I’m not a “runner” and have never claimed to be, but it’s an area I’m focused more on lately.
In fact, I’ve often written about my disdain for running and long, steady-state (boring), cardio.
This was often through the lens of optimizing your workout time for overall fat loss, as that’s the goal for the majority of my clients, and the default for people wanting to lose weight in the past was “I just need to do some cardio”.
Doing more “cardio” was never and still isn’t the best way to spend your limited workout time when fat loss is the goal.
***For further reading on this, you can check out my article on the Hierarchy Of Fat Loss Workouts here***
With that said, I’ve grown wiser during my 13 years in the fitness industry and have come to realize there is more to fitness than merely optimizing for overall fat loss.
Developing a strong cardiovascular system – made of partly by your respiratory system – is crucial to building an overall strong and healthy body. Especially when there is a virus going around that wreaks havoc on people with respiratory issues.
That means that a well balanced training program should take into account training to develop your cardiovascular system as well as your muscular system.
Now, the fact still remains that having a strong foundation of proper strength training to build muscle and power will have the biggest effect on your overall health and ability to ward off disease, especially as we get older.
This means having at least 30 minutes, 3 days/week blocked off for a well structured, properly designed strength training plan as your foundation.
After that is in place, add in a mix of low intensity, steady state cardio (L.I.S.S.) and high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) to strengthen your cardiovascular system.
For example, your week might look like this:
Monday – Strength Training Workout A
Tuesday – 30 minute run at a low/moderate pace
Wednesday – Strength Training Workout B
Thursday – High intensity interval training (Hill sprints)
Friday – Strength Training Workout C
Saturday – 45 minute bike ride at a moderate pace
Sunday – Stretching/Mobility/Yoga
This example schedule could also be enhanced further by adding in daily walking.
In that example schedule, you’d be spending no more than 30-60 minutes in each workout, but you’d be doing something every day and your week would be completely balanced across various training adaptations and energy systems.
Now, is every week going to be perfect and look like that example?
Of course not. Life will happen and stuff will come up.
But at least you’d have a balanced schedule to aim for and the truth is even if you’re hitting 60-80% compliance, you’d still be amazed at how you’ll feel.
Stay strong & live awesome, my friend.