It’s almost impossible to come from any common understanding of fitness to this kind of training and not ask, “But, what about cardio?” I hear it all the time.
The first observation here is that when folks reference “cardio,” they are assuming two things:
1. “Cardio” is a only longer, slower specific activity like running, biking, etc.
2. “Cardio” burns fat.
Both things are true, except there’s more to the story. Cardio (the word) is short for cardiovascular endurance, which is in reference to one’s capacity to utilize oxygen. There’s a million ways to train it and improve it, including but not limited to running, spending time on the elliptical, swimming, biking, etc. We know “cardio” can be developed quite incredibly other ways, as well. (SEE: Interval training)
Long, slow dedicated cardio burns fat. It’s science. It also, however, diminishes muscle mass. That’s science, too. Long, slow, dedicated cardio improves aerobic capacity. That’s science. Long, slow, dedicated cardio can diminish anaerobic capacity. That’s science, too.
The reason I’m saying this is I’d venture into say that most people doing “cardio” for fitness are less interested in how well they use oxygen and more interested in the side benefits, like fat loss. And, given that cardio is far from a surgical guide to losing fat, people may have assumed too much about running 40 minutes a day or devoting all fitness responsibilities to spin classes.
It’s my observation that many people want to exercise to:
1. Look better (“tone,” improve body composition, lose weight, build muscle)
2. Feel Better
3. Perform better
Oddly, if my goal was to make my body composition worse (less muscle, more fat) and lose strength, I’d run/cycle every day and drink juice (…which is VERY popular in populations looking to these days). Surely, cardiovascular development is important and can be very important for endurance athletes, for example. However, I often see a glaring disparity between what people want and how they go about getting it.
Is your training a good reflection of what you’d like to get out of it?
8 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
200′ Shuttle Run
12 DB Shoulder to Overhead (45/30)
-Rest 1 minute-