…It just isn’t that effective.
::Cue dramatic scene::
We enter a Five Guys Burger Joint. We look to our left. There sits a man at a table, with a bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a large Coke. A big meal to be sure, but not unheard of. He thinks to himself. “Wow! I just at a tremendous meal. better go to the gym and burn it off!”
He leaves, and heads to his friendly neighborhood GLOBO GYM.
Our subject hops on the treadmill, sets the incline to 3, and the speed to 4. He’s not playing around. He walks for 60 minutes. A FULL HOUR! He leaves feeling more than justified in what he’s just done. Not a bad trade off. A delicious meal for an hour of suffering on the treadmill. Right?
Let’s rehash with numbers. Man eats bacon cheeseburger. 920 calories Man eats fries. 620 calories. Man drinks Coke. 300 calories. Man consumes 1840 calories in roughly 15 minutes. (that’s like 120 cal per min)
Man goes to the gym. Man spends 6o min walking on a treadmill exuberantly. Man burns 456 calories (since he weighs 200lbs).
That’s roughly 25 % of the calories he just put on. Boom.
He could have burned all of the calories off if he had walked upstairs with 2 twenty pound bags of sand….for 2 hours. Or jumped rope for about 100 minutes. Or ran a 5 minute mile. 12 times.
All this to say that it is not easy to make up for bad eating with ‘exercise’.
But my point is this: If you like eating poorly, and want to justify it with exercise, don’t hit the treadmill. That’s as bad of an idea of going with a slavery motif to a black and white party. Not good. Not appropriate.
What you need to be doing is weight lifting. All the time. For the women out there who don’t like lifting weights for fear of getting bulky, never fear! Toned is a hot button word (read: lie) used by trainers without high school diplomas to justify their nicely tanned chicken legs.
**Just a quick aside. Having strong legs is one of the best things ever. Don’t believe me? Try it sometime. It’s great. Want to get strong legs in just 2 minutes every day? Too bad. Not possible. Go do some lunges. **
When you work out, and work out big muscle groups (read: legs) with compound exercises (read: lunges) and use weights to do it, your body has a hormonal reaction to the stress you just placed on it. It’s the same kind of hormonal reaction that you used to get at age 13 when you saw John Stamos on TV. Yes men, you too. In addition to the release of endorphins that you get when you stimulate your muscles (or when John Stamos stimulates your eyeballs), there’s also a release of HGH and testosterone in your body.
“TESTOSTERONE?! But I thought only men had that, and it was close to becoming illegal!” Check out what wikipedia has to say on the subject:
“Essential for promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, bone mass and the growth of body-hair.In addition, testosterone is essential for health and well-being as well as the prevention of osteoporosis.”
In addition to this, the breakdown of large muscle groups when you workout has a 24 hour ‘afterburn’ effect as well where your body, in repairing it’s poor sad muscles, uses roughly the same amount of calories to fix them as it did to break them down in the first place. So if you burn 100 calories doing pushups, you’ll burn another 100 calories in the next day. So when you’re sore after a workout, don’t worry about it. That’s the feeling of calories dying.
In addition, it’s not unusual to see people working out one day, then undoing the workout that they had done the day before by doing too much steady state cardio. You can actually eat into muscle instead of fat if you time your workouts and your eating incorrectly.
Think about it, your muscles are made of water and essential amino acids, which are full of nutrients. Your fat is made of organic compounds like hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. None of which are the best for fueling your body during long energy burning workouts like a 2 hour treadmill sesh.
So, going back to the aforementioned 5 guys lover. If he had ended up walking on the treadmill for 4 hours and burning off all the calories that he had consumed, it wouldn’t have even been the same calories. At some point, his body would have run out of glucose and started breaking down muscle instead.
The irony overwhelms me. In a passionate effort to atone for your bad eating, you go the gym and burn off your hard-earned muscle, putting you in a worse spot than before. I’ll leave you with one last proof that I’m right and cardio is wrong.
Also, a teaser for next time: Carson Kemp of CK Training Systems and I will be heading to our friendly neighborhood “Heart Attack Grill” on Wednesday August 31st, and we will be eating their “Quadruple Bypass Burger”
“The Quadruple Bypass Burger with 8,000 Calories has been identified as one of the “world’s worst junk foods”. It consists of four half-pound beef patties, eight slices of American cheese, a whole tomato and half an onion served in a bun coated with lard”
We will then set out to record how long it takes us to burn off this obscene food item. I’ll record our workouts, how long they were, and what we did, so that you don’t have to find out for yourself. This should be a pretty good article, so stay tuned.
Like my facebook page for good luck!