5 BIGGEST lies on recreational jogging and steady state cardio



Question: Which of these scenarios would burn fat the most? Left: running away from his woes after a night of drunken regret in that brothel. Everyone in the crowd knows what he’s done. His wife isn’t going to be too happy. He also got the shirt and pants from those girls he had fun with…at least he thought they were girls… Right: he just heard someone stole his car. Not only that but he forgot it’s his wife’s birthday and if he doesn’t make it home in 30 minutes with flowers he’s going to be sleeping on the couch and have no dinner cooked for a month! He’s also mad someone stole his clothes while he was having a shower and the pants he has he stole off the woman’s shot put coach team.


Look at the picture above. I’m sure you fitness buffs and bunnies have seen this picture before or something similar haven’t you? Wouldn’t you be convinced just from this that sprinting is much better at fat loss than regular jogging and all types of steady state cardio sucks? I know I was convinced of this! But there’s more to this than meets the eye!

  • Does jogging and LISS (Long interval steady state cardio) decrease testosterone and should be avoided like the plague?
  • Does jogging decrease your muscle gains?
  • Does jogging and steady state cardio impair your immune system function?
  • What about jogging and steady state cardio activities on cortisol?
  • Is there any truth that jogging or any other steady state cardio sucks for fat loss?

Let’s get in there and find out! First up with jogging!



Does jogging also decrease your testosterone levels and make you look like you have a severe case of invisible trouser snake in your mouth? Let’s find out!

First of all, let’s tackle one of the most common questions and concerns there is when it comes to jogging: Does it decrease your testosterone levels?

Does jogging and L.I.S.S. decrease your testosterone levels and make you a sickly person?

Let’s see what happens when we get “A group of 13 males [mean (SD) age 24.5 (2.5) years] fitness joggers” intervene in their training by having them do “a 100% increase in the habitual distance run [12 (3) miles.week(-1)] for 2 consecutive weeks, while maintaining the customary training intensity” and then “evaluate the early effect of increased training mileage on testosterone (T) status in recreational joggers” and use these as indicators: “Serum total (T(tot)) and free (T(free)) concentrations at rest, overnight urinary T(tot) excretion, and the T(tot) and T(free) responses”. (1)

What happened for the results? Did the joggers end up being a female dog and be a weak decrepit old man like the one we saw in the first picture? The short answer is no. Here’s what the results found:

“Serum T(tot) and T(free) concentrations averaged 565 (62) and 24 (2.6) ng.dl(-1), respectively, at baseline and did not change significantly. Urinary T(tot) excretion averaged 1.5 (0.21) ng.min(-1) at baseline, and also remained unchanged during the intervention. Relative increases in T(tot) (23%) and T(free) (22%) were observed following maximal exercise compared to rest ( P<0.05). However, the exercise-related increases in serum T(tot) and T(free) were not evident after adjustment for the change in plasma volume. It was concluded, that the training intervention did not alter T status in these fitness joggers.” (1)

Okay, that’s all well and good, but what about all this I hear about cortisol and jogging?

I’ll get to cortisol in another post since that deserves a whole post of it’s own but let me give you some food for thought: Cortisol can be raised with all strenuous activity you do, and even getting up in the morning. Do karate? You’ll have cortisol raised. You do weight training? Cortisol is raised. So why do you limit it to just jogging or steady state cardio? Any exercise will increase the oxidative and cortisol load on the body. But we all know exercise (if you recover from it properly) has numerous benefits.

Are you telling me that a nice walk outside will cause your muscles to shrink or how about even brisk walking?  I know some of you will say yes so I’ll quote some studies to show that you don’t have to live a miserable existence by sitting all day on the couch on a nice sunny day because it’ll “affect your muscle gains” after your workout you did.

