Is it stupid to do cardio?
I don’t know.
Is it stupid to drive a blue car?
Well, if you hate the color blue then it probably is stupid.
If you love it, it probably isn’t.
Let’s dive in.
There are three types of people who do cardio.
You do cardio because you believe it is the key to losing body fat. 90% of the time you do not enjoy doing it, but you feel obligated because, in your mind, it’s the way to the ideal body.
You do cardio because you really like/love it. You are likely an endurance athlete (swim, bike, run etc.) and do cardio more as a hobby than a workout. You may appreciate that it helps keep weight off of you, but you almost exclusively participate because you love the sport/activity.
You don’t love or hate cardio, but you spend some time each week doing it for it’s heart health and aerobic benefits.
The confused #1’s
You have probably heard nowadays that folks who are #1s have been mislead.
A quick Google search will yield loads of articles bashing cardio and it’s lack of necessity to change your body.
I will save you a monolugue about something I have likely posted about 67 times myself by just saying if you think this way, stop.
-Lock in your nutrition
-Be wicked consistant
Cardio is not a necessity to be ripped and look awesome.
Again, before you freak out, the key word is necessity.
Can a ripped person also do cardio?
But again, it is not a necessity.
Below is a picture of Christy, a client of mine, who strength trains twice per week and does ZERO cardio.
She tried the running route to aesthetically get in shape for years with no results.
Then this happened.
This is lifting twice per week, dialed nutrition, and consistency.
That’s all I’m going to say about person #1.
Just know that there is an easier way.
Feel free to email me about this and I will be happy to help: JwaltersPT@gmail.com
What about the #2s?
When exercise is a large part of your life you typically have a primary focus.
Bodybuilding, powerlifting, yoga, triathlon, gymnastics, etc.
With that said:
A bodybuilder doesn’t train the same way a powerlifter does and a powerlifter doesn’t train the same way a yogi does.
-Is a body builder a weakling compared to most powerlifters?
-Does a powerlifter move similar to a block of cement compared to a yogi?
But, it’s all arbitrary because the different groups of people don’t care about the others being better at something that is outside of their own focus.
-Does a yogi care that they can’t lift 1200 pounds?
No, they care thant they don’t have to scratch their back against a wall like a bear.
-Does a powerlifter care that he doesn’t have abs?
No, he cares that he can flip your car over in the parking lot.
All of these different fitness arenas have been chosen by individuals that have decided that they ENJOY doing them.
The same concept applies to the #2 cardio folks who like/love cardio.
As I mentioned earlier, these are primarily endurance athletes who do their respective sports as a hobby.
They have chosen to pursue these things because they like them.
To call one of these folks stupid would, in fact, show your own stupidity.
This has nothing to do with the shape it gets them in, but 100% to do with the pure enjoyment in life that these activities provide.
Would a person in this arena be wrong if they thought these activities were going to give them the perfect body?
Yes, they would.
The point here however, is that the folks I am referring to participate primarily out of enjoyment of the activity.
Now, for the caveat.
In conjuction with participating in these activities, you should be also be doing a correctly designed strength training and mobility routine.
This will facilitate ideal performance in these sports, protection from injury, and building up weak spots.
Are you going to be a little “less strong” in your squats and deadlifts than someone who’s only goal is to lift weights and be strong?
With that said, the verdict for group #2 is no, cardio is not stupid.
The people who would argue that point are likely the same people who talk about their killer high school football career and how much they can bench press.
As for the articles you may see floating around about endurance sports being bad for your heart etc., well, pick your poison.
We are all going to die from something.
Two years ago I smashed my face in mountain biking and spent 4 days in the hospital with bleeding on the brain.
I certainly didn’t stop riding.
So #2’s, enjoy your cardio, but make sure you lift and stay mobile.
So we move on to the #3s
Unlike the 1’s and 2’s this group isn’t very controversial.
If a person spends a couple days a week swimming for 30 minutes because they want the conditioning they glean from it, great.
Maybe they like to go for a walk every night.
They don’t love it, they don’t hate it, rather the benefits of it keeps them going.
Furthermore, aerobic activity has been proven to be effective in helping with recovery during strenth training sessions. It can also aid in recovery between sessions as it increases blood flow and can help mitigate soreness.
#3s are not in the stupid category.
So, all angles considered, is cardio stupid?
It’s fair to say that in some circumstances cardio is a foolish plan of action.
It’s also a great route other times.
It’s all in perspective.
One guarantee in life is that everyone is different. Rather than forcing others to do what YOU want them to do, help them do what THEY want to do. Effectiveley and safely.
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