It seems that some of my posts last week including the steroid video and the cardio article got some of you guys all worked up:). I am going to run with it. You guys tell me what you want and you will get it. In the post from last week, I hit on a lot of topics surrounding cardio. It has been ‘globe gym’s personal trainer’ method since the 70′s. They would warm you up with 10 minutes of cardio, stretch, hit every machine once in the gym, then finish you off with 30 minutes of more cardio-ahhh, what a workout. Didn’t you feel like you got your money’s worth?
I need you to understand that there are different energy systems in the body and if you try to train them with equal intensity at the same time, you will get no where. Typical cardio that I am talking about is working your ‘aerobic’ energy system. Not every intense and not needed by most. It falls at the bottom of my hierarchy of fat loss, somewhere around #5, behind: metabolic lifting, sprinting, interval training, and then heavy weight training. What works the cardio system? Does the cardio system work the muscles? No, the muscles work the cardiovascular system, which means that the more intensely and the more muscle you work, the more you will stress the cardiovascular system. I would think more cardiologists would be talking about this, but they don’t seem to be. The more muscle worked, the more oxygen debt you are going to get=more fat loss. This only works though if we are in some kind of calorie deficit.
Slow, long distance exercise makes you more efficient at utilizing fat stores, you don’t want to be efficient! You want to create a metabolic disturbance! You want to be a tank! Got it? Now, when is cardio appropriate? Some people are shocked when they find out that I do condone ‘cardio’ some of the time. If you like it, all power to you, do it. If you are extremely overweight, then you will start with this mode of exercise simply because you won’t be able to handle anything else. If you are an endurance athlete (they are the most injured btw), then you must train this way at least some of the time, although I believe I could get superior results with a marathon runner without them on a typical distance program. And finally, for recovery or when you are simply too drained and lack the recovery means. This last method would apply to bodybuilders that don’t have the energy to do sprints or interval training and athletes that are simply tapped out. The Russians used to take their athletes and drop them off on the beach, barefoot and tell them to walk for 3 or 4 hours. This would help to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Anyway, hope this sheds some more light on the topic.
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This will be short and sweet:) Do you hate it when people try to speak from a position of power and knowledge when they have no clue what they are talking about? People that are not strength and conditioning experts should not speak about the best ways to train. Yes, you can say what has worked for you, but that doesn’t mean you know s***! If you are trying to lose fat, you must train with weights, cardio will do the exact opposite-you will lose muscle and gain fat. Don’t believe me? Stand at the finish line of a marathon and let me know what you see. I’ll save you the time, you will see fat people finishing the race along with a bunch of people with no muscle. Lift weights to get strong, lift weights to gain muscle and lift weights to lose fat. Peace!!! -K
Last night I was training a new client that came to me in pretty good shape to begin with. When we had our initial meeting, I got the feeling of what she wanted to attain in terms of her fitness so I designed a comprehensive program for her. The program consists of triplexes and conditioning at the end, this of course after my warm-up which some would consider a workout in itself. So about 45 minutes into the workout, clearly out of breath and wanting to tap out, she says, “Where is my cardio in this plan?” Now I understand that not everyone has a working knowledge of how the body and its various systems work, so with that question, I am going to drop some knowledge for you….
All aerobic exercise is cardiovascular but not all cardiovascular exercise is aerobic. Read that again. Aerobic means requiring oxygen, while anaerobic would be without oxygen, clearly the more intense of the two. I know people equate cardio with fat loss. When people come to me for fat loss (the majority of regular clients), I design their programs to have strength and conditioning built in. Conditioning to me is what the people are really after, cosmetically and energy system-wise. Now, just because I put PHE (peripheral heart action) into the program does not mean that it will carry over to running a marathon. Energy system development is very specific. I have yet to meet a client or athlete that likes traditional cardio. And since it serves no purpose, I never put it in my programs, unless it is an endurance athlete. At the seminar this past weekend, I recommended to the men that we use aerobics and walking for the highly deconditoned people and to stimulate the Parasympathetic nervous system (relaxtion, balance), thats it! Getting back to the question that was asked of me between breaths…that’s where your cardio is!