Before I do though, for the men out there that think this, I can’t even begin to think what your girlfriend will say when you tell her “oh, yeah that body of yours looks absolutely stunning but sorry, apple of my eye, strawberry to my heart, oranges to my balls….I can’t have fun with you because I’m recovering from my training. We’ll do it 2 days later when I train”.


If this is your girlfriend and she says she’s ready and willing to do anything you please in the bedroom, wall, outside in the park or dirty alleyway with you, and you say “I can’t do the dirty with you, baby, because I don’t want my cortisol levels to increase, it’ll affect my muscle gains.” I will personally go to your house, repeatedly punch you in the balls, and do her right in front of you to teach you a lesson. Also I’m going to have her cook me a steak after I’ve done a job well done. In your kitchen. You better have steak. Cause if you don’t…oh..if you don’t….

For one study they had a group of males walk in a forest and another group walk in the city and take in the atmosphere. They all walked for a certain period. They both had LOWERED cortisol levels, the ones walking in the forest having a more significant decrease (2).

Another study also showed that brisk walking (walking at a faster than leisurely pace, enough to get you puffing a little) also showed a decrease in cortisol levels! (3).

The steady state stuff can actually help you relax and unwind and even decrease your cortisol levels? Absurd! But believe it or not, it does! Burn fat, increase recovery for workouts without busting your guts? You could almost market that and make a million dollars out of it! Too bad it’s not a supplement eh?

So where exactly does the whole testosterone and immune system reduction and jogging or steady state cardio thing come from?

If you see anyone quote that this activity will decrease testosterone levels they are referring to EXTREME cases. When I say extreme, I’m talking about a marathons that last hours upon hours, or pushing your running to the absolute limit that you’re actually making yourself into an over trained state. Here’s one such example that I can say is the best example:

There was participants who decided to be complete psychos and compete in a FIFTY mile WALKING race. When they tested these participants after the race they found the following: “extensive aerobic exercise causes impaired neutrophil bactericidal function, probably due to the induced increases in both cortisol and ketone bodies. This impaired neutrophil function may cause the susceptibility to infection after an extensive exercise.” (4).

Keyword here: EXTENSIVE. The runners, triathletes, endurance sport enthusiasts you see doing this type of distance easily on a daily basis because it’s their full time job are the best examples of this kind of claim. But, if you were to jog just around the block every day leisurely, or walk a good hour and a half every day or bike to work will you have a decrease in testosterone levels and blunt your recovery? Heck no! In fact as I stated, you might even improve recovery by decreasing the cortisol response!

What about steady state cardio such as jogging and muscle loss? I don’t want to be to look like someone in a famine!


Hobo versus robo cop

I realise that for most people the look on the left is not going to be as appealing as the look on the right but there’s a few things to consider why there’s this myth that “steady state cardio burns muscle”. Here’s the reasons why:

  • Most people will say the jogging is causing their muscle loss because usually when one increases the cardio activity they are on a caloric restricted diet. It’s a no-brainer that if you burn more calories than you intake you’ll lose weight, but if you burn an incredible amount through activity and you’re really restricted already (like doing 10km jogs every day on top of weight training and having a deficit of over 1000 calories), then guess what? You’ll burn muscle!
  • If you are doing so much activity, aren’t resting enough, and are putting yourself in that over-trained state (your body cannot keep up), and you aren’t eating enough (namely not enough protein), then, of course, you’ll lose muscle.
  • The sprinter actually weight trains and weight trains hard, the extra muscle that the sprinters typically carry will help them with their speed. Their race is a short distance (compared to marathon runners). A marathon runner, an elite one, WANTS TO HAVE LESS WEIGHT on them! More weight will hinder their performance to carry them for miles upon miles in which they must race. As you can imagine, running 42KM with 140kg on your frame isn’t going to bode you well compared to someone who is 60kg running that same distance!

