Many people believe that ‘cardio’ is an undeniable, irrefutable necessity for achieving lower bodyfat. At Biologic Labs we not only teach that it is unnecessary; we recommend you DON’T do it! At best, low-intensity endurance exercise – like walking or riding a stationary bike – is the most inefficient, ineffective mode of exercise for improving body composition! At worst it is highly counterproductive.
The amount of fat you have is always the amount of your bodyweight that is NOT muscle (or other lean tissue). Low intensity endurance exercise has a profoundly negative impact on strength and muscle gain. Because every kilo of muscle you fail to gain is a kilo of fat you fail to lose, endurance (‘cardio’) exercise can dramatically slow the fat loss from an effective Body Recompositioning program.
Consider two almost identical people of the same height and weight except one is fat, the other is lean. The difference between them is not just their fat mass but also their muscle mass. Specifically, the lean person has more muscle instead of fat. The fat person has more fat instead of muscle.
The fat person does not need to lose weight to achieve the same body composition as the lean person; they are the same weight already. So the fat person does not need to ‘burn calories’. They do not need a low calorie diet. To have the same body composition, the fat person needs to increase their muscle mass in replacement of their fat.
Having significantly less muscle than the otherwise identically-built, lean person means the fat person will be significantly weaker. They could have inferior or superior physical endurance, balance, flexibility or coordination; but because those physical attributes are not factors of muscle mass there is no way to know and therefore no reason to train to achieve them. The substantial difference in ability that ties directly to muscle mass and therefore body composition is strength.
So for the fat person to build the muscle mass of the lean person – so they can have the same, low bodyfat – the fat person will need to train for the same strength level. And that obviously means strength exercise (weights). There is no positive relationship between endurance and muscle mass so the fat person has no need to do endurance (ie cardio) exercise in order to achieve the lean persons body composition. In fact, endurance exercise (ie cardio) has a very significant negative impact on strength and muscle gain which means adding cardio to the strength program would actually slow the fat persons transformation toward the lean persons body composition. It would slow their fat loss.
Which is why ‘cardio’ – ie endurance exercise – has no place in a body recomposition program.