This is our first  Q&A post.  I love your questions and will answer them in future blog posts or videos so keep them coming.

Q: I have heard you say that cardio is not ideal for weight loss and that we should do conditioning instead.  What is the difference and why is conditioning preferred over cardio?

A: In general, cardio is repetitive activity that uses the larger muscle groups in your body and elevates your heart rate.  By this definition cardio is pretty much any exercise that isn’t weight training.  When I mention cardio, I am talking about traditional, steady state, moderate intensity activity like jogging, doing the elliptical, and taking cardio classes like Spin and Zumba.  Conditioning on the other hand is cardio activity that alternates higher intensity bouts with lower intensity bouts OR a really intense effort for a very short period of time.

I go into the reasons why I don’t recommend cardio as a weight loss tool in my blog 3 Reasons to Avoid the Cardio TrapIn general cardio is ineffective for weight loss because of its tendency to increase your appetite and cravings and your body’s ability to adapt to it and need more for continued results.  Conditioning on the other hand creates a response in the body that is similar to that of weight training. It creates a metabolic disturbance so that your metabolism is elevated for hours after the session (more calorie burning without additional effort) and it has a much smaller influence on your appetite (much easier to stick to your nutrition plan).

When it comes to weight loss, conditioning is preferred because it creates a greater total deficit (when you include the calories burned after the session) and it is less likely to increase your appetitie and cravings.  If your goal is to manage your weight without a ton of willpower and mental energy, exercising in a way that doesn’t make you hungry and turn you into “Cookie Monster” is ideal.

Watch the video below to see one of my favorite conditioning workout quickies.

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below! And if you found this helpful or inspirational, be sure to share.

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