What happens though if you include steady state cardio while focusing on muscle gain and you were eating a caloric surplus? You’d obviously still gain weight and therefore muscle! Why would you include steady state cardio when your goal isn’t fat loss but muscle gain though? Apart from lowering the cortisol response improving recovery (2,3), you’ll increase your lung capacity and strengthen the heart while having minimal stress on the body so you can focus more on those hardcore training sessions (5).


This horse decided to do hula hoop dancing as part of his cardio instead of sprinting

I am aware that there is more than one way to improve your lung capacity and strengthen the heart, and better methods at that, but when you are recovering from a hardcore workout not many of those options will match the stress reduction of steady state cardio activity. I know you still might be skeptical and still might be scared by seeing those pictures of the sprinter and marathon runner side by side so I’m going to now give you some anecdotal evidence.

You STILL can do steady state cardio activities and gain muscle!

As I said, have sufficient food and rest and you’ll gain muscle. Here’s some people who did steady state cardio and where massive he-men:


All the JOGGING he did, didn’t seem to make him have less muscle or decrease his strength in the discuss throwing


First off we have Ricky Bruch. Ricky Bruch was a discuss thrower and possibly one of the best that’s ever lived, unofficially anyway. Jogging was a part of his regime. From Ricky we can learn that jogging won’t impair your muscle gains.

Personally, I’ve learned from Ricky that if you want to be the best there is when you train, after a set of leg raises with what appears to be 50kg strapped to your feet, to jump up and punch the lights in the ceiling (why? Because it probably dishonoured your mother), take the falling lighting because you just don’t give a damn, throw a heavy dumbbell across the room at that gym goer who didn’t do anything to you but was innocently doing curls in the squat rack and run off into the night screaming like a mad-man, like a champion. My hero. NOTE: Yes, this man did jog, and yes he did do this, and it was on video.

 According the documentary about him “”During the 14 months of shooting Ricky lifted 30,000 tons and consumed 135,000 vitamin pills.”” (6). I’m going to need to train now.

Bodybuilders mainly do steady state cardio exercise and use it as one of their tools for when they are preparing for a contest


Dorian yates might be related to skeletor

Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates for his contest preparation to get into the lowest body fat percentages uses WALKING as his method of cardio. “At 290 Dorian could walk his twin Dobermans at top speed and achieve an 80% age-related heart rate. He was famous for lifting bar-bending poundage” (7). A caloric deficit plus weight training and cardio made him a really lean mofo come contest time. He would walk instead of run because it’d be too much stress on his knees at his weight of 290.


Tom Platz’s legs weren’t hindered at all by riding his bicycle after every workout…

Tom platz

Tom Platz most likely had the BEST most muscular legs on a bodybuilder. Ever. What’d this guy do? According to Arnold’s bodybuilding encyclopedia book he would ride his bike TWENTY MILES home after one of the most BRUTAL leg workouts you’ll ever witness! (8) This guy was almost as psycho as Ricky Bruch!

What you just saw was 525 LBS (238KG) squatting for 23 reps. Twenty three. The cycling home didn’t hinder his strength. 


Did you know Arnold played football for fun with his other bodybuilding buddies when he was bodybuilding? You can check out Tom Platz brutal workouts in this book too by clicking here

Other athletes still do steady state cardio too…


Kevin Tolbert…He ran every day in the naval academy as one example and still weight trained and yet came out his biggest!

Kevin Tolbert

Kevin Tolbert was another example of someone who ran and had weight training sessions. This guy played NFL football while having the most ludicrous weight training sessions that would leave you screaming in agony twice a week by the watchful eye of his Father (Kevin Tolbert was adopted) Ken Leistner (who, he himself is a strong motherfudger) (9).

Chinese Olympic weight lifters


Do these guys look like they have no muscle from all the jogging and steady state cardio they do in the morning?

Yup, these guys jog. They jog on top of their already brutal full-time heavy weight lifting throughout the day! When someone decided to go China to see what their methods were it was quoted: “After I finished lifting, Coach Fang made me jog a few laps around the front entrance garden” (10).

