‘Fat Burning Furnace’
The majority of exercisers today still rely on long duration moderate paced aerobic exercise as their primary routine for burning fat. But there are several reasons why this is a bad move, as it can actually keep you from burning fat and reduce your ability to handle stress. But there are a couple of other reasons why you should think twice, or three times, before stepping foot on a treadmill again.
A few years ago, I was spending a lot of time with aerobic exercise on an elliptical machine, trying to burn fat fast. I was doing the usual 30-45 minutes per session for about 3 times per week. I was getting in better cardiovascular shape, or so I thought, but I didn’t notice any difference in my physique. So I followed the “more is better” thinking that surrounds this type of exercise and added a fourth day.
After a few weeks I added a fifth day as I still didn’t see the results I wanted. I was watching my diet too, so I figured that was the only thing that would do it. Well, it wasn’t very long before I began to get worn out.
This might seem obvious, but I was so focused on my goals of burning maximum fat that I didn’t want that to get in the way, so I pressed onward. Not many more days passed by and I got a cold. What I realized later was that my immune system was so worn down that I was very susceptible to catching a virus, and I did.
Guess what? I didn’t stop. I continued with my sessions and ended up with a horrible sinus infection that put me out for about a week and a half. I was miserable, and I can tell you I hadn’t burned much fat either. I had to take several days off of work to recover. I learned an important lesson, however; one that you should never have to: listen to your body.
If you are feeling drained, take a day or two off until you’re really feeling ready to get back to it. I also learned that aerobic exercise just doesn’t cut it when trying to transform your body for the better or burn fat fast. If 5 days per week didn’t work, I certainly don’t think 6 or 7 days would. And even if it did, would spending that much time in the gym be worth it to you?
I eventually discovered that the aerobics were training my body to actually store body fat to have available for the next workout…yikes! And I also found out that I was actually reducing my body’s ability handle work and stress. I was becoming more efficient and handling easy work, but it made me pant like a race horse when trying anything that was marginally more intense…even something like climbing a long flight of stairs. And I wasn’t burning any fat either.
The other concern I have with aerobic exercise is that of overuse injuries and muscle imbalances. These are common in competitive athletes that perform the same monotonous motion over and over and over again.
The muscles primarily involved in these activities also receive the brunt of the work while the rest of your body is neglected. This can be true for any of the aerobic movements recommended by many fitness professionals to burn fat because it is a repetitive motion continued for long time periods for several times each week, affecting the same muscle groups.
Runners are a prime example. The pounding that this activity gives the joints associated (knees, etc.) can lead to injury from overusing that area. And because the lower body receives the brunt of the work, you are creating severe imbalances with other areas of your body. You’ll have to add more exercise to make up for this, and before you know it, you’ll be spending too much of your time devoted to workouts that were supposed to burn fat fast.
The good news is that you can avoid these problems entirely, and spend an average of 15-20 minutes, 2-3 days per week performing properly conducted intense resistance training to burn fat like you want to.
Students of my Fat Burning Furnace system know this and simultaneously burn fat, build muscle, strength, and lasting health with their efforts. So get off of the treadmill and get intense with resistance training…your body will show you the difference in your fat burning success, and thank you for it down the road.
Rob Poulos is a celebrated fitness author, fat loss expert, and the founder and CEO of Zero to Hero Fitness. Rob created the world’s most efficient method for fast and permanent fat loss with his “Fat Burning Furnace” system to help those looking to put an end to restrictive fad diets, long boring cardio workouts, and the need for super-human willpower for good.
Written By: Updated: July 7,2011
4 thoughts on “Treadmills: Keeping You Fat One Step at a Time”
This is so true! I get my intense weight training done in about 20 minutes, twice a week. Because I like other physical activities, on days I don’t lift weights, I add in a couple of intense spin bike classes and some yoga. I can’t believe how well this works and how much kinder to my body it is. FBF and peak interval training has changed my life. I’m getting rid of my treadmill.
I am a 79 year old aerobic instructor. I incorporate in my classes bench aerobics strength training (weight lifting etc) toning & stretching. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me. So this person maybe an expert on training but this helps me so much to rellieve stress & keep fit. I don’t care for treadmills or machines but I beg to differ with you on the benefits of aerobics & after my class I feel so much better. Georgia Martin
This is very good advice. I have always loved to walk, and the one summer I wasn’t working, I did it a lot. I walked 10 miles (not km) a day, six days a week, for three months, reducing my time from 3 hours to less than 2.5. I enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air, but I never lost an ounce, never felt any better, never got any stronger, and my body never looked any different.
Since then, I have tried to clarify why so many health professionals will tell you half an hour of daily walking is enough exercise. Is this for cardiac rehab or what?
This is true. Walking, or running for that matter, is a good cardiovascular exercise for most people, but not necessarily the most effective for losing weight. For someone who is relatively fit, 30 minutes on a treadmill a day is not going to be that productive, but for someone who is basically sedentary, any exercise is better than no exercise. Your body will adapt very quickly to any exercise routine, which is why it is a good reason to keep changing things up, vary the routines for maximal benefit. There are other benefits to walking as we age, such as reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improving balance and improving so I would not necessarily agree that treadmills are all bad.