Myth: “Cardio is the best form of exercise for fat loss”

We say:“A successful fat loss will be mostly down to your diet, not cardio”

What you’ve been told

Weight training makes you big and cardiovascular training makes you thin. If you want to burn fat you need to do lots ofsteady cardio training and the more you can do, the better. This is best done at a moderate intensity performed in the“fat burning zone”.

The truth

Successful fat loss will be largely down to your diet, not your cardio approach. Plenty of people get themselves into great shape without doing any traditional cardio – some with absolutely no form of cardio whatsoever. It’s one tool in your armoury, but it’s not the only way, and it’s certainly not the most efficient way. What works for one person will not always work for another so it’s impossible to say that one training method always trumps another for a specific goal. But, if we were going to do a simplistic hierarchy of fat loss it would probably look something like this:

1. Nutrition2. Resistance training3. Interval training4. Steady cardio training

You’ll notice that nutrition comes first and traditional steady state cardiovascular training is last. It’s not that it’s notbeneficial. Of course it is. But in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, we see better results when people combine nutrition and resistance training.

We often also use metabolic resistance training – the kind of approach that we use in our gym.

What you can do?

Training is important, but if you get your nutrition on point you’re halfway there. 

Once a sound base of nutrition is in place your cardio requirement comes down to your starting point, the time you have available and your personal preference. Most people have busy lives and only have up to three hours per week to train, so we typically recommend resistance training supported by a basic nutritional programme that meets their specific requirements.

As we progress we might then add some high intensity intervals at the tail end of our sessions, leaving cardio as a back up. If you have more time available to train, you can do your intervals on separate days to your resistance training to maximize its effectiveness. 

For those with more than four hours per week to train we might look to include some steady state stuff it we need to, or you feel you want to, but it’s typically not required except for in cases where people have body fat goals that are extreme.

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The Encore approach to non-stop progress

 At Encore, you will find a results-focused fitness environment, designed to constantly move you towards your personal goals.

Our unique blend of intelligently intense small-group sessions, evidence-based exercises and ever-changing programmes trains you as an elite athlete, keeping workouts challenging and exciting.

Our strength and conditioning training programme includes classes that focus on lifting weights, in a closely monitored environment, while other build aerobic capacity.

The Encore team also provides nutritional guidance, sharing a range of information sources and expert advice to complement your fitness programme, and help you reach your goals.

Join us and get fitter, leaner and stronger.

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