Do Cardio, Keep Your Gains

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Throughout my life there are a handful of things I never thought I’d do. I never thought I’d live in a big city such as Boston. I never thought I’d use the word “delish” to describe something I ate.

Speaking which: that’s a habit I need to stop immediately.

I never thought I’d read a Twilight book. It was just one, scout’s honor. I had to figure out what all the fuss was about

And never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I’d own a cat and that I’d love her to pieces.

Oh, my wife ranks up there, too…;o)

Furthermore, something else happened recently I’d never thought I’d do. I wrote an article on the benefits of doing “cardio.”

Yes that cardio.

I’ve had a change of heart of late, and feel the advantages far outweigh the perceived disadvantages. Especially in the weight room.

It’s my latest article on T-Nation and you can read it HERE.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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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.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

Comments for This Entry

  • Rachel

    That brings to mind a related article ( I read recently which talks about building a base of aerobic fitness first. You definitely can't deny the benefits of aerobic training. For me, it even helps with mindfulness as I tell myself it's okay to slow down. (Hush inner voice that says go harder!)

    August 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Rachel Argh that didn't post the first time.

      August 11, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Reply to this comment

      • Roberto Vázquez

        That brings to mind an article from Mike Robertson too ( ) in that Mike talks about a lot of concepts that Tony talks in his article. But yours is more complete article. I haven't read it yet so thank you very much for the link! I assure you I'm going to read it as soon as I can! :-)

        August 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      It's like fashion. Things come and go, get unpopular, then are back "in" again. I feel that's the care of any sense of "aerobic" training.

      August 13, 2015 at 8:46 am | Reply to this comment

      • Roberto Vázquez

        I think like you Tony. In fact, for a long time, my only conditioning training was based on Crossfit, HIIT or any kind of high intensity exercise. But a few month ago, I realised I couldn't be at 100% on my "heavy" days if the "conditioning" days I finished exhausted with high intensity exercises. Now, I do low/moderate intensity cardio for 1 hour, I burn a lot of calories, I improved my aerobic and recovery capacity, and I feel much better on my "heavy" days. Change our way of think is part of grow and evolve. Good for you Tony! ;-)

        August 13, 2015 at 11:00 am | Reply to this comment

        • TonyGentilcore

          Great minds thinks a like, right? I still do some higher intensity conditioning here and there (but not as often).

          August 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Reply to this comment

          • Roberto Vázquez

            Hahaha! Thanks, but I'm not a great mind. I'm just an "amateur-fan" who strives to become a coach who is half good than other "great-mind" coaches like you. I try to learn all I can ;-)

            August 18, 2015 at 12:02 pm

  • Chris

    Thanks for the article, Tony. I guess that martial arts does not qualify as it wont keep you in zone 2 long enough. That sucks. I'll have to make an effort to put more time in on the bike. Running kills my knees and bores me to tears. One other thought - I believe that Schwarzenegger took the occasional aerobics class while preparing for contest. He probably would have gone for the Yogalates!

    August 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      By all means no need to disregard your martial arts training. If it's specific to what you do and perform in, by all means, do it! My main goal for the article was to try to convince people that low intensity aerobic work DOES have a time and place and that it won't be too detrimental to performance in the weight room. Where that time and place is depends on the person and his or her goals.

      August 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Patrick

    Hey Tony, When you recommend keeping the heart rate between 120 - 140 or 65% - 70% of max heart rate, the numbers don't translate for someone my age, 53. With an estimated max of 167 (220 - 53), my actual max is in the high 170's to low 180's so that would allow for a slightly higher range. But If you take the simple formula of 220 - Age x 65% and 220 - Age x 70% = 109 - 117 bpm which is below your recommended range above. In fact walking the dog @ 3.25 - 3.5 MPH for an hour generally keeps my heart rate in this 109 - 117 range but barely feels like an effort as I have been doing this 4 to 5 times a week year round for the past 3+ years. I've recently started doing easy 10 - 15 minute jogs @ about a 10 minute / mile pace around a track 2-3 times weekly and feels like I could do that for hours but my heart rate averages 153 and 160 at the finish. I Would probably have to trot / shuffle @ slower than a 12 minute pace per mile and that sloggingly-slow pace would cause me to die of boredom before I finished! Any harm in staying @ 10 minute miles and waiting for my jog hr to decrease to the desired range which will take months all the while I gradually increase the jog time into the 20 - 40 minute range? Thanks! Patrick

    August 17, 2015 at 10:23 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      To answer your question: Like I said in the article Zone 2 IS SLOW. Painfully slow. That's the point. As someone who's been doing it for 4-5 years, this may not apply to you. More so if you're not someone who's interested in lifting weights. I see no harm in doing what you propose. If that's what you like to do, and it fits your current goals, go for it.

      August 17, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Reply to this comment

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