The Hamster Wheel at the Gym
I'm not a big fan of treadmills. Now I do believe that they do have their purpose, but the way 99.9% of the population use them is ineffective use of time. People these days go to the gym and literally walk on the treadmill. Seriously what is this about? Why would you go to the gym to stay on a machine for 25-30 minutes (often longer) and walk. If you want to go for a walk, why not take a stroll around a beautiful park, every city has one. You could even become a dog walker and earn some cash for the privilege of taking the stroll. But people pay their hard earned cash to join health clubs to attend the gym and waste their time by walking on the treadmills. Worst of all people even hold onto the treadmills when they walk to make it easier. Little do they understand that walking on a treadmill and holding on severely affects your gait pattern and is likely to lead to increased injuries. So I guess you could say that I do hate people that walk on treadmills and wonder why they don't make any progress. I have more reasons and I'll explain where they come from: 1) Cardio is not as effective as diet for weight loss In a meta-analysis of 493 studies spanning 25 years, it was found that changing one’s diet is a much more effective way for overweight individuals to reduce body fat than doing exercise. However, one problem with doing cardio is that the body becomes more efficient with training, thus reducing the fat-burning effects. 2) Cardio compromises muscle development One of the best ways to increase metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) is to gain muscle. Unfortunately, cardio can compromise muscle gains or, at the very least, prevent increases in muscle. From an empirical standpoint, endurance athletes at the highest levels have very little muscle mass. During the cutting-up phase of pro bodybuilders, it’s no secret that cardio often compromises their gains. 3) Cardio can age you quicker Runners often joke that if you want to see what you look like in 20 years, run a marathon and then look in a mirror. Here’s a scary fact: Aerobic training increases cortisol levels that can increase free radicals that in turn increase inflammation, which is associated with ageing. A study in 2011 measured the cortisol levels in 304 endurance athletes found that their training “…is associated with elevated cortisol exposure over prolonged periods of time.” 4) Treadmill running causes muscle imbalances Running on a treadmill is biomechanically different from normal running. Because a treadmill pulls your foot backward, your posterior chain muscles, such as the hamstrings, do little work. The resulting muscle imbalances can present themselves in postural problems that can contribute to musculoskeletal problems, especially lower back pain. The number-one cause of job-related disability and missed days from work in the US is back pain, according to the National Institutes of Health, and an estimated 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain by the age of 55. Those with a history of back pain should think twice about the benefits of exercising on a treadmill. 5) Treadmills and cardio Machines Make People Calorie Count The calorie- trackers built into cardio machines that inform you how many calories you burn. They are misleading and oftentimes do more harm than good. A common weight loss mistake has nothing to do with what you’re doing in the gym, but instead how much you think your workouts influence the amount of calories you burn. Believing that the majority of the calories you burn results from exercise is a dangerous misunderstanding. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The number of calories you burn at the gym actually pales in comparison to normal functioning and your daily activities that are not exercise based. Running will burn calories, but sprinting or lifting weights will result in more muscle. And the more muscle you have on your body (no—not the “bulky” muscle of bodybuilders), the more calories your body burns just functioning. 6) Treadmills can kill People fall off treadmills all the time – on YouTube you’ll see plenty of tragic evidence. When the back end of a treadmill is placed too close to a wall or other solid object, the trainee is often flung against the wall. Because many gym owners ignore safety standards or simply are not aware of them, many individuals die each year from striking their head against a wall after falling off treadmills. But I hate the treadmills is that most gyms are equipped with fantastic kit: - Dumbbells - Lifting platforms - Barbells - Kettlebells - ViPRs - Pull Up Stations - Squat racks + Lifting Platforms So I guess that the fact there is much more effective kit around and the majority still opt on using the treadmill escalates my hatred of them... After all, research published in the journal Hormone Research found that long distance running—like that done in endurance runners—causes an sustained increase in cortisol. And this increase in cortisol for long period of times can lead to more inflammation, slower recovery, breaking down your muscle tissue, building up fat and even harm your immune functioning. Something you certainly don't want. After all you want to build muscle, not lose it. Just as bad, if you’re suffering from too much stress—whether it’s the result of exercises for too many hours or not recovering with the right nutrition—you can harm your thyroid and lower your metabolic rate, making weight loss more difficult. If you're doing an hour of cardio per day, that’s more than enough for fat loss.... Any more than this will have detrimental effects on your body composition... Remember, treadmills literally get you no where.