I’m here in good old Rochester, Minnesota. I’m staying at the surprisingly excellent Double Tree hotel. A four star hotel that has very good rooms, decent food, great service, and very important for me, a decent gym. I’ve been going to the gym nearly every morning. Due to the 9-hour-difference-induced jet lag, I’m usually up between 4 and 5 am, and shortly thereafter I go to the gym in the basement (where a couple of months ago I met Naked Man)
I’ve noticed a lady that goes to the gym as well. She looks like she is in her twenties, and she’s quite overweight. I’ve not spoken to her, and don’t really know anything about her. But I think it’s fair to assume she want to lose some weight. And I doubt very much that she will lose much of it. Let me just quickly add that I am not in any way judging her, I’m just making some observations.
When she comes in I noticed she goes on the treadmill right away, and does about 20 minutes or so, and leaves. What’s impressive is that she can run quite a bit of the distance. So it’s obvious that her fitness is improving, and good for her.
The reason I say that she won’t lose weight is because she’s only doing cardio training. If you don’t know what that means, cardio stands for “cardiovascular”, and cardiovascular, in layman’s terms means the heart and blood vessels. It refers to activities like running, jogging, cycling, aerobics, dancing etc. Activities that raise your heart beat and make you pant. Does that make sense?
Anyway, from having seen her for a few days, it seems like all she does is the running. Running is probably one of the best ways to increase your fitness, but not the best way to lose weight.
And of course when I say “lose weight” I mean “burn excess fat”. The more relevant exercise for burning fat is resistance training. This means exercises where you push, pull, or lift against something that offers your muscles resistance. Examples of this are weight training, calisthenics (body weight exercises like push ups, pull ups and crunches), Yoga and Pilates.
The best way to burn excess fat (lose weight) is by having more muscle mass in your body. Muscle requires a lot more energy (i.e. calories) to sustain itself than fat does. When you do resistance training, you build more muscle, and in the long term, burn more fat.
The problem with cardio is that it only burns energy during the workout, and for a brief period afterwards. After that, the effects are gone. But with resistance training, the effect is more long term. What often happens with overweight people that do lots of cardio, is that they often lose some weight, but their body shape does not change much. If they were an apple shape before, then they become a smaller apple shape. Whereas with resistance training, you actually change the shape of your body over the long term. Get my point?
I’ve noticed that many women somehow think that cardio training is more for women, and that resistance training is more for men. This is a very false assumption, and if you’re a cardio-lady reading this, please change your mindset about this. You’ll notice great results.
Want REALLY good results from your exercise programme? Do both cardio and resistance training. Want super, dooper, great results? Do resistance and cardio training, AND eat well. That’s really the secret to a long, happy, healthy – and slim – life. It’s really that simple.
So my friend, make sure to have a good mix of both types of exercises.
Talk to you soon.
PS If you’re based in Bahrain, check out The DreamBody Centre where we offer exactly what I’m talking about. You might also consider joining our amazing DreamBody Competition, where I’m giving away my car!