by: Jeffrey R Graffius
Sometimes it's best to "just say no" to this extremely catabolic activity
it can be extremely frustrating and confusing to be performing hours of "fat burning cardio", with little to no results.
Performing low intensity, long duration activity requires very little muscular strength & muscular size.
Having larger amounts of muscle mass is counter-productive to the body’s ability to perform such activity. The heart & lungs have to work harder to pump the necessary blood & oxygen to this extra “mass”. The body gets rid of what is not needed, as well as what is most “metabolically expensive” (muscle mass).
The common misconception people have who are performing large amounts of this activity, is thinking the body is burning significant amounts of fat since it would seem that fat is “unneeded mass” as well. This is incorrect. The body’s primary concern is survival, not looking like a Greek God (or Goddess). Stored Body fat is very important for survival, if it wasn’t for this calorically dense form of stored energy, humans would have never survived if they were forced to go a few days without food.
Muscle mass is not needed during lowing intensity activity, and in-fact is a hinderence... therefore the body will preferentially break down the muscle (protein) into amino acids to be used for energy, thereby preserving the “fuel in the fuel tanks” (fat, adipose tissue). To build & preserve muscle, especially while following a hypo-caloric diet, you must convince the body that the muscle is necessary for survival. This is accomplished through high intensity, relatively short duration activity, including, but not limited to: Strenuous resistance training, sprinting, jumping etc..