In a recent Facebook post I made some sweeping generalizations about Cardiovascular training and health and in doing so I am putting all anti-cardio adherents on blast.
Consider this your MOAB dropped on your dogmatic principles.
Let’s pick apart your fallacies step by step.
- Cardio doesn’t hurt your strength training.
In an article on ISSA online it was written:
“Strength training alone allowed for significantly greater strength and hypertrophy gains in the lower body when compared to strength training concurrently with aerobic training. However, this only occurred when the aerobic exercise modality was running”.
In the following bullet points in the ISSA article you discover that cycling doesn’t affect strength or hypertrophy in a negative way and it is suggested that time of cardio sessions are a critical component of the potential negative effects of cardio on your strength work.
It is a good idea to keep your cardio sessions to about 20-30 minutes at three times a week to avoid negative implications on your strength work, but that is still cardio isn’t it?
Yes it is cardio… and it should be performed.
When you see articles talking about cardiovascular training “emasculating” men and ruining their progress in the gym, they are clearly doing three things.
- Assuming that masculinity is tied to not running, and just lifting, which is pretty ignorant and laughable in itself
- Assuming that everyone doing cardio wants to train for a marathon which ignores that 20-30 minute 3x a week rule
- Has no clue about concurrent training studies and wishes to pursue a dogma that should have died in 1960
You can be assured that the second you see a “cardio kills gains” type of article, you have a coach who doesn’t know what they are talking about, so please don’t share that on Facebook and give them the page hits. Be smart and share quality, not sensational.
- Cardio increases your aerobic capacity which means better recovery
I am going to drop this study here and shut the anti-cardio crowd up right now in their tracks.
You can keep reading, though.
Aerobic endurance means better recovery from HIIT.
Aerobic fitness means you can recover better in between sets at the gym.
Aerobic fitness means you can do more work in less time at the gym.
Means more selfies because you aren’t rushing to get home from a 2 hour workout that should have taken 60 to 75 minutes because you aren’t grabbing for air.
You have to be incredibly clueless to think aerobic conditioning isn’t going to help your gym progress when you account for recovery.
Hint, aerobic work isn’t all about burning fat
Cardio gets a rep for being the method used to burn fat, when most of us know that is about your diet first.
How many times do you hear people say, “oh I have to burn fat, I am going to start running”.
You can’t expect cardio to be your magic bullet for fat loss, and quite frankly if you do it solely to lose fat, you are missing the point.
Sure, keep doing it, but here’s a few good reasons why you should keep it up.
- Aerobic conditioning helps your heart health.
If I really have to dig up studies on this… come on.
Don’t argue this one. Lifting weights faster isn’t cardio. Sustaining an elevated heart rate through a period of time is. Doing a workout of 20 power cleans and 10 burpees isn’t the same thing as 25 minutes of cycling.
- Aerobic conditioning helps your sex life
Guys, ummmm, read that study quick and tell me you want to keep avoiding cardio.
Go ahead. Try it.
Having a healthy aerobic capacity is critical for blood pressure control – again, hundreds of studies show this. Go forth and find several dozen. It is easy.
Doing cardio helps with preventing atherosclerosis. You know that really nasty plaque that can build up in your arteries, that stuff that usually means a bypass surgery in your future. Combine that will lowering your HDL and cardiovascular training is a solid path to better health.
It’s estimated that vascular disease such as atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries) and diabetes may be responsible for as much as 50 to 70 percent of ED cases in men. Thank you Cleveland Clinic, you are awesome. That may be the only time you hear me say awesome and Cleveland in the same sentence.
Doing cardio helps you actually be more IN shape, i.e. breathing better, i.e. sex is no longer 15 seconds of fury followed by waiting until you catch your breath.
^^^ very anecodotal type statement, but you know it’s true.
So let’s close this out before I sit here and sift through piles of studies to prove my point.
- cardio helps strength as long as you do not overdo it. Row, bike, walk, just get it done.
- cardio is good for recovery because your aerobic capacity is increased
- cardio isn’t about burning fat, it is about your health
- since you want to look good, you want to feel good. Sex feels good, do cardio to make it feel even better.
If that last statement alone doesn’t sell you on the benefits of cardio, you are an alien.
Get off your ass and get to work.
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