To Cardio or Not to Cardio

There is a dividing line in the work out world between Cardio and No Cardio. But to be honest I feel like there is a small grey area where a few of us fall, let me break it down.

For the Cardio obsessed people you are generally referred to as Cardio Queens, no seriously. You all know a Cardio Queen, you might even be one….I used to be one.

Cardio QueenCardio Queens typically spend HOURS on their equipment of choice, and 9 times out of 10 they aren’t on the treadmill for 2 hours because they are training for a half marathon. They are convinced that the more “steps” they climb, longer they walk/jog on that treadmill, and more rotations they put in on the elliptical the fat is just going to melt away leaving them “skinny”. I know this because that used to be my trip to the gym. After I would pound out an hour of Cardio on the treadmill or elliptical I would then head right into Spin class, Kick Boxing, Zumba whatever was available that day and put in yet another hour of Cardio. I was a SWEAT master and my Polar would show me thousands of burned calories….I just knew I was going to reach my goals.

To be honest I usually ended up looking like this…..

Cardio Queen

Some of you are probably nodding along by now knowing this IS you, was you….or you’re nodding because you feel like sleeping girl up there means that was a successful trip to the gym lol. Let’s hop to the other side of the gym spectrum, the Non Cardio people, or as Cardio Queens generally refer to them as “Muscle Heads”.

Muscle Heads, or weight lifters, are not fans of cardio. You will never see them in Spin Class, they are certainly NOT going to try the new Dance Dance Kick Kick Yoga Power Class, and they typically don’t run long distances for fun. They spend their hours in the gym on specific body parts at a time, and each of those body parts has a “day”. For example there is Leg Day, Bi’s and Tri’s Day, Chest Day, Back Day….you see where I’m going and these people can bench press your Cardio lovin body in 2.5 seconds!

The hard-core, dedicated Weight Lifters typically look like this….

And can carry large, heavy objects with little to no problem….

The truth is you actually need to be a little of BOTH of these to successfully achieve sustainable, long-lasting, healthy results. You need the cardio to build a strong heart, healthy lungs, and allow you to build up stamina and endurance but you need the weight training to tone, tighten and LIFT everything. You see living in the grey area I mentioned earlier is sort of the Weight Loss Happy Zone, and you don’t have to spend HOURS there either.

A great Cardio Warm Up like the one seen below followed by a weight lifting routine is EXACTLY what you need out of a quick trip to the gym or at home, check it out.

20 Minute Treadmill Burn

(Feel free to adjust speeds higher/lower to accommodate your work out level)

Minutes           Treadmill Speed
1 to 3                        3
3 to 5                      3.5
5 to 8                      6.5
8 to 9                        7
9 to 10                    3.5
10 to 13                  6.5
13 to 14                  7.2
14 to 15                  3.5
15 to 18                   7
18 to 19                 6.5
19 to 20                 3.5

Walk for 2 to 3 minutes before starting to warm up and do the same after to cool down. After this Interval session your heart is pumping, you’re sweating, and you’ll be ready to lift! Pick an area/body part to focus on and do a circuit of weights trying to get 10 to 12 reps with a decent weight amount for each exercise.

We are talking 45 minutes of work out time for both Cardio AND Weights, that’s totally do-able and will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

Healthy Wishes, T

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