Myth 1: Cardio is the best way to burn fat
Undoubtedly cardio is great for your heart and lungs, but it is not the best way to lose weight/burn fat. Increasing muscle mass by lifting weights makes us more efficient at burning fat as fuel. Too much cardio can increase the risk of losing muscle mass, which should be avoided at all costs. Instead, try combining cardio with resistance training together with a good nutrition plan. For more on this, check out “Cardio vs. Weight Training for weight loss”
Myth 2: Stay in the ‘Fat Burning Zone’ to burn more fat
The idea is, if you keep your heart rate in the ‘fat burning zone’ between 55% and 65% of your maximum heart rate that you will burn more fat as fuel. This is completely misleading, as it is the overall calorie expenditure that is important, not the percentage of fat burned. Total calories burned will be much higher when exercising at a higher intensity.
Instead of staying in the ‘fat burning zone’, try pushing yourself harder to burn more overall calories.
Myth 3: Cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach burns more fat
Research has shown that ‘fasted’ cardio can result in muscle catabolism (the body breaks down muscle tissue and uses that as fuel). Eating an hour or two before exercise can elevate our metabolism, therefore we can burn more calories (and fat) by training after we have eaten.
Myth 4: Cardio before weights
The truth is, if you hit the treadmill for an hour, then go on and lift weights, you are less likely to have the energy and strength required to complete your weights routine. The best option would be to do your cardio and resistance training on separate days, that way you can give them both your all.
Myth 5: You should do the same type of cardio every day if you want to see progress
If you perform the same movements on a regular basis, your body will adapt to those movements (the SAID principle) and become more efficient at executing those movements. When this happens, you burn fewer calories as less energy is required. The solution is to alternate your cardio exercises and/or alternate the intensity of the exercises, High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) is a fantastic way to break through a plateau. Why not check these 9 Non-Boring cardio exercises for some extra fun, AND burn?
Myth 6: Low Intensity cardio is better than High Intensity.
Although low intensity cardio (steady state cardio) does have its place, it is nowhere near as effective at burning calories as High Intensity cardio. Short bursts of speed, followed by low intensity is the way to go for fat loss. The benefits of this include – using both the Anaerobic and Aerobic energy systems plus more overall calories burned in a shorter time.