In the past few years there have been many articles, some on here, by authors such as Martin Rooney, John Meadows, Rachel Cosgrove, and Michael Sheridan, in which it is said that for cardio for physique conscious people, they should stick to either walking (very boring to me) or high intensity activity such as sprinting, battle rope drills, sled dragging, and the like. It’s said that moderate intensity cardio should not be used because it can lead to muscle loss. If I recall correctly, in most of the articles, the authors use extreme examples such as marathon runners to show the muscle destroying effects of LISS.
My questions is why aren’t there any suggestions for perhaps things less extreme, like a 20 to 40 jog or bike ride? Are these sessions really going to wreck muscular gains? I have recently lost a bit of weight just by adding back into my training two 30 minute jogs per week and a slight caloric deficit.
Besides, shouldn’t a decent aerobic base be built before one jumps into hard stuff like battle ropes and hill sprints. One probably can’t even last a decent session or maintain their form in these activities without a decent base or if he is carrying too much fat and is out of general shape. When I have an aerobic base, I feel lighter on my feet, am more flexible, feel better, and can eat a bit more than otherwise.
And many athletes need an aerobic base too. Fighting is all the rage now. And if you look at some of the greats, they did steady state cardio. They don’t drive themselves into the ground training for marathons–because thats not their aim, nor is it a lifter’s aim when he is trying to just drop fat and stay healthy–but they do jog.
I empathize with your head shaking. It reminded me of a very similar discussion back from 2012:
I made several posts in that thread. Some of it was ball busting (par for the course on internet forums). There’s two, however, that represented my feelings on the subject (10-17-12 and 10-31-12).
These are the things I believed back then, and I haven’t seen or experienced anything that compels me to change my stance:
*Steady state cardio is a tool. Like any other tool, it has specific applications for a specific task. Yes, yes, it’s often over done by the misinformed but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.
*People who are out of shape have no business jumping into HIIT. These folks need a base level of fitness. It’s not just about the lungs and heart. It’s also about building up the connective tissue.
Rather than telling someone who is 50+ pounds overweight to jump straight into hard sprints, how about we use that rarest of commodity - common sense - and have him perform low to moderate intensity work in a low-impact manner first…? Perhaps because it’s just not sexy enough, and therefore doesn’t sell.
- All energy systems (aerobic, glycolitic, atp/cp) respond best to training specific for the task at hand. Yes, there is some carryover - but not enough to justify completely eliminating a key component.
Don’t believe me? Look at the best in the world in their respective sports. Too much pride and (sometimes) money for them to ignore what works. There’s a reason the strongest lifters perform most of their work in the low to mid range, with some high rep work thrown in. There’s a reason Tour de France contenders don’t spend just a few minutes doing tabatas and then call it a day.
- For those who have a sufficient base, steady state cardio is a viable way to stay active and enjoy life. Unless you’re preparing for a specific event, it’s laughable to train and eat in some hyper strict manner 24/7.
On occasion, I’m going to take a ride along the bike path from Marina Del Rey to Hermosa Beach and back. Along the way, I’m going to clear the head, get some sun, and chat up the gorgeous women (how I met my GF). The pace will mostly be low to mid intensity. Sorry to disappoint folks who’ve lost perspective.
But hey - if you must, continue to engage in masturbatory acts of lunacy, such as telling me to avoid steady state work or eating raw meat after some laughable workout is the way to go. Time, as it often does, will expose the foolish for what they are.