Thursday, January 26, 2012

Making The Transition From Cardio To Strength

Keeping you on your toes

Making the change from a cardio-centric lifestyle to the realm of MOAR SQUATZ can be a tough transition. The culture of both fitness worlds can be comparable to a religion, with members who like to preach about the superiority of their side.

It can be hard for a cardio disciple when their religion comes crashing down on them. When they realize that running for hours and hours on end is actually not beneficial to their body, and actually has a catabolic effect on the muscle tissue, leaving you with diminishing returns.

One of the biggest things I have seen from ex-cardio agents is the confusion they have when one of my programmed workouts is finished and they aren't in a pile of their own sweat. To quote a new trainee from last week "my muscles feel dead, but I'm not that sweaty. Thanks for the session, I am going to do cardio".

Lying in a pool of your own sweat is not the marker of a successful workout. Anybody can work up a sweat for an hour. Continuous Progressive Adaptation should be the goal of your training, not needing a closet full of old spice deodorant.

I won't get into the topic of differences in nutrition, that is a whole other post in itself. Instead, this photo should sum it up nicely:

Here at LiftBigEatBig, WE LIKEZ OUR MEATZ
We had an interesting debate on the fan page the other day regarding the importance of a heart rate monitor during workouts. tThe general consensus was that unless you have a serious heart problem or you turn into the Hulk after a certain BPM, a heart rate monitor is an unnecessary piece of  gym equipmen.

It can be hard to overcome this mentality of using a HRM to gauge your workouts. If you are running a 400m sprint or going for a 1RM back squat or snatch, the HRM isn't going to tell you how well you did: your score on the board is. Who cares if your heart rate is in "the optimal zone" if you can't squat the weight?

When transitioning to the religion of strength, you will realize that all of your previous fitness concerns and worries pale in comparison to a successful strength PR. Turned off by the cockiness that takes place in the strength world? As a fan pointed out, you won't meet a cockier person than a middle/upper class Caucasian individual who is a long distance runner or "yogi".

If you are having second thoughts about your cardio religion, give strength a shot. Once you go strong, you will never go wrong.

Oh and one more thing:



2 comments:

  1. Really big this article. I am currently trying to make this transition, but it’s not easy, at all. I was a fat kid back in the day (215 at 13 years old) and I am defiantly afraid of become fat again. I always believed that I had to keep doing longer and harder workouts, and the more sadistic they got, my recovery got shorter, caloric restriction got tighter and tighter, but my body got weaker and softer. I have just recently decided to kick the cardio crack and get serious about becoming a stronger athlete. I still feel like I wasted the day if I don’t sweat blood, and after every big meal I feel guilty…but in lift big eat big we trust! Hope to see some more motivating articles in the future.

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  2. I totally agree strength is very important, but I can't stop doing some cardio on non weight days...cardio gives me a feeling of happiness and euphoria I don't get after weight lifting. I enjoy lifting too, but nothing gets me happy and loving life like a great fun session of cardio...so, for that reason mainly I keep it in the program.

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