Aerobic Exercise: Too Much Can Make You Fat

Excessive Aerobic Exercise Can Actually Make You Put on Fat

About 15-20% of people who seek out our (Fitness Solutions Plus) help are people who are avid exercisers. They do some form of aerobic exercise (whether jogging, biking, swimming or anything else) for 30+ minutes, 4 or more times per week, yet they have a roll of fat around their belly. The women still have jiggly arms. What is the explanation for this?

Your body only knows survival. It doesn’t know aesthetics. So the more steady-state (constant speed) aerobic exercise you do, the better you become at doing it. You become what’s known as “fuel efficient.” But this about it for a second. What does it mean when your car is fuel efficient? It means that it goes a longer distance on less gas. The same thing happens with your body. You can go a longer distance on fewer calories. Great adaptation if you want to be an endurance athlete, but terrible adaptation if you want a beach body.


Now don’t take that to mean that you shouldn’t do any aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise, in the right dosages has great benefits. However, if you are doing resistance training with challenging weights, and minimal rest between exercises, you’re getting both cardiovascular benefits and strength benefits.

Some moderate aerobic exercise (no more than 60-90 minutes per week) will not have negative consequences on your body composition, provided that you do resistance training in conjunction with it. This amount of moderate aerobic exercise may even speed up your recovery from workouts.

This applies primarily to steady state aerobic exercise. Intervals don’t quite have this effect. Having said that, any form of exercise (whether steady state aerobic exercise, interval training, resistance training or flexibility training) only has a shelf life of 2-12 weeks, before it’s no longer effective. How long that shelf life is depends on how advanced you are (beginners can go longer on the same program and still make progress), what fitness quality you’re working (strength programs have a longer shelf life than aerobic exercise programs), how frequently you’re training (the more frequently you train, the shorter the shelf life), and a number of other factors.


Until next week,


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