Does Cardio Help or Hinder Weight Loss?

by JoshDickinson 6534 views Weight Loss

Does Cardio Help or Hinder Weight Loss?

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Summer is just around the corner! If you are like many people, you have just been hit with a motivational Sledgehammer to drop some weight and get in shape.

So where do you start?

Sure, already following a consistent exercise and nutrition plan would be best, but if you did take some ‘down time’ over Winter, not all is lost. In fact, when it comes to “cardio”, a drop in your fitness may actually offer you some benefits to fat loss at this time!

How can a decrease in fitness help you lose weight?

We know that the relationship between fitness and fat loss are at polar opposites (by understanding the definition of fitness), where fitness is best described as the quality of being suitable to fulfil a particular role or task. And as you continue to perform a set task (for example, let’s use walking as it is a fairly easy activity for most people), the activity becomes “easier”.

You might start going for a morning walk, 3 times per week for 30 minutes.
And then you start to increase the time to 45 minutes.
Over time, you increase the sessions to 4 per week and session length to 1 hour.

As the sessions continue to become easier, we begin to understand that these sessions will create less ‘demands’ on your body, therefore a reduced potential for maximal calorie expenditure.

Your body adapts to do easy things, easier!

Now, if you are coming from a state of ‘temporary exercise hiatus’, everything is difficult because your fitness has reduced to that of a ‘sedentary’, existence-type level. There has been no demand to perform anything with effort. And that first session back in, it’s bloody hard. It’s like the first time you went swimming when you couldn’t swim; it felt like life or death. 

Greater effort imposes a greater metabolic toll on your body. More calories burned…And more calories burned for longer!

But obviously if we keep swimming it will only get easier. So, is there a way to keep that “first day at the pool” feeling? Yes! By paying careful attention to exercise selection and focusing on the things you suck at!

This introduces us to our greatest fat loss ally in terms of cardio-vascular exercise: “inefficiency of movement”

I have never liked the myth of the “confusion” principle (though primarily applied to resistance training). I don’t believe you can confuse your body. But you sure can create efficiency of movement by replicating the same action over and over again, which is how you become FIT! So, if we continue to vary things up, focusing on our weaknesses and not our strengths, and we do the things that we are not very good at, we can in some ways remain unfit for those activities.

I know, it is a radical concept to think being unfit and fat loss are the perfect partners in crime but think about it this way:

If you have 20 minutes to spare, what will give you the greatest potential for fat loss? A brisk walk or completing a circuit with all the exercises we DON’T enjoy such as burpees, sled runs, ball slams and rope whips? And then of course, once you complete that session… you never complete it again. Next time, perform some hill sprints and the session after that, you might go for some high-intensity boxing intervals. Or at least at such a minimal frequency that you will never develop any sort of true efficiency!

How to maximise your weight loss in 5 easy steps?

  1. Have a goal
  2. Get your nutrition right
  3. Have a solid resistance plan
  5. Give it your all!



Body Transformation Specialist - Online Coach - Writer

I am a certified body transformation specialist, Sports Nutrition Specialist (ISSN), a certified RECOMP consultant and Metabolic Precision Level 4 Specialist. As well as being a prolific writer, I have competed in more than 28 bodybuilding competitions stretching every major federation in Australia, as well as being the founder of


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