So what about cardio now?
Typically, when people pursue fitness the majority instantly think cardio should be the first go-to.
Cardio is great. I’m a huge fan. But you can get that during resistance training. You just have to think about it in a different way. Running, biking, or swimming are not the only forms of cardio. Our training programs are aerobic strength and endurance programs that include high reps and steady state movement.
I’m just trying to help people understand where their focus should be. You can run, but make sure you do resistance training. You can kickbox. Cycle. Row. But make sure you do resistance training. Resistance training should be a staple of your fitness regimen. Everything else is supplemental. Not the other way around.
You’re going to wear and tear. You need to keep your body strong.
Now, about that cardio training, I’m a huge fan of building that aerobic capacity, especially if you need a base. Before high intensity, you need steady state training. This is like “conversation-paced” training when you run. If you like to use heart rate monitors, this is generally 150bpm and lower. (MY FREE RUNNING PROGRAMS)
No matter what level you’re at, I have still found that you get better results in the low zone. Let me specify, I have for sure found this to be true for parent athletes over 30 years old, who manage careers and kids! It has a lot to do with stress levels.
IT’S THE FITNESS INDUSTRY’S FAULT
I know it’s hard to change the mindset around this. I was trained to go hard all the time; “No pain/No gain.”
It doesn’t help that the high intensity fad took over.
Regular people, not even training for anything specifically, have been misled to believe they need to do high intensity cardio all the time.
But, it’s just not true, nor optimal.
Take into consideration what Norwegian researchers discovered when they studied high level Olympic endurance athletes.
They found that these elite athletes trained 85% of the time in the green, low intensity zones. When they went hard (red), they went hard. But it was such a small percentage of time because:
A. It taxes the body.
B. Releases oxidative stress.
C. Makes you prone to injury.
These are high level athletes spending their time training, most likely not managing families and careers while they are dedicating their time at the training centers for their next events.
That stuff has to be considered when managing your training regimens.
By not following the old school “go hard all the time/if you’re not puking you’re not working” mentality, it keeps you fresh and motivated to keep getting back at it. Training becomes enjoyable. And your performance actually increases because you’re not worn out all the time.
There's always a time and place. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3)
Trust me, we like to get after it and take ourselves to our limit every now and then. The red zone stimulates growth, but it has to be intentional and managed properly. Don’t shoot for red unless it’s supposed to be a red day.
Be aware of high and low days. We’ll talk about this more in our recovery blog. High one day (hill or stair sprint). Low the next (jog). Rarely should you do two high days in a row, or more than two in a week.
You weren’t designed to be superman and the key to fitness is to train hard but recover harder.
I know this was lengthy. But I needed to Ignite you to start moving.
So you can move better and longer.
Do this by getting a consistent resistance training regimen down.
And moving moderately at a steady state pace to build up your cardiac output.
Then you’re on your way to mastering the basics.
As always, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself today.
And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
*Up next, my favorite: SLEEP.