How many treadmills do you think there are at Planet Fitness? No, seriously.
There has to be close to 50 … and that’s not counting the 15 ellipticals, 10 bikes and three stair masters.
Why on Earth would a commercial gym need so many freakin’ treadmills?? Because we’ve all been conditioned to believe cardio – the steady state kind you do on a treadmill or elliptical – is the magic tool (or at least an all-important one) for weight loss.
Want to lose weight? You need to start running, take a spin class, or go to the gym and get on the elliptical. That will finally get the pounds moving, right?!
If you’re struggling to lose weight and you’ve been thinking you just need to do more cardio, the truth is that is actually a huge mistake.
First of all cardio is actually not that effective at burning calories. Steady-state intensity activities teach your body how to be really good at storing energy, which means the longer you do it, the less energy your body will use for that activity.
Therefore, in order to lose weight, we have to do more. So if you’re already doing an hour of cardio a day, five or six days a week, you have to do even MORE than that if you’re currently not losing weight.
Ain’t nobody got time for that!!
On top of that, to keep the weight off, you have to keep up that level of activity. Like .. forever.
More cardio is almost never the answer for weight loss, if you’re sedentary and you’re someone who’s currently not doing any physical activity I recommend you start with walking. The best investment in my opinion is a FitBit and a goal of 10,000 steps a day. Its not cardiovascular but it is movement and that is going to use energy in a much more efficient way.
If you’re someone who feels a little bit stuck and you have been dieting and exercising and the weight’s not coming off, I encourage you to increase your strength training. If you’re not doing any strength training start with one or two days a week.
If you’re already strength training change up your routine by using heavier weights or trying different exercises.
Lifting weights is not going to make you big and bulky, but it is going to build all-important lean muscle tissue which is what turns our bodies into fat burning machines. The more muscle mass you have the more energy your body uses all the time.
If you find that what you’re doing isn’t working, pick up some weights and start strength training. Instead of adding another cardio session add another weight training session into your week and then instead of doing steady-state cardio I recommend intervals, circuits or metabolic training.
If you’re trying to lose weight, get off the spin bike, get off the treadmill, and pick up some weights. You’ll turn your body into a 24-hour a day fat-burning powerhouse instead of an energy storing machine.
And you’ll never have to spend an hour on that treadmill at Planet Fitness ever again. 😉