fat, without any real cardio program. I think the big deal is to switch the metabolism to burn fat rather than store fat.. That takes a muscle builing fat burning diet and a exercise program that signals the muscles to build/repair. I've got a new lean pic of me if u want to see it.
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    Dec 22, 2007 3:33 PM GMT
    Metabolic activation is key. Intervals are best, as I've said here ad nauseam. Get your heart rate for about 20 minutes, at close to 60 to 80% of max, and you'll burn fat like crazy. Mindless hours of cardio don't help, and, in fact, can actually slow your metabolic rate if you end up in famine mode.

    With regard to bodybuilding competitions, those wheelchair guys probably are not only doing some intervals , and circuit training, but, likely doing T3, ECA, Clenbuterol, Albuterol, caffeine, green tea, ginseng, and a variety of stimulants. Competitive bodybuilding is all about the application of modern science to the body to achieve a certain look.

    With regard to folks like Chaser (fat folks who almost loath exercise), I've said this before...you need to find an activity that you enjoy. And, one has to remember fat folks don't get in such bad shape overnight...it takes YEARS of neglect to get so bad, and recovery doesn't happen overnight, either.

    I enjoy blasting my heart rate up, sweating, getting pumped and so on. I love it. I, however, have been doing it for over three decades and it's exactly what I'm cut out to do.

    Again, interval training is VASTLY more effective than cardio any day of the day week.
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    Jan 04, 2008 5:58 PM GMT
    For the past year I have been doing mostly cardio and have avoided the weights altogether. I run at about 180 bpm heart rate now and still have my small belly out like a starving indigent person!

    At one point in my life (about three years ago) I was an insane, malnourished vegan and lost so much weight- I was 115 lbs at 5'7"!! And, STILL HAD A BELLY!

    Now, I am 135lbs. Also, whenever I try to lose weight by eating less- it comes off everywhere but the belly. I look emaciated and unhealthy when I drop below 130lbs.

    My problem is this: the more I run- the more calories I tend to consume! My body wants to constantly plateau!!! When I eat less, I lack the energy for running...

    WHAT DO I DO?????
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    Jan 04, 2008 6:24 PM GMT
    My weight has been all over the place my entire adult life. I've been as low as 125 and as high as 218. I've found that cardio is pretty much essential to weight loss and maintenance unless you plan on dramaticly changing your eating habits. I lost 60 pounds on Atkins a few years ago, but even that plateaued after a while and I had to hit the elyptical again.

    Something that has been mentioned a few times in previous threads is lifting more with the larger muscle groups. Get under the squat rack more often and you might see a difference.
  • SoDakGuy

    Posts: 1862

    Jan 04, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    Long story short ... YES!

    Get off your ass and do some!

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    Jan 04, 2008 7:04 PM GMT
    chuckystud said

    With regard to folks like Chaser (fat folks who almost loath exercise), I've said this before...you need to find an activity that you enjoy. And, one has to remember fat folks don't get in such bad shape overnight...it takes YEARS of neglect to get so bad, and recovery doesn't happen overnight, either.


    You're a shmuck!
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    Jan 04, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    With everything you must find balance. I've lost a ton of weight, but my goal was never just to lose weight. When i dropped the fat, I wanted to replace it with muscle. And pretty much everyone knows that muscle burns more calories, so it's a synergistic effect. I do 40 mins of cardio a day and usually 1 hour + of weights.

    And like Chucky, I am a big believer in modern medicine. I cycle ECA and clenburterol and t3.

    Of course, please research the hell out of anything you take, so you know what is safe and how to use it properly. Both support weightloss, but even more importantly helps you lose weight and retain or even build muscle.

