Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Not a good day for cardio

Another study kicking sand in the face of long slow cardio for weight loss...and again its from Australia. The Aussie's are smart, they know cardio is a big waste of time for fat loss.

Br J Sports Med. 2009 Sep 29.

Beneficial effects of exercise: shifting the focus from body weight to other markers of health.

King N, Hopkins M, Caudwell P, Stubbs J, Blundell J.

QUT, Australia;

BACKGROUND: Exercise is widely promoted as a method of weight management, whilst the other health benefits are often ignored. The purpose of this study was to examine whether exercise-induced improvements in health are influenced by changes in body weight. METHODS: Fifty-eight sedentary overweight/obese men and women (BMI 31.8 +/-4.5kg/m2) participated in a 12 week supervised aerobic exercise intervention (70% heart rate max, 5 times a week, 500kcal per session). Body composition, anthropometric parameters, aerobic capacity, blood pressure and acute psychological response to exercise were measured at weeks 0 and 12. RESULTS: Mean reduction in body weight was -3.3 +/-3.63kg (P<0.01). However, 26 of the 58 participants failed to attain the predicted weight loss estimated from individuals' exercise-induced energy expenditure. Their mean weight loss was only -0.9 +/-1.8kg (P<0.01). Despite attaining lower than predicted weight reduction, these individuals experienced significant increases in aerobic capacity (6.3 +/-6.0ml.kg-1.min-1; P<0.01), decreased systolic (-6.00 +/-11.5mmHg; P<0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (-3.9 +/-5.8mmHg; P<0.01), waist circumference (-3.7 +/-2.7cm; P<0.01) and resting heart rate (-4.8+/-8.9bpm, p<0.001). In addition, these individuals experienced an acute exercise-induced increase in positive mood. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that significant and meaningful health benefits can be achieved even in the presence of lower than expected exercise-induced weight loss. Less successful reduction in body weight does not undermine the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise.
From a public health perspective, exercise should be encouraged and the emphasis on weight loss reduced.

There you go, the researchers have said what I've been saying all along...

The emphasis of cardio on weight loss should be reduced.


patty said...

With all the benefits of cardio outlined in this study, I was surprised your comment on Facebook was "Just say NO to cardio."

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

cardio is next to useless for fat loss. Just say NO!

Jim Hasselman said...

Cardio is inefficient. You can get all of the benefits of cardio from metabolic weight training, plus the added benefits that accrue from resistance training, eg strength, endurance, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hold on there Craig. You're the man and I love your workouts and philosophy, but the study points out that the subjects lost 3.7 cm (+/- 2.7cm). That's 0.5 inch to 2.5 inches off the waistline! Isn't losing inches off your waist more important than weight loss?