100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 131,682

Cardio, cardio, cardio ad nauseum and other rants

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pardon me while I scream in anguish and agony but if I read another post saying that cardio is the answer to anything other than endurance and cardiovascular fitness I will go over the edge. "Burn more fat", "Increase your calorie burn" "break the plateau", "More is better; urban myth has more heads than Hydra. While cardio does have a place in every fitness programme it is not the be all and end all and only a person training for an endurance event needs to do cardio workouts more than two or three times a week and even those need not exceed thirty minutes if the intensity is high enough.

To warm up for weight training you do not need fifteen or twenty minutes on a treadmill, a set of twenty four count jumping jacks and twenty four count squat thrusts (burpees) will light the required internal flames.

Why do people alternate been strength exercises and cardio in the same workout going from one to another? If you make your strength workout a circuit workout you have no need to add a cardio portion. Contrary to the infomercials, over publicized "personal: trainers" selling DVDs adding a cardio component to a strength circuit adds about three to five percentage points to the cardio benefit obtained from doing a strength circuit without it. I am yet to be convinced that doing an aerobic dance routine with barbie dumbbells can be classified as a "strength" workout. I am now pronouncing a personal jihad against dumbbells under fifteen pounds in weight being used by anyone over the age of sixteen years since by that age the foundation of adult muscular strength has developed..

How many reading this rant accept the concept that a sixteen hour weekend course and passing a 100 question multiple choice examination with a score of 70 or better certifies you to be a trainer of any sort? Even if you are a certified high school physical education teacher you are expected to taking coaching courses in order to obtain a coaching certificate. Then many seem to be more prone to accept what the cousin of a friend found worked for them than to accept the findings of juried research. Anecdotal evidence has more creedence than research.

Enough of this diatribe for today.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post


    To be honest I am not sure what you mean by interrval cardio. Interval cardio to me is combining aerobic and anerobic portions in a cardio workout such as running, bicycling, skipping rope or similar activity. People often confuse circuit training with interval training and some even add an unnecessary and minimally productive cardio component to it, Cirves is a prime example of this.

    Circuit training in is original and pure form is a series of strength training exercises you do in a sequence without a break, then you rest X amount of time and repeat the circuit several more times.

    In my experince the problem with barbie weights is that they do not challenge the muscles enough to develop strength, most programmes using them substitute high repetitions to mimic a challenge. That only builds endurance not strength. My other problem with the barbie weights is that they are used for isolation exercises which do not accomplish a great deal for overall fitness and muscular improvement.

    To build strength and increase muscular desity and thereby bone density you want to use a weight you can only do for eight or ten proper repetitions. I would like to hear what your problem with the resistance bands was since i have seriors using them without problem.
    3231 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/17/2010 1:17:02 PM
    IDK, but the Barbie bars (12 to 22 pounds) worked well for me in their day ... very well. Resistance tubing not so well. I think Interval cardio (variety training) is what should be emphasized, rather than straight cardio. You know, the type of workout that personal trainers with the heavy weights make fun of all the time ...
    3231 days ago
    While I do agree with you, I also have to say, I like doing the circuits because they keep me from getting bored. And that's my biggest work out killer. If I get bored, I will stop. Call it exercise ADD if you will. I am starting my strength training again later this week, and I have to use a barbie dumbbell at first. My upper body strength is almost non-existent right now. But I do plan to move up to more weight as soon as I am ready.
    And to be honest, when I just do cardio, I don't feel near as good as I do when I do strength circuits or strength and cardio in circuits. There is alot of information out there for us, but it's not all correct. It can be confusing for us new people still learning.
    3237 days ago
    Wow ~ powerful blog! Now who could ask for anything less from the Sergeant Major?
    3238 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Glad to read another post from you as its been awhile.
    I still don't know much about kettle bells, how to properly use them and such but for now working with resistance bands and my various dumbbells (and of course my heavy body weight) seems to be enough to play with for now.
    3238 days ago
    I'm going to pick up a higher weight kettlebell this week. Thanks for breaking it DOWN for us.

    3238 days ago
    3238 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.