Aerobics = Fat Storage

sprintingI harp on this topic a lot and I apologize if it gets old!  But this is one of my BIG points regarding exercise that I want to ingrain into your head about cardio.  You DON’T and SHOULDN’T do long distance cardio if your goal is fat loss.  If you want to run a marathon for the challenge, the endorphins and the goal, by all means do it!  I am also not saying that everyone who runs long distance is overweight, there are many thin runners as well.  As a society that doesn’t exercise enough I have a hard time telling people not to do standard cardio, don’t get me wrong any movement is better than NO movement!

marathoner_sprinter2But there are millions of people out there, pounding the pavement in misery because they have been led to believe that this is THE BEST way to lose fat.  Unfortunately the research and evidence that I have seen by countless clients is that they are actually running into more fat!  Even if long distance runners aren’t overweight, many (who don’t do some weight training and core training) are very frail and weak because the body eats the muscle away to use for energy.

I have talked a few times about a far more effective type of training that burns fat up to 9 times faster than the steady state cardio.  I attribute this type of training as one of the biggest factors in getting the results and reputation I have gotten the past couple years.  Keep in mind, most people coming to my Fit Fun Bootcamps and MamaTone are people who already exercise and are frustrated with their results or lack there of.  I also get a lot of clients who are just looking for something different that is fun and new!  Just think how much more challenging it is to get someone results who is already extremely active compared to someone who has been sedentary, but these are the results that we get!

A guy that I follow and have lots of respect for is Dr. Pompa out of Philadelphia.  He specializes in helping those who are weight loss resistant.  I have found that about 80% of those who come to see me who are overweight or obese, I am able to help.  Another 5% don’t listen to what I say, and the other 15% seem to be doing everything right and still not getting results.  It is very frustrating for me as well as the client.  These types of challenges keep me up at night.  Dr. Pompa has some interesting things that he does and he believes many of the problems are due to poor hormonal communication or too many toxins, both biotoxins and metallic toxins.  I encourage you to check his research out.

Anyways back to the topic.  In this 10 minute video Dr. Pompa explains very well the point I was just making about why you should do interval training over standard cardio.


Besides the great weight loss effects, this style of training will greatly improve your 5K run times.  I have never met a bootcamper who hasn’t shattered their records from months or years prior by adding this type of training.  It will blow you away!

Please leave a comment!  What are you feelings towards this?  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have any questions?  Please comment below.


  1. I just have to say that I was raking yesterday and while doing the motions thought how the James Bond exercise we do in class trains us for real life tasks. We hear it all the time, but when you take time to make the connection it is cool.

  2. I would change the picture of the steroid-taking Marion Jones (very unhealthy) but overall I agree with this.

  3. So Dustin…Dr. Pompa says to rest 3-4 minutes…we only rest for about 30 seconds…why?
    I like what he has to say. When I started running 6 years ago, I lost some of the fat, but didn’t build any muscle. Needless to say, I stopped with the 45 minute runs and now have muscle thanks to you and your program! 🙂

    • Jody,

      I like the 30-30 at the end of a workout for 5-10 min just to completely burn out. If this is your only workout of the day, it is best to rest a bit longer. I don’t agree totally with the 3-4 min, generally most people can recover pretty well at 3X longer rest than work, so unless you are doing 60 seconds of work, the 3-4 min seems long. For example a 10 second work, to 30 second rest would be great!


  4. Louise Schrunk says

    Less cardio, who can’t love that theory! I am all in!

  5. Not the best article to be reading 2 weeks after buying a treadmill!!!:(

  6. I had not heard of Dr. Pompa, I will definitely check out his site. I had some serious sprint training playing hide-n-seek tag and Ghost in the Graveyard with the kids this weekend.

  7. For those of you with dogs; it is easy to do some interval training and off leash training all at the same time. Simply jog lightly or walk with them and periodically run all out and see how quickly they chase you. Your dogs will love going running with you and you’ll have their attention too!!! It is an awesome training tool.

  8. This just makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing it Dustin. I now have a better understanding of the burst training on the treadmills – I’ll think I’ll push myself a little harder now!

  9. Sprinters always look better than marathoners-don’t they have a lot of bulky short-twitch muscle fibers to be able attain speed? Elite marathoners are painfully thin, but don’t they use a different muscle type, slow-twitch?
    This video has a clear explanation of the points you make Dustin. Thank you. It is very interesting how our body uses sugar and fat in exercise. I would think a bit longer warm-up is healthier though, like 10 minutes? My understanding is that a longer warm-up will help the heart and body (muscles) be more efficient during the intervals. I can do hill repeats a lot better (a bit faster each repeat) with a longer warm-up of 12-15 minutes than if I only warmed up for 5 mins.
    As a runner (you are correct -not much weight loss, but maintains my weight), I am working on the burst training and will be more rigourous now to see if I can get off the extra 5lbs. of stubborn fat. Also, in the recent running literature, there is more emphasis on interval (burst)training esp. related to weight-loss. You’ve been ahead of the game for some time now Dustin! Thanks again for addressing this topic.

    • Gretchen,

      Sprinters have a higher % of fast twitch compared to the slow twitch fibers of marathoners. I would warmup at least 5 minutes. A good 5 minute warmup should be fine, but if you prefer a longer one that is totally fine!


  10. I have been a runner since high school, and I still enjoy it as a hobby and a stress reliever. My hips and lower back have been giving me trouble after having kids, and I have had to cut out long runs in favor of interval exercise. I did a 5K a few weeks ago and thought I would do terrible since I hadn’t been running, but I felt great and got my best time and even won my age group!

    • Jennifer,

      Isn’t it amazing how we have this mentality that because we didn’t put the hours in slaving away on the pavement that we will be slower? Sure you need to do some training, but you have found that intervals can go a long way in improving the 5K times, congrats on winning your age group!


  11. Anything that shortens up the amount of time we do cardio is a good thing for me! 🙂 I have never liked doing cardio, but I prefer this method to the long distance kind for sure. Get it over with as fast as possible!! And it’s better for you anyway, can’t beat that!!

  12. Dustin, I would like to know your thoughts on Spinning? Would you consider this interval cardio?



    • Nicole,

      I think spinning is one of the best forms of cardio! There are constant intervals and I have never sweated more in a class than in spinning. My only caution would be to make sure you do other things. It is easy to over train in spinning and develop a poor core and some overworked muscles and other under worked or tight muscles.

      But by all means do spinning for a great sweat and fat burning workout.


  13. Dustin,
    Do you think you should ONLY do this kind of training? Can you incorporate longer walks or aerobics classes on alternating days?

    • Jenny,

      You can definitely incorporate other type of lower intensity training, as long as you have a day or two of some intervals and 1-3 days of resistance training.


  14. This video, along with the “Exercise vs. Food” video, really are “ah ha” moments. Add in motivation and there’s your new life style.


  15. Stephanie says

    How much speed should you start out with? the Dr. says not to do it everyday…also can you do P90x along with burst training or am i just over doing it???

    • Stephanie,

      I would do only 2-3 days of burst training… I would be cautious of doing p90X at the same time since there is high impact in P90X as well. Listen to your body, but P90X alone should work.


Speak Your Mind