You know how I’m always talking about cardio as one of the greatest evils of the exercise world? The fact that most of what the health industry teaches on the matter is absolute rubbish, that many experts believe it’s a complete waste of time, that it can exacerbate stress and cause you to store fat faster, and that certain types in particular will build up your booty in a most unwelcome manner?
Well I’m guessing that even if you want to believe me on all that, it’s kinda hard to do so. I understand. The fear of dropping cardio down was with me for years, and even once I did so and noticed the weight melt off I still felt bad about it. Which is pretty ridiculous, but hey, that’s what years of conditioning (brainwashing) does to you.
Anyway. I thought this email from a fellow reader might help you make up your mind to take the leap of faith.
I am good, thank you – thanks for following up. I have hit a
strange phenomenon for me though. I had to go about a month without
exercising (cardio), and I lost a lot of weight (including fat) and my eating was so in control.
Now that I am allowed to exercise again, the weight piles back on
and my eating is more out of control. I am slowly losing the
motivation to exercise (other than lifting weights) – as I can now
see my body does better when it is not under the stress of constant cardio exercise.
Is this what happened to you when you cut right down on the cardio?
I don’t want to lose my cardiovascular fitness though!
Just to allay any concerns on the fitness side of thing, here’s part of my answer to Vicki, plus my take on fitness.
That’s good news! I did think the exercise was too much of a source of stress for you …. great that you’ve had it ‘proven’ to you!
With myself, it wasn’t so sudden because my diet was still a mess when I dropped cardio. But I have had lots of clients who also notice almost an overnight change when they drop cardio. And because cardio increases cortisol it leads to cravings, which is why you are more in control of your diet when you’re not doing it!
On the fitness side of things, the latest research I was shown in a recent course update indicated that weight training is just as effective for cardiovascular health, and I certainly know from clinical experience that HIIT training (which I don’t put in the same category as cardio) coupled with well-structured anaerobic weight training can result in what os often higher fitness than that of repetitive and ultimately stressful endurance work.
Oh – and if you absolutely cannot give up cardio, then be sure to check out this article on how to makeover your routine and finally get lean!