The Truth About Cardio

Steven Sisskind, M.D. August 17, 2011 Articles Print This Post Print This Post
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If your main fat loss tool is long cardio…

Jogging, long bike rides, an hour a day on the treadmill, or basically any cardio that takes you more than 16 minutes to complete…

Then you have fallen for the “cardio myth”… and are probably having a hard time keeping the weight off.

It’s About Energy Production

You have two primary energy systems that support physical activity:

  1. Aerobic: Produces energy slowly… used for long duration cardio
  2. Anaerobic: Produces energy quickly… used for
    sprinting and short term energy bursts

Intense activities use both systems because they usually exceed your anaerobic threshold. But this does NOT work in reverse…

As moderate activity almost NEVER requires support from the anaerobic energy system.

Burning Fat AFTER Exercise

Intense activity creates a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).

What this means is that after you have stopped exercising (even after just 5 minutes of intense exercise), your body’s metabolism can remain elevated for up to a few DAYS!

This simply does not happen with regular cardio – you only burn what you burn while exercising.

More importantly, intense exercise actually builds lean, sexy muscles… while long form cardio can reduce muscle mass.

Would You Rather Look Like This or This?

Marathon Runner: Long CardioPole Vaulter: Short Bursts of Energy 
 

Marathon Runner: Long Cardio

 

Sprinter: Short Bursts

And it Gets Worse

Done too often, long form cardio can cause cellular damage and too much wear and tear on your joints. This wear and tear can cause inflammation, which as I told you in my report…

Can compete with your leptin receptors and actually prevent you from burning fat.

I am not saying to never do long form cardio, I am saying to limit this to once or twice a week. And I do recommend long walks almost every day, as this is actually restorative… and you will burn close to the same amount of calories as long cardio anyway!

How to Exercise With Intensity

Intensity is relative. Some people can sprint for 60 seconds with relative ease, while others become heavily winded after just walking up a steep hill.

The goal then is to do something like sprinting, biking, swimming, elipticycle for a period of 45 seconds that feels intense for you, which means…

Gasping for air at the end [this means you would not be able to have a conversation].

Then you walk slowly for as long as it takes to be able to comfortably speak again.

This could be 1 minute, 2 minutes… or even 3 minutes.

Then exercise again… do this for 16 minutes tops and you are done.

Just do this 3 times a week and I assure you that you will burn far more fat than doing normal long cardio for 45 minutes, 5 times a week!

Quick Note

If you’re out of shape, don’t overdo it! You can still benefit without the risk of hurting yourself. As I said, intensity is relative.

Start out with a level of intensity that is challenging for you.

Please keep me posted…


Steven Sisskind, M.D.

P.S. This is just one topic from my Fat Loss Fast Start Program…

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I have never been more proud about anything in my life (well maybe marrying my “rock” of a wife, fathering three wonderful children, and graduating from Baylor College of Medicine tops it) but I am having the same kind of proud feelings!

Please submit your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

2 comments

esther pearlman - February 18, 2016 Reply

I enjoyed your article on intensity work outs. I do about 1/2 hour of exercise every day of yoga and I dance to some fun music for five minutes. I have 30 steps in my house so I walk up and down them all day. I am going to do more intense intervals of exercise. Your very encouraging. One thing I have used realdose reds and it is great. What I would like to know about the caffine in the weight loss formula, since it is a stimulant, does it cause jjitterness? I am 5 ft 7 in and am 130lbs. Also, how much weight training would you say I need so that I won’t get flabby. I will have my 76th birthday next week. Thank you for being there for us Dr Steve. Esther

Dr. Steve Sisskind - February 24, 2016 Reply

Hi Esther,

Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! I am so happy to learn that you continue to actively pursue a healthy lifestyle and always keep us in the loop with your progress. About your caffeine concerns, One of the ingredients in Weight Loss Formula No. 1 (Decaf Green Coffee Bean Extract) is derived from decaffeinated green coffee beans. According to the ingredient manufacturer, the extract can contain 0-2% of caffeine.

Each RealDose capsule contains 133.33 mg of the Decaffeinated Green Coffee Bean Extract, and therefore may contain anywhere from 0 – 2.67 mg of caffeine, an amount with essentially no physiologic effect. As a point of comparison, a generic 8 oz. cup of coffee contains 100-200 mg of caffeine, 8 oz. brewed tea 40-120 mg, and a 12 oz. Coke 54 mg.

As for your exercise regimen, they are quite impressive and you are certainly doing everything you can to stay active. Going up and down a flight of stairs several times a day is good cardio but I do suggest that you speak with a personal trainer if you are planning to take on more physically demanding exercises.

I wish you the best of health on your birthday, Esther! And do hope this helps!

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