Obsession with “Cardio”

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We have one treadmill at Cressey Performance, and admittedly it doesn’t get used that often. I think we bought it more so to appease our girlfriends than anything else. But to be perfectly honest, there is a legit reason why we only have ONE treadmill……we just feel that treadmills hurt people more than they help them.

(My inbox is totally going to hate me today.)

This notion wasn’t more apparent than a few weeks ago when I accompanied my girlfriend to a local commercial gym where we live. One of the disadvantages of working at a place like Cressey Performance is the fact that I don’t see stupid stuff anymore. How can this be a disadvantage? From my perspective, I don’t get nearly as much “ammo” for blog posts or articles as I used to. Back when I worked for larger commercial gyms (one of which rhymes with “Schmallies” ), there wasn’t a day that went by where I didn’t hear or see something that made me want to bang my head against a wall, and hence write about it.

You can only imagine my elation when I walked into said commercial gym a few weeks back and observed one gentleman running on the treadmill for the entire hour I was there…..with not one, but two knee braces on. I’ve seen diabetic “meth” addicts who looked healthier than this guy. Granted I’m only speculating here, but I’m willing to bet there’s a strong correlation between the treadmill use and the fact that he’s resorted to having to wear two knee braces. I’ve been in the industry long enough where I’d bet money that I’m right.

It just demonstrates my point that the majority of people are obsessed with getting their “cardio” in no matter what. Funny thing is, most have no idea what it means or what it entails.

When I start working with new clients, they’re often perplexed why I don’t include more “cardio” in their programming. My retort is: “you’re lifting weights, that’s cardio.” As Alwyn Cosgrove has stated on numerous occasions, cardio refers to any exercise in which the heart and lungs are involved. This could be jogging, sprinting, swimming, and drum roll please….lifting weights. Quite simply- if you’re elevating your heart rate and respiration rate, you are engaging in some form of cardiovascular work. In other words: lifting weights can be an effective modality to improve heart health despite what your doctor tells you. Go perform a superset of heavy partial deadlifts followed by a set of chin-ups and tell me you’re heart rate doesn’t increase.

The point is, many (read: not all) people just need to accept the reality that running on the treadmill (or outside for that matter) is doing more harm than good. Additionally (and more importantly), if we’re going to be technical about it, sex counts as cardio. Yay us!

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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