Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exercise for Weight Loss?


I’m seeing a lot of articles about how people “should never train for calorie burning, only train for strength”.

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I’ve also heard people say:

“I lose more weight when I don’t exercise.”

Some people do have the ability to get lean with diet and strength training alone.
  • Young people with youthful hormone levels.
  • Someone who carries a lot of muscle.
  • Someone who is extremely strict with their diet.
  • Older people with youthful hormones (hormone replacement therapy -or- other pharmaceuticals).

If you are trying to lose fat and don’t have these advantages?

You will benefit from cardio.

Even low-intensity cardio like walking makes a difference.

walking for weight loss

It doesn’t have to be HIIT.

I like HIIT as long as the intensity is closely managed.

If exercise is too intense and wears you out, you will tend to move less afterward.

One reason I recommend people avoid training to failure when lifting weights is for this reason.

If you train in a way that breaks your body down, you are less likely to be active 24-48 hours after the session.

intense tire flipping workout

Too much or too intense of cardio does the same thing.

When you are young, you can get lean following a “blitz and rest” approach.

As you get older you will want less blitzing and less inactivity. Cardio performed properly is a way to stay active without breakdown.

Blitzing your body for calorie burn doesn’t work that well anyway.

There is a new model called:

The Constrained Model of Energy Expenditure.

The Constrained Model suggests that calories burned per day hits a plateau at some point. The body lowers its BMR as a protective mechanism.

So past a certain point, you won’t create a larger deficit even if you are burning a bunch of calories in the gym.

can you exercise too much to lose weight

The key to getting lean in my opinion?

Lifting weights and following with cardio… in a way that doesn’t break down your body.

Your goal should be to burn a moderate amount of calories DAILY instead of killing yourself one day and resting the next.

moderate workout to lose weight

I recommend moderate daily workouts if possible.

I have a template on how to set this up in this blog post I wrote a while back.

Tips for Aging Gracefully

If you are able to get lean with diet and infrequent intense workouts?

You still may want to review this article on the longevity benefits of frequent exercise.

Hope these tips help!

I find that I get lean at the fastest rate by aiming to burn around 500-700 calories per day with exercise.

treadmill workout to lose weight

This is just an estimate.

If I aim for a lot more than this, I feel tired and lazy.

This means that my BMR has probably lowered to make up for excess exercise.

I think a lot of this has to do with fitness levels.

When you improve your VO2Max (aerobic fitness) you have the ability to do more exercise without wiping yourself out.

This is why I recommend a 6-8 week intense conditioning cardio workout as I outline in Visual Impact Cardio.

This is good to do 1-2 times per year.

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For 15 years I've helped fashion models get lean for photoshoots. Use my plan to Lose 5-10 pounds of PURE body fat in 14 days.

This gives you the ability to burn calories without undoing the benefits of inactivity.


-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

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