90% of people who come to me expect that they’ll need to do a bunch of cardio to see the results they’re searching for and majority of the time they act as if they don’t mind doing it…
But when I tell them I’m not a fan and I can get them there without, they’re ecstatic and tell me that they actually hate cardio with a passion.
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is beneficial. But it doesn’t need to be, nor should it be, the majority of what you do in the gym. It should be done to supplement the rest and to keep you healthy.
So why do I prefer to do less cardio?
Because lifting heavy shit trumps it, in almost every single situation.
Here’s 12 Reasons Why.
1.) Cardio Neglects 50% Of Your Body.
Plain and simple… when you do cardio – especially traditional styles – you neglect the entire upper body. What does this really mean? It just means it’s not nearly as functional as strength training is.
A functional, healthy and strong body can work every muscle and movement pattern head to toe. Only doing cardio takes that advantage or benefit away from us immediately.
2.) Strength Training Boosts Hormones, Cardio Does Not.
When we lift heavy weight, push our intensity, or grind our rep after rep… we create a hormonal tidal wave that sends signals to the body to increase our hormonal output – specifically testosterone and growth hormone.
As a guy, that is CRUCIAL if you want to look like an athlete. But it also helps lower stress hormones and other negatively impacting hormones, so we’re lowering the bad and raising the good. It really couldn’t get better than this if our goal is to look and feel great.
(If you’re a guy looking to finally lose body fat and look like a real athlete, without following a complicated system or meal plan… Click Here Now and get my new eBook “Eat Like A Man, Look Like An Athlete” – you’ll also gain access to “The Tribe” private coaching and accountability Facebook group)
3.) Strength Training Drastically Reduces Risks Of Becoming “Skinny-Fat”.
(Photo Credit to www.corehealthproducts.com)
Ok so you might think I’m joking, but in all seriousness it does AND skinny-fat is a legit “look” that I hear guys talk about on a consistent basis when reviewing coaching applications or when talking on our initial strategy call (Apply for a Free 30 min Call Here).
The point I’m making here is that when someone loses a lot of weight and there is not a whole lot of muscle underneath all the fat they worked so hard to burn, it can be somewhat disappointing to the person. I get it too; you’ve worked so damn hard to shed down and when you finally get there… you want something slightly different.
If you focus on strength training while you’re cutting weight and body fat, instead of solely dieting and cardio – you will build a lot of muscle in the process. A few things will then happen:
You actually burn more fat and more calories on a consistent basis. You will be a lot healthier during and after the entire process. And finally, you will have a drastically different physique when all the fat is gone (more like an athlete should look).
4.) Most Cardio Promotes Bad Posture.
When you’re running, you’re not paying attention to your posture. When you’re cycling, you’re hunched over the handlebars. When you’re sprinting, you’re likely in a hyper extended position because that’s where we’re most powerful.
But all 3 of these are NOT a good way to encourage our body to posture up or become accustomed too. Does that mean never do cardio? Not at all.
It means you NEED strength training because it will allow you to strengthen the muscles that pull you into a good posture, specifically the upper back muscles and your lats.
But once again, a functional and healthy body is strong head to toe. We cannot focus on one muscle, one modality, or one posture. We need to consider working a little bit of everything.
(But for 99% of Americans… you should consider prioritizing a few specifics such as: your glutes, your core and your upper back.)
5.) Strength Training Boosts Your Metabolism MORE.
A high metabolism is something we all want and majority believe slowly fades away as we age. The truth is, that’s a myth and has been backed by studies (I wrote an article on it HERE).
What all these studies found, was that as we age we have less responsibilities or activities that cause us to move and more that cause us to sit around for extended periods of time.
On top of this, not everyone starts eating less food – in reality, we should… because the less we move, the less fuel our body demands. So we are more likely to store that extra fuel as fat.
But many actually do eat less; because when we’re kids we’re hungry as hell damn near 24-7. Then when you go to eat, you’re so busy you likely choose a crappy option that is filled with calories. So we don’t seem like we’re eating a lot… but calorically speaking, we really are.
The studies also found that our metabolism is actually directly linked to 2 things: 1.) is our daily activity and 2.) is our daily caloric intake.
So we move less and eat less as we age, but most of the time we do eat it is filled with junk calories (sugar, processed crap, beer, etc.).
THAT ^^^ is why our metabolism is “slowing down”. NOT because of the number of birthdays we’ve celebrated.
Studies also showed other things such as stress, muscle mass retention, etc…
This brings me back to my exact point – strength training increases heart rate more, burns more calories, creates more appetite, builds more muscle, stimulates more hormones and reduces more stress. Theses are ALL things that can help boost metabolism, which cardio will not do (at least not to this extent).
