How Much Cardio Do You Need To Get Fit? According to a Fitness Pro and Doctor, Not Much

If your journey toward making healthy changes in your life involves weight loss, you might be thinking the answer to reaching your goals is the ever-popular choice of cardio. Adding more cardio to your routine, increasing the intensity of the cardio you’re already doing … losing weight is for those who do cardio! Right?


While many of us have been trained to think that cardiovascular exercise is the key to shedding excess weight, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case (cardio loathers rejoice!). And you don’t have to take my word for it because I talked to an expert to get the scoop.

“Studies show resistance training has far more bang for your buck in terms of fat loss and muscle gain,” Eric Miller, M.D., IFBB Pro Men’s Physique Competitor, and Team Isagenix Ambassador explained. “Lean muscle is the key; it’s the calorie-burning machinery in our body.”

While cardiovascular exercise does burn calories, Eric went on to say that the calorie burning stops when you step off the treadmill or finish the exercise. When you lift weights, there’s an afterburn effect that continues to burn calories even after you workout.

How Lean Muscle Helps Burn More Calories

Eric Miller and his wife smiling

When you lift weights or perform resistance training, you’re building lean muscle, which helps increase your metabolism (aka the number of calories your body is burning to maintain basic functions). Your metabolism is increased because muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat does, even when you’re in rest.

The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you’re burning on a daily basis. Individuals with more muscle mass also tend to be more active people.

The Role of Nutrition in Weight Loss

AMPED Nitro being scooped into an IsaShaker full of water

While implementing strength training in your routine can help you lose weight, you also need to consider your caloric intake and nutrition. In fact, Eric thinks nutrition is the best place to start.

“My best recommendation for someone just getting started is to remember that ‘small hinges swing big doors,’” said Eric. “Work on making microshifts in your habits rather than trying to make dramatic changes.”

People who try to start new exercise regimens and change their nutritional lifestyle all at once run the risk of setting themselves up for failure. Eric suggests making small, intentional changes and allowing yourself time for adjustment.

“I always recommend starting with nutrition first,” he said. “Once that has a solid foundation, start slowly adding exercise into your daily routine.”

Eric also mentions that athletes are far more susceptible to nutritional deficiency than nonathletes due to the increased physical stress on the body and a greater need for micronutrients. It’s therefore extremely important to keep up with a consistent, long-term nutritional program even after you start seeing the weight loss you desire.

Meet Eric

Eric lives in Las Vegas with his wife and two boys and has wanted to be a doctor since he was four years old. He graduated medical school in 2005 and has been practicing internal medicine since 2008. Eric is an IFBB Pro Men’s Physique Competitor, and since being introduced to Isagenix in 2016, he’s been able to help so many people find the nutrition they need.

Now a Team Isagenix Ambassador, Eric has the honor of spreading the message of safe, science-backed nutrition that so many athletes need.

“Of all my accomplishments in life, nothing brings me more pride than being part of the Isagenix community and the global mission to free people from physical and financial pain,” Eric said. “This is my purpose and my home.”

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