January should be called national cardio month. All of the members I speak to are requesting more cardio classes. I get the same questions every year at this time: “How can I lose weight?” “How do I get rid of this area of fat?” I have even been asked, “How do I get rid of this bra fat before my winter vacation to the Bahamas?” Yes, she said “bra fat.” Most people only think of cardio when it comes to weight loss. However, there are more components to consider.
I tell the person asking that I have the secret. Their eyes widen — I now have their full attention. I start by giving the following example: “Let’s say your body needs 1,500 calories minimum to run throughout the day. Now let’s say when you eat, you take in 1,800 calories. Where do the 300 excess calories go? That’s right, ‘bra fat!’ I’m kidding, of course. The calories are distributed throughout your body.”
I continue: “Take that same example — you eat 1,800 calories, but you also exercise, burning 500 or more calories in an indoor cycling class. You are now at 1,300 calories, 200 less than the 1,500 you need. The deficit of 200 calories has to come from somewhere. Where do you think it will come from? That’s right, your body will need to make up the difference. Over time, your body will use up the excess body fat as well as some muscle. This is why it is important to balance your workout with cardio and weight training classes.”
Encourage members take both cardio and weight classes, and you’ll find they have more success in the long run.
Joseph Duffy has been in the fitness industry since 1990. He has taught group fitness classes at multiple clubs, and currently is the director of group fitness at Boom Fitness. Duffy has his own consulting business that assists owners with building group fitness programs from the ground up, as well as providing scheduling and staffing input. He can be reached at email@example.com.