Is It Possible To Burn Fat Without Cardio?

July 31 2017

Go to the gym and you’ll see crowds of people doing cardio on the treadmill, stair master, or stationary bike. Yet, only a few actually look fit. Contrary to popular belief, cardio isn’t the ultimate solution to weight loss. It does help, but there are better ways to torch fat and keep it off. Too much cardio can actually lead to weight gain and affect your health in the long run.

What’s Wrong with Steady State Cardio?

Steady state cardio is a favorite choice for most dieters. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, you really don’t need that much cardio. This training method burns both muscle and fat, leading to catabolism. Excess cardio raises cortisol levels in the body, which slows your metabolism and increases stress. High cortisol levels are associated with muscle loss, mental and physical fatigue, sluggish metabolism, abdominal obesity, and poor recovery.

The more cardio you do, the faster your body adapts and the fewer calories you do. This explains why most people stop losing weight after a few weeks of steady state cardio. Over time, you begin to lose muscle and feel tired, hungry, or fatigued. Cardiovascular training keeps your heart healthy and boosts overall fitness, but has a negligible impact on body weight. Additionally, it’s time-consuming and makes it harder to build muscle.

How to Lose Fat without Cardio

Strength training, finisher sets, full body circuits, and HIIT are far more effective than cardio for weight loss. Researchers have found that people who did HIIT lost nine times as much fat as those engaged in traditional cardio training. High-intensity exercise has been shown to burn up to 450 percent more calories than steady state cardio.

Most bodybuilders and fitness models avoid cardio in the off season in order to build muscle and keep their gains. Yet, they look shredded and have visible abs. A well-planned diet combined with strength and HIIT can do more for your body than any cardio workout. The key is to stay in a caloric deficit and train at high intensity. This approach allows you to gain lean mass and strength while burning stubborn fat.