Monday Workout ~ Avoid the Mindless Cardio Trap
The other day, I responded to a comment about “Cardio” that I thought would be good to share here on the Monday Workouts:
“There are definitely health benefits of cardio – which there are many. You’ll have a lower resting heart rate, which means a greater stroke volume, which means your heart’s gotten stronger and there’s less resistance throughout your circulatory system. With more blood flowing through your body, you’ll be able to typically help with recover. This is one of the main reasons why most athletes should always include some general physical preparedness work during most of the year.
With that said, there are a TON of other things that also provide health benefits – Taking over 10,000 steps a day, fish oil, not sitting on your ass 8 hours per day, getting adequate sleep, etc. None of these things are bad and in fact form a solid baseline of health. Therefore, “Mindless Cardio” can have benefits – BUT – most of the people I know and train, most of the people who go to the gym to see body recomposition changes, and most of the people who have body’s worthy of awe earn it through smarter body recomposition methods other than simply “mindless cardio.” These modalities include heavy strength training, moving more (whether that be steady state cardio, taking more steps, strong man training, kettlebell training, HIIT or any combo of any of those methods), better nutritional habits and supplements. All 4 of those aspects play their respective roles in health and earning a body YOU feel proud of.
Which leads me to why I dislike “mindless cardio.” I keep using the term mindless cardio – because that’s what people do. Instead of taking a multi-pronged approach to training, they simply hop on the treadmill or elliptical, see results for 8 weeks and then stay at the same weight and body composition (if not worst) for years on end. They don’t get stronger, they don’t go further, go longer or push harder. They simply do their “routine” and then complain that they don’t see results.
In other words (I probably rambled entirely way too much in this response), it seems like you take a multi-pronged approach to fitness, which is awesome. Just never fall into the “Mindless Cardio” trap.
What is the mindless cardio trap? It’s when a person starts to think that doing cardio only, for 30-45 minutes, 3-4 times a week is going to deliver them the body they want – while continuing to eat like crap and neglecting strength training. Which is what most people do.
Oh – and many people have atrocious running form, which will lead them to more musculo-skeletal injuries – which will give a majority of the population a “reason” to stay away from the gym for as long as possible.Also, I put a post up as to why people should do cardio about 8 months ago: http://thepsychologyoffitness.com/2010/12/03/fat-loss-and-cardio-revisited/”
With that said, there are a number of other exercises I believe are great replacements in place of standard “Cardio.” Next Monday’s Workout post will be a video of my favorite 4 “Non-Cardio” Cardio exercises.