Fedor Emelianenko

One of the toughest guys on the planet


This guy is most likely the BEST MMA fighter ever. What was his training regime? ”

“Fedor will sometimes train three times per day. Further, it’s widely known that although he used to weight train quite a bit, he hardly ever uses weights anymore. Instead, he focuses on strength exercises that utilize his own body including pull- ups, push- ups on parallel bars, and crunches.

According to an official website interview, Fedor runs 7.5- 9.3 miles per day. Beyond that his workouts consist of grappling, kickboxing, and boxing; in other words, the things he’s asked to do in the ring.” (11).

If the BEST MMA fighter on the planet believes highly in steady state cardio, well, there’s definitely value in it.

So from all these examples from above, both anecdotal and scientific, can you honestly sit there now and tell me that jogging is going to decrease your muscle mass, let alone your testosterone levels? If you do, try telling that to Fedor.


The guy didn’t know what hit him….He was looking for the bathroom and didn’t know where to go and so he saw Fedor not knowing who he was and asked him. Fedor said he didn’t know. The guy then got pissed and insulted Fedor for not knowing and for being bald. Fedor didn’t like the fact that he said that and had a full set of hair and proceeded to do a straight right to his jaw.

Okay, so all that’s covered, but does steady state cardio suck for fat loss?

The answer is no. It’s actually a VERY good tool! In fact, I might get shot for this (and I will cover it in another article of HIIT vs Steady state cardio), steady state cardio might just be BETTER than HIIT if your goal was all about cosmetic appeal! Don’t believe me? Here’s one study that compares HIIT to steady state cardio (they quote it as continuous exercise) on body composition:

“Work capacity and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were measured before and after 12 weeks of intervention…There was a significant group × time interaction for change in work capacity ( ), which increased significantly in CONT and HIIT but not PLA. There was a near-significant main effect for percentage trunk fat, with trunk fat reducing in CONT by % and in PLA by %, but not in HIIT. There was a significant reduction in android fat percentage in CONT and PLA but not HIIT”.

Long story short, the continuous cardio group increased their work capacity and lost more fat than the HIIT group. Steady state cardio can be enjoyable too, and enjoyable training means you’ll get better results. Jumping rope is one awesome way to do your cardio for instance (and while I’m aware that you can also do it fast and make it intense, you can also do it slow and do whatever jump you want to music on a sunny day) You can check out an article I wrote about the jump rope HERE.

Hiking somewhere you haven’t been is a good time too! Go out of the country and explore a few places with your girl/guy or go hike up a trail away from the pollution for once! How about going on a bike ride to work and back if it takes you 30 minutes both ways? You’ll even save petrol on your car too! Just don’t be an idiot and drive right on the middle of the road or have one of those rapid speed epilepsy inducing lights that blind and annoy the crap out of everyone, because if you’re one of them, I don’t feel sorry I threw the brick I threw at you that many years ago. Or how about just a good time at the swimming pool trying to impress girls with your breast stroke and making them catch your attention while distracting them from the old man/men already perving them…The one in the Suana room is particularly having a good time. There’s heaps of options!


Not an old guy, but an old man might be doing this to you….I’m not just talking about you either girls. Guys, watch your ass.

With all the myths on steady state cardio out of the way, I want to now give you some important tips to further save your joints and future health.


Woody is getting a woody at the swimming pool. Ha! No but in all seriousness…..I’m seriously paranoid about that life guard who watches me when I go to that swimming pool…

Some considerations on steady state cardio such as jogging

While there are numerous benefits shown on steady state cardio I want to caution people that chose to do it on the dangers. For instance, if you are really on the heavy side I would definitely not advise you to do jogging for long periods as the wear and tear will be much greater on your knees, hips and ankles. If you have any previous injuries in those areas also, and including shin splints you should definitely avoid jogging long periods.

