Fitness Myth #1: The Superkondi Phenomenon

As a professional trainer and group exercises instructor, I’ve decided to write a series of short myth busters concerning fitness, nutrition, etc. Today’s topic:
Superkondi (and similar group ex classes)
Superkondi is an hour of semi-synchronized, flailing arms and legs, bobbing heads, a shrill voice shouting commands, the sound of desperate panting and an overpowering stench of sweat. Overall, not a very pleasant affair. So why is regular attendance so high?
First of all, the right reasons to opt for this class:
– improvement of cardiovascular performance
– prevention of cardiovascular diseases
– release of pheromones
– balance of caloric intake
Now the reason most people actually participate: weight loss. It seems there is a hard and fast (and false) belief that the more weight (and by weight people mean fat) you want to lose, the more cardiovascular exercise you have to engage in.
Why this isn’t true:
While cardio does burn calories, it creates a sort of adhoc deficit that is quickly destroyed again. This means, if you go to Superkondi and then eat a cheeseburger and some fries, your deficit equals zero again. As if this wasn’t depressing enough, you are also likely to lose muscle mass if you do only cardio and stick to a reduced calorie diet because your body adapts to this new situation by shrinking (and unfortunately, it reduces fat and muscle tissue for this purpose).
What works:
Resistance training increases your muscle mass and thus increases your basal metabolic rate. Again, your body is adapting to a new situation: It is growing and therefore needs more calories all the time. Even when you’re sleeping!
In conclusion: If you’re not doing Superkondi for the health benefits, hit the gym and pump some iron. If you are, you might be happy to know that there are other group ex formats that can actually be quite fun. Inside tip: give Zumba a try.

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