6.) Strength Training Builds Muscle.
This is one doesn’t really need much of an explanation… Does it? I’ll give you one anyway.
Muscle is more metabolically and calorically taxing on the body; meaning that it takes constant energy (calories) to retain muscle mass on your body. So the more you have, the more calories you burn during every single activity you have.
This also means that the more muscle you have, the more you can eat and we know that metabolism is also linked to the amount of calories we eat. It’s a revolving cycle of reasons to build muscle (that’s not even discussing the hormonal and performance factors).
7.) Strength Training Improves Mobility.
Movement is the big key here and when we go through more movement patterns, we increase mobility more – but this means changing the movement patterns consistently and frequently.
Strength training allows this, cardio not so much.
In fact you could consider body weight training a form of strength work as well, so we can do this without load and under load. Mobility is necessary for 99% of people out there and if you can practice full range of motion movement patterns with load, safely, you’re in an even bigger advantage.
8.) Strength Training Saves Your Joints, Cardio… Not Quite.
Strength and resistance training are the two biggest helpers for our joints. They strengthen all the tendons, ligaments, muscles and even the bones in our bodies. It also helps create more fluid in the joints without placing repetitive blows to the joint.
A mile is over 2,000 steps. This means that to jog or run a mile, we step (more like hop) on each knee, hip, and ankle joint 1,000+ times…
Imagine hopping on one leg 1,000 times non-stop. Do you think your ankle or knee may bug you afterwards? Or that it may get injured or worn out after a while?
It’s no reason why so many runners have constant nagging injuries in their legs. Well the plus side here is… Strength training promotes the complete opposite and helps reduce pain and risk of injury in all your joints (when done properly).
9.) Strength Training Is More Versatile.
As I said earlier on, you can do this with simply your body weight. That simply means – we do not need much equipment to get it done.
You can use a pair of DB’s, one single Kettlebell, a resistance band, a full gym, or nothing at all.
Now you may argue the same with cardio… But you need to either be outside, on a bike, or on a treadmill for traditional cardio. You can perform HIIT cardio with a single KB or your bodyweight (which I’d recommend over traditional LISS in most cases) but when it comes to traditional cardio you cannot.
So if you don’t have the equipment to do so in your house, if you don’t want to even leave your house, or if it is raining out – you’re S.O.L. (shit outta luck).
On top of being able to do it anywhere with practically anything, there are millions of variations and variables you can change to keep it engaging and fun.
(Check out my good friend Kaisa here – also known as KaisaFit – if you don’t believe me… She works out with literally anything she can find)
10.) Strength Training Prevents More Disease.
From diabetes to hypertension to osteoporosis… Strength training comes in first place for preventing them.
That being said, there are smart forms of cardio that help a lot as well and of course nutrition plays a massive role in this. But at the end of the day, strength and resistance training still comes in first place to help fight these and many more diseases off.
(If you need specific guidance for your nutrition – Click Here Now and Apply for Coaching).
11.) Strength Training Boosts Your Confidence.
I believe that any form of activity will do this not only from a mental perspective, but also from a hormonal and endorphin releasing perspective – but again, strength and resistance training wins.
When we train with higher resistances, full body movements, more intensity, and heavier weights the body releases endorphins and minimizes stress hormones. This alone is HUGE for boosting confidence in our every day life.
This is proven my studies. Something that is only proven by experience, from many others and myself, is that getting a nice pump in the gym also boosts our confidence.
I’ve never in my life met a person who doesn’t enjoy getting a pump or lifting some heavy shit, nor have I met anyone who says that doesn’t boost their confidence a bit.
12.) Strength Training Creates Less Imbalances.
Before I say it’s better than cardio for reducing imbalances, I have to say that it absolutely can create them or even encourage more. If you do not train properly than you are training dysfunction and imbalance.
But the great thing about strength training is that you can more easily notice these imbalances, especially when you have a coach guiding you through the movements or instruct you on exactly how to perform them.
With running or any basic cardio, you’re just going and going without an ability to truly stop and watch your performance happening. So there is no telling how you’re moving and whether or not it is efficient or improving the quality of how you move.
Performing full range of motion exercises, strengthening and building muscle, working your mobility and overall just doing the right training in the right ways is CRUCIAL for removing imbalances and building a more balanced body.
If you’re stuck and not seeing the results you’re looking for, click here now and we you can jump on a free 30-minute strategy call with me where I will look over your current plan and help you map out exactly how to take it from “Stuck” to “Success”.