Another thing is if you are flat footed you are more than likely to absorb the shocks better than if you were born with ridiculously high arches (like me), so high-arched footed people should avoid jogging too. If you ignore this advice because you still want to jog then at least build up to the distance over-time and take more time off jogging for other steady state activities than your counter-parts.

For the people I mentioned already I would suggest riding a bike or swimming as the much better alternatives. Going on the elliptical trainer is another good idea and walking wouldn’t cause too much damage so have fun with that too. I will also add do not forget to stretch, and your hip area especially.

One more final advice that people often neglect: differential limbs and posture. If you have differential limbs (as in one leg is shorter than the other) than that alone over-time injure you and cause you grief with all the running you do and even walking so go to a foot specialist and have it checked and rectify it. If you have bad posture, than everything you do will take it’s toll so correct this too.

So what’d we learn from the 5 biggest lies on steady state cardio?

  • Steady state cardio does NOT make you lose muscle. An extreme caloric deficit and extreme stress over-time to the body does.
  • Steady state cardio can actually decrease cortisol levels and speed up recovery, granted that you don’t put a huge strain on your body by over-doing it and over-exerting yourself
  • Steady state cardio done in excess WILL make your cortisol rise high and will do damage to your immune system but recreational steady state cardio such as jogging WILL NOT
  • Steady state cardio WILL NOT decrease your testosterone levels. It is the excessive STRENUOUS exercising that your body cannot recover from.
  • Steady state cardio is GREAT for fat loss and won’t put as much strain on your body so that means you can focus on having the harder workout sessions and not impede your performance by thrashing yourself with cardio. You can actually, burn fat, speed up recovery, lower cortisol levels and all the while not putting to much stress on your body! Also, there is studies to indicate that steady state cardio can be a better tool for fat loss than HIIT (Which I’ll cover next article).

There we have it! If you chose to do a little activity such as walking a nice trail or masturbating behind closed doors than go for it! It won’t decrease your recovery ability but if you get caught doing the latter then it might decrease your image…well…unless your me and you have nothing to hide and eat lighting and crap thunder…Everything is win-win!


And now….He’s going to tell the whole barking neighbourhood…probably best to give him all the doggie treats he wants eh?



sharkoctupus….and before you think that it’s just at the beach it’ll get you…



1) White, L.J. et al. (2002, April.) Maintenance of testosterone status in fitness joggers after increased training mileage. European journal of applied physiology. Volume 86, Issue 6, pp 498-502.

2) Park, B.J. et al. (2007, March). Physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the atmosphere of the forest)–using salivary cortisol and cerebral activity as indicators. J Physiol Anthropol. 26(2):123-8.

3) Jin P. (1992, May). Efficacy of Tai Chi, brisk walking, meditation, and reading in reducing mental and emotional stress. J Psychosom Res. 36(4):361-70.4) Fukatsu, A., Sato, N., Shimizu, H. (1996). 50-mile walking race suppresses neutrophil bactericidal function by inducing increases in cortisol and ketone bodies. Life Sci. 58(25):2337-43.

5) Bielinski, R. et al. (1985, July). Energy metabolism during the postexercise recovery in man. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.



8) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Dobbins. The new encylopedia of Modern bodybuilding: The bible of bodybuilding, fully updated and revised. (November 5, 1999).

9) http://www.cyberpump.com/preview/sense.html – Sensible Training – A Logical Approach to Size and Strength
by Dr. Ken E. Leistner

10) http://www.allthingsgym.com/larrys-chinese-weightlifting-experience-part-1-snatches-squats/


Ceps Weston Domingo is a personal trainer and nutritional consultant, and best selling author of the 30 day paleo weight loss plan, 30 day paleo slow cooker recipe cookbook, and  The ketogenic diet weight loss plan and recipe cookbook: How to lose weight fast, meal plans and 50 recipes the low carbohydrate way


Copyright © Ceps Weston Domingo


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