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The Cardio Body Building Fallacy

Nov 27, 2007
Most workout programs, in my opinion, are examples of cardio body building and are wrongly based on bodybuilder isolation movement exercises and marathoner extended aerobic training.

This is NOT the path to optimum fitness excellence!

The cardio body building combination is actually the biggest training mistake you can make.

Now before you get angry...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with training like a Bodybuilder or Marathoner... especially if you are a Bodybuilder or Marathoner.

I am just proposing that the training philosophies of Bodybuilders and Marathoners are not the path to an optimum level of fitness where all of the physical skills of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness are improved... Whether you adhere to the philosophy of each group alone or in combination.

I know this goes against most physical training protocols used in commercial gyms around the world that adhere to the cardio body building combination as the training methods of choice.

It is easy to see how these training protocols came to be combined...

In an attempt to improve fitness on a more general level for the non-professional fitness enthusiast, gyms and health clubs throughout the world have prescribed the typical cardio body building program of isolated movement strength training and extended aerobic training sessions.

The belief was that if isolated movement weight training is effective for Bodybuilders, and extended aerobic sessions are effective for Marathoners, that a combination of the two training methods would give the general fitness enthusiast the best of both worlds.

The fact is, Bodybuilding training methods are more concerned with muscle growth than muscular strength, power and endurance... and both of these training methods almost completely ignore the other physical abilities like coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and flexibility.

It is no wonder why millions of people participating in cardio body building inspired fitness programs fail to meet their over-all fitness goals... They are making a big training mistake.

On a personal Note...

I am guilty of training in the cardio body building fashion in my younger years in preparation for wrestling season.

I would lift weights using isolation exercises and run long distances to increase aerobic capacity.

I quickly learned in the first week of practice that the inflated muscles and aerobic capacity that I gained through cardio body building training did little or nothing to provide the fitness level needed for my chosen sport.

Oh well, there is nothing I can do about that now... but there is something that YOU can do to improve your physical training in preparation for sport, work, life.

Reflect on your current workout program...

If your current workout program looks like the cardio body building protocol described above... don't despair.

Any exercise is better than none, so you have not completely wasted your time.

In fact... the isolated movement strength training has given you some degree of strength, and the aerobic exercise is an essential base of fitness.

However, to improve your physical training and optimize your performance you must be prepared to radically change the methods you use in pursuit of strength, conditioning and fitness excellence.

Be honest with yourself... are you getting the most out of your current cardio body building physical training program?

Are the exercises and methods you are using best suited to improve over-all fitness... or do they only focus on muscular size and cardiorespiratory endurance?

Ask yourself this question...

Is your current physical fitness training program based on the acceptable and deliberate compromise of competence and ability to perform in ALL the areas of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness to produce optimum performance results under the greatest amount of circumstances?

If not, it is probably based on the cardio body building fallacy... and your physical training can be greatly improved.

If your goal of physical training is to inflate your muscles and perform monotonous, single intensity aerobic exercise for extended periods of time... do nothing.

If your goal of physical training is to become a better human being suited to successfully overcome the random challenges of sport, work and life... It is time to change your physical fitness training program to one not based on the cardio body building fallacy.
About the Author
Coach Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach dedicated to building better humans for sport, work and life. Learn more at Optimum Physical Training or take