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It still amazes me today with all of the research and top coaches, scientist, nutritionist, etc. out there that the default workout for most people is still cardio.

I was traveling recently and was working out in the hotel gym. I was the only one in there at first but soon after an overweight middle aged dude came in and jumped right on the elliptical for 20 minutes and left. Five minutes later an overweight younger women came in and jumped on the treadmill to walk.

Now let me say first the fact that people are doing something active that is potentially good for them should be applauded. That being said with 70% of the population being overweight choosing cardio as your first action is a mistake.

There are 2 things at play here when you look at the amount of people that are overweight or obese:

  1. People do not do anything at all. Eating healthy is not part of what they do and any type of exercise is nonexistent.
  2. They chose the wrong form of exercise or diet (for them) that gets no results and this in most cases is not their fault

Let’s tackle #1. What is there to say here? You’re overweight, unhealthy and you know it yet you choose to ignore it. I am a libertarian. That means I don’t care what you do just leave me alone and I will leave you alone (simplified it a bit close enough). Here is the problem with this in this instance. When you don’t take responsibility for your health you will become a drain on our society’s resources. This may not be very PC but it’s a fact. If I end up having to pay with my tax dollars to keep you alive I am going to be pissed but if you’re sick and unhealthy and it doesn’t affect anyone else this is your choice have at it. This really could be a whole blog post in itself but let’s keep moving.

#2. This is either not paying attention or just doing what you are most comfortable with. There has been mounds of research supporting strength training and maintaining or increasing muscle that supports losing weight/fat better than cardio. There is no one size fits all here and by no means am I saying there is but the fact remains some type of resistance training should be first on your list with cardio following. Nine times out of ten this is not the case. Are more people strength training than ever before? Sure there are but still most people’s default is cardio.

And here is the thing I have been in the fitness industry my whole adult life and coached thousands of people but there are millions of people that do not have coaches that join gyms and go right to the cardio deck.

Here is the difference 15-20 years ago, this information wasn’t available like it is today. You can google anything you want to know. If you google best exercise to lose fat I guarantee strength training is on the first page.

From here it can get tricky and you may need a little more help here but having said that stop using cardio as the default to lose fat. Should you do cardio? Yes, you should just not as the priority.

This is a little simplistic but maybe that’s what we need right now. Keep it simple but do what works for you.

If you have been doing cardio as the priority for years and your body is not where you would like it to be maybe you should change? Just a thought.

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