Steady state cardio can make you fat

KX Health

For the general public, most of us exercise to improve our physical appearance or improve general health and prevent disease.

What does the general population do to get to their goal? We often hear: running, cycling, swimming, or any other moderate-intensity, prolonged, steady-state aerobic activity. You can easily spot this demographic walking into any commercial or residential gym. Those who continue to run, swim, and cycle further and more frequently are losing muscle; and as it continues to  decline they’re (1) storing fat, (2) losing strength and (3) reducing their resting metabolic rate.

1. Prolonged cardio leads to excess cortisol.

During exercise, cortisol, a stress hormone, is secreted as soon as a workout starts and continues to rise until completion. This stress response creates a catabolic, “muscle wasting” effect. To have a muscle building effect, we want a high testosterone to cortisol environment, generally found in high intensity, short bouts of stimulus.

2. Prolonged cardio leads to loss in muscle mass.

Another way aerobic or endurance exercise leads to muscle loss. Jogging may be accelerating the muscle loss, fiber shift, and fat storage that’s normally associated with aging.

3. Prolonged cardio leads to decline in resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Most people continue to believe obtaining a better physique requires consuming less calories, burning more calories, or a combination of the two. Unfortunately, the body is a beautiful machine and can adjust for the low intake during caloric restriction or a high caloric output during exercise, further hanging on to fat to store for future needs. You are essentially making your body less efficient at fat burning and more efficient at fat storing.

Exercise to build, not to burn.

Individuals that work on building muscle always look better than those that focus on burning calories. Not only because a toned muscular body is more aesthetically pleasing, but because muscle increases our resting metabolic rate. At KX Yorkville, we believe we need the right amount of stimulus to allow the body to shed fat and obtain optimal body composition. Overtraining and undertraining will both lead to fat storing, under or overeating will also lead to fat gain. That’s why we are here to work with you to find the balanced equation, specific to your body type. Book a consultation with our Exercise Coaches to get started.


Train smarter, not harder.

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