Fitness ‘expert’ Jim Karas has written a diet book claiming that cardio is a complete waste of time. The Cardio-Free Diet advises us to ditch the cardio: “it kills your time, your energy, your joints, and your motivation”
“Cardiovascular exercise kills a weight-loss plan, your internal organs, your immune system, your time and your motivation. If your true goal is to lose weight, interval strength training is the only way to go,” (from ABC News)
Call me cynical – but this reeks of sensationalism as a marketing tool.Essentially – Karas figured out that he lost weight by doing strength and resistance training and minimal cardio. This is old news. However to say that cardiovascular exercise “kills” a weight-loss plan is simply a headline grabber.
Karas claims that the cardio leads to an increase in appetite so you eat more – thus preventing any fat loss benefits.
Has anyone looked at the physique of an endurance athlete? Not what I would call overfat.
I believe we are getting lost in semantics here. Any decent fat loss program should have exercises that get your heart-rate up — whether it’s 400m running intervals, or air squats done at speed with high repetition… or 45 minutes on the treadmill.
Cardio training (jogging, treadmill, stationary bike) may have been over-emphasized over the last decade, but that doesn’t mean we need to can the cardio. It means we need to start emphasizing the benefits of strength training and bodyweight exercises.
You have to find what works for you
For me – this means variety in exercise using a large range of different exercises – some weight-bearing, some bodyweight, some fast, some slow. I get bored quickly, and find that dramatic variation is the key – and sometimes – this actually includes straight aerobic exercise.