• Coach Dan

Running for fat loss?

'Dan, I want to lose some weight, shouldn't I be doing some cardio during our sessions? Will you be getting a treadmill in the gym? What about one of those reclined sit down bikes, that'd look good in the gym, will you get one?'



I'm asked these questions a lot.



The short answer is no.



There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking this question. We've been told for donkeys years by the media that in order to lose fat we should run so I completely understand the confusion.



Now let me clear things up for you and explain why we'll be sticking with strength training at HQ...



I'm going to use running for this example.



Your body needs energy during exercise. When you first start your run your body will use what you've eaten for this energy but as most people do when fat loss is the goal a pretty low calorie diet will be in place and therefore this source of energy doesn't last long.



So what happens when this has run out (no pun intended)?



Your body will look to the next most efficient energy source... Muscle tissue.



That's right. You're body will start to break down muscle tissue and NOT fat!



'But Dan, the number on the scales is dropping so I must be doing something right?'



Yes the number will drop slightly but this is because you're losing muscle mass, NOT FAT MASS.



Ever heard the term 'skinny fat'?



Have you ever actually looked at the shape of an endurance runner compared with a sprinter?



Have you ever picked up an injury after a long run?



This muscle mass that you're breaking down is actually the reason why those aches, pains and injuries creep in. Lower back, hip, knee pain, ankle issues and much more are a result of the breakdown of this supportive muscle tissue.



Now I'm not saying don't run!



If this is what you enjoy then do it. But DON'T do it on a low calorie diet with no strength training to support and expect to lose fat mass. IT JUST WON'T HAPPEN.



We will usually programme some kind of cardio conditioning work into a clients training session and this will tend to be on the Assault Bike, sled/prowler work, etc. But we would only do this after the important strength training side of things has been tackled first.



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