    But again balance in everything.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2008 12:59 AM GMT
    The key is Balance....
    If your body is a car, stepping on the accelerator is what cardio does to you. It speeds up your metabolism for the time you are doing cardio( and maybe a very little afterward too). Lifting on the otherhand, is like putting a bigger engine in the car. You simply have a bigger capacity and will burn alot more energy with more muscle. Fat does not burn energy it stores energy. Only muscle burns energy. Build up your muscle and you are adding to you energy burning capacity. That's why super muscular guys (like Chuckystud, etc.) NEED to take in 3000 or much more calories, and a fat person of the same weight, should only be taking in 1200-1500 calories. The fat person doesn't have the muscle to burn any more calories... by using both cardio and lifting together, gives you the benefits of both, in the short term burning of energy(cardio) and the longer term increasing of your capacity (lifting)...good luck! I'm sure some of the more "devout" could give you a more detailed explanation, but I like the car analogy. It makes sense.icon_cool.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 05, 2008 6:19 PM GMT
    Thanks all for the replies...

    I guess it's just not meant to be EASY.

    My results have been slow and steady- wish I could speed up the whole process with a fast, body detox or something though.....


    Joe
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    Jan 05, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    Slow and steady is the way to go for a higher chance of a more permanent change. If you lose, or even gain, weight too quickly, your body doesn't have enough time to adjust itself to its new status, and will then revert back to its ordinary, or previous state.
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    Jan 05, 2008 7:15 PM GMT
    and dreaded surplus skin. Takes time and patience and dedication.

    Never give up, never surrender (Galaxy Quest)

    as I sock myself for being a dork
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    Jan 06, 2008 12:14 PM GMT
    As a couple of people have pointed out guys its about time we lost teh Jane Fonda mentality that running, woring or cycling is teh only way to achieve CV.

    No CV is not required for fat loss in anyway shape or form. Calorie deficit is required tho and you can do this by running for 40 minutes to burn 500 calories or take seconds not to eat it.

    If running makes you stick to it all well and good if not then incorporate it into yuor weights by reducing rest times and super setting, quads and triples.

    As for length of training time well match it to your calorie intake a marathon does not make for a hugely efficient fat loss machine and only adds to loss of motivation if the level of input required to lose weight is greater than the return.

    At best you will lose 2lbs a week when weightloss stabilisies past hose early glory days when you first start. So doing the math we are talking roughly a calorie deficit of 500 per day.

    So you have choice run to burn it off or eat less in the first place. If yuor grossly overweight and want to place excess strain on the heart, end up with loose skin, stretch marks and knackered joints then by all means run if not re educate your eating and let the kitchen do the hard work then work like a bitch with the weights.
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    Jan 06, 2008 12:49 PM GMT
    I'd like to reiterate what diver science said. Weight loss is simply a calorie intake vs. calorie burn ratio.

    Cardio is the most commonly accepted way to do this. Unfortunately, this common view has become myopic. It isn't the only way to lose weight. If it were, I'd still be 50 lbs. overwieght. I had found out that a progressive resistance training routine if done without long rest periods, is just as effective for weight loss.

    Other than a 5 minute warm-up, I did no cardio other than walking a lot (which was not for the purpose of cardio, nor extensive enough to cause significant metabolic increase.)

    Now, I do more cardio because I want the health benefits I get from it. I can't run for 40-60 minutes as some do due to my knees. Also, I hate it because it's boring and almost painful, but I know that I need to do it for my health, not my weight.

    If you do virtually no cardio, but do an intense weight workout, your metabolism will increase. I'm not advocating, by any means, the elimination of cardio, it's just that it is one way, not the only way, to increase metabolism.
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    Jan 06, 2008 1:42 PM GMT
    BG even that view point is myopic.

    Exercise quite simply is the most inefficient route to weightloss, you can achieve far greater results in the kitchen time for pound wise and the gym should be used to retain the muscle by working it hard and progressively pushing to failure.

    With a well structured weights routine you will get all the same benefits to your CV system as a run swim or cycle. It seems the people believe panting is a sign of this improvement, whereas its heart, pulse blood pressure and oxygen absorption are your markers. this is what creates good CV health. This improvement is created by activity not the manner of the activity.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2008 6:07 PM GMT
    Heya Guys.

    to those who think CV is boring.........get your asses into an RPM/SPIN/CYCLE class.........if your instructor is a demon your going to have a great time and rip some serious weight off yourself. I was 150kg, got down to 70kg (half my original bodyweight) back up to a muscular 88kg.

    I did 7 times 45 min classes a week for 12 months..... and loved every painful minute of it.....still do 3-4 a week.

    Craigicon_idea.gif