We’ve all done it before- indulge in our favorite sweet treats or heavy dish, promising ourselves that we’ll simply “burn it off” at the gym the next day. This mindset is really appealing. It makes us feel like we can have our cake and eat it too, literally. Everyone wants to believe that there’s no problem eating an unhealthy diet, as long as you tack on some extra time on the treadmill or elliptical in the following days.

But, as you likely know if you’ve tried it before, this never works. The truth is, the number of calories you burn on the elliptical or treadmill will never be enough to get you ahead of a bad diet. No matter how long you spend in the gym, you will not burn off the calories you ate- you truly cannot outrun a bad diet. Plus, eating an unhealthy diet has negative health effects that go beyond the calories consumed.

The Cardio Myth

If you find yourself eating unhealthy food, spending much of your free time at the gym, and then repeating the same sequence the next week, you’re not alone. So many people are stuck in the cycle of spending way too much time at the gym, then feeling like they deserve to “treat themselves” after a miserable workout. Continuing with this cycle will never cause you to lose weight or obtain a strong, fit physique.

Steady state cardio workouts, like the elliptical or jogging on the treadmill, are actually not very beneficial for burning calories or building muscle. When we perform steady-state exercises, our bodies get used to the movements pretty quickly. Once this happens, the workout is no longer a challenge. If our bodies are not working hard, we will not build muscle or burn many calories (plus, the calorie counters on these machines are oftentimes inaccurate so you probably are not working as hard as you think). So, even if you are spending a lot of time in the gym, your workouts are not very effective. When it comes to exercise, more time does not equal more work.

These low intensity, steady state workouts can even cause you to lose the existing muscle you do have. Because they do not engage your muscles, you are not doing enough work to even preserve your existing muscle mass. You need muscle mass to achieve a higher metabolic rate and to be able to eat more of your favorite foods, since muscle tissue burns more energy than fat tissue. So if you are spending all of your time in the gym doing low-intensity cardio, you may actually be lowering your metabolism by neglecting to build and preserve muscle. If you truly want to lose weight, build muscle, and get fit, it’s time to break up with steady state cardio.

What’s the Answer To Weight Loss and Muscle Build?

The secret to losing weight and building muscle is simpler than you think. You do not need to spend more time in the gym, or learn a complicated weight lifting circuit. You just need to start strength training in a way that activates all of your muscles and continues to challenge them so that your body never gets used to the workout.

There are many ways that one can go about strength training, but the most effective is the high-intensity workout. Our high-intensity workouts at QuickHIT Fitness Labs focus on slow and steady motion with top-of-the-line equipment that engage your muscles at every point of the movement. Moving slowly during your strength training exercises makes the workout more effective because you no longer have any momentum assisting your body through the movements. This means that you build muscle faster, because you are using your time in the gym more efficiently. Plus, when you exercise with us you’ll receive one-on-one attention from a certified trainer who can cater the workouts to your specific needs and fitness goals.

On top of all of that, we offer nutrition guidance so you can break the cycle of craving unhealthy foods and feeling as though you have to burn it off in the gym. The best part? You can have success while working out for less than an hour each week. Say goodbye to long evenings on the elliptical.

Ready to end the cycle of spending hours in the gym but still seeing no changes in your body? Then it’s time to start working out at QuickHIT Fitness Labs. Our high-intensity training workouts are guaranteed to challenge you each time and increase your muscle mass. If you want to significantly cut down on the time you spend in the gym and actually see positive changes in your health and fitness, schedule your high-intensity workout with us online.