Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cardio Thoughts - By Christian Tackett

For 18 years of my training career, l have been told that cardio was bad for me.  I have heard it all from "Cardio will destroy your recovery ability" to "You won't be able to recover effectively enough for your workouts" to "There is no evidence that cardio will improve your performance" to "There is no evidence that shows that the heart can be strengthened."  Yes, l believed these and more, and falsely believed that l was doing my body a service by keeping from it.  That is, until reality showed it's face to me after years of stress and on-again-off-again smoking.  

Let's fast-forward two months to the present day where Level 8 (hard interval style) on the elliptical, three times a week, 30 minutes each session is the rule.  To vary things up, and since yesterday was a beautiful day and needed some fresh air, l decided to do sprints--as in, sprint the length of a football field and walk back, ten times.  The first six times, l was breathing very hard; from 7-10 times, l was going on all mental strength and positive self-talk, but my son thought l was probably trying out for the Special Olympics.  After l finished, 20 minutes later, l headed home to continue the day and what it demanded of me.

To Maximum Bob:  Thank you, sir.  You've changed my thinking to my betterment.  I have easily trimmed off an inch or two on my waist measurement and my health--my body, my mind, and my spirit--has improved dramatically.  To the anti-cardio folks out there, l say this:  The lazy man's way to a physique may be out there, but cardiovascular stamina is important for good health and will enable you to improve mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Properly applied hard interval style cardiovascular training that is totally different from training for a marathon can all but help your training and your overall quality of life, so what do you have to lose?  Nothing.  However, if you, dear reader, do not build the whole person--inside and out--you will miss out on your cardiovascular health and its benefits that will all but help you.

EDITORS NOTE:  Some great information Christian. I completely agree. Interval style cardio is good for you and not at all like marathon training. Doing stairmaster, (or your choice of activity), 3 times a week for 30 minutes on hard interval setting will not hurt your strength and will get you in a lot better condition. *(Most machines have a built in warm up and cool down so a 30 minute hard interval workout is really just 20 minutes of actual training time.)
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