Sunday, November 1, 2009

Why "cardio" wont make you lean. . .Intervals baby!

Now for our soccer vs. running research study review…from those crazy scientists in Copenhagen, Denmark…
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009;43:825-831. “Recreational soccer is an effective health-promoting activity for untrained men”

36 healthy untrained Danish men aged 20–43 years were randomised into a soccer group (SO; n = 13), a running group (RU; n = 12) and a control group (CO; n = 11).

Training was performed for 1 h two or three times per week for 12 weeks; at an average heart rate of 82% (SEM 2%) and 82% (1%) of HRmax for SO and RU, respectively.

During the 12 week period, maximal oxygen uptake increased (p<0.05) by 13% (3%) and 8% (3%) in SO and RU, respectively. So both groups increased their VO2max. And both groups reduced their blood pressure.

The soccer group lost slightly more fat, but this was not significantly different between groups (2.7 kg for soccer vs. 1.8 kg for the runners).


Only the soccer players had…

- an increase in lean body mass (1.7 kg)
- an increase in lower extremity bone mass
- a decrease in LDL-cholesterol
- an increase (p<0.05) in fat oxidation during running at 9.5 km/h

The scientists conclude…”participation in regular recreational soccer training, organised as small-sided drills, has significant beneficial effects on health profile and physical capacity for untrained men, and in some aspects it is superior to frequent moderate-intensity running.”

So again, science suggests intense exercise beats traditional boring cardio.

But REMEMBER - if you eat “recreationally” (i.e. 1500 calories of wings, pizza, and beer) after you play soccer or hockey, you won’t lose fat. So don’t ignore your diet…see the tips below to lose fat with nutrition.