“I do so much cardio, but can’t lose weight”  I hear this often from my clients and receive lots of inbox messages about this. Cardio is great, and it’s very important, but can be very bad for your health.

What’re your goals? What kind of physique are you looking for? Are you training for a marathon? (which by the way is horrible for you) how many marathon runners have dropped dead while competing? I won’t go into that today.

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In fact, low intensity long durational-type cardio is quite harmful. This is the biggest misconception out there in fitness and for fat-loss, It is true that jogging in this “fat burning zone” does, in fact, take its energy from fat cells for fuel, but what you’re doing is training your body to store fat. The body is saying to itself “It’s a good thing that I had that fat there for the low-intensity cardio, so I am going to make sure that I store more there for the next slow long duration cardio session. Bottom line, you’re creating a fat storage machine.

What’s worse is low-intensity long duration cardio makes your heart and lungs smaller, which is not good for longevity. That saying is true, what you don’t use, you lose.

So what type of cardio do you do to burn fat? Live a longer healthier life? The answer is simple. HIIT (high, intensity, Interval, Training)

When you do HIIT training, the body is will get energy from different sources. It won’t use fat for energy because fat is a slow burning fuel. Your body will get the fuel from glycogen that is stored in the liver and muscles that are available within seconds for the high output demand. The glycogen is like muscle/lean tissue, (active) It will burn fat just sitting there doing nothing.

So when the body uses those energy sources, your body will say, “I need fuel now! I can’t store this fuel as fat, it’s a good thing I had the glycogen in the liver and the muscles, so I am going to store more there for the next HIIT training.” You will then train your body to break down and store carbohydrates into glycogen and store it in the liver and the muscles for future cardio workouts. Your metabolism will be revved, and you will burn more calories even when you sleep.

So what kind of cardio are you doing? What type of body style do you want?  Sprinters do HIIT training while marathons runners do long duration cardio.