Here is a review that was posted on Amazon:
2.0 out of 5 stars The latest fat-loss fad, January 12, 2009
By Jumbo Evans (Houston) – See all my reviews
It seems that the weight-loss limelight has shifted yet again, this time to the “cardio = death” end of the spectrum. Twenty years ago, cardiovascular exercise was the gold standard, touted by everyone from doctors to celebrities as THE way to get in shape. Now, as Jim Karas would have you believe, it’s the enemy of the obese. Though the author makes some sound arguments in this book about the critcial need for resistance training for healthy weight loss, he needlessly vilifies cardio exercise and further adds to the informational morass that confronts the public in regards to exercise and fitness.
The idea that cardio is a “muscle-wasting” activity first gained traction among the sociopathic bodybuilder crowd. This idea was pioneered by the kinds of people who sequestered themselves in cult-like gyms, training maniacally and injecting themselves with synthetic testosterone. It’s an interesting idea, but it’s sadly lacking empirical evidence to back it up. What research has shown is that the most effective training programs for losing fat and preserving lean body mass combine weight training, cardio, and a clean diet that creates a caloric deficit. One study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (Effects of Resistance vs. Aerobic Training Combined with an 800 Calorie Liquid Diet on Lean Body Mass and Resting Metabolic Rate, Vol. 18, No. 1, 115-121 (1999)) showed that weights + cardio preserved muscle even when caloric intake was severely restricted in the study subjects.
The bottom line is that weight training is critical for preserving lean body mass during a fat-loss program. Cardio exercise, however, is also necessary for burning additional calories beyond what one can accomplish strictly through weight training. The health benefits of cardio are also well documented, and Karas’s efforts to cast it as unhealthy come off like the pathetic musings of someone who hates doing his cardio.
High-effort training that combines weights and cardio is the scientifically proven way to healthy fat loss. The “cardio-free diet” is more of an attention-grabbing ploy than the true path to optimal fat loss.
Here are my comments:
1. CLEARLY the author of this review didn’t read the book as the excellent research he sited in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition is IN THE BOOK. Yes, it claim that weight AND cardio preserved muscle and my position is that weights, performed in intervals, would have been even more effective.
2. His comment that cardio burning muscle is an old compulsive weight lifter position is also flawed. There is a ton of research that proves that cardio is catabolic (or burns muscle) after 20-30 minutes.
3. The cardio that I deem unhealthy is the type done to excess. No one is going to get hurt or injured going for a walk, but they also are not going to burn many calories. My position on cardio stems from a weight loss perspective.
Again, the key to my plan is to burn as many calories as possible by:
1. Working in intervals, which also is the most effective way to achieve heart health.
2. Boosting your metabolism by creating calorie burning lean muscle tissue.
3. Generating the most Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) which translates into a 38 hour boost POST interval strength training
I hope this all makes sense.
And FYI – “Cardio-Free” is now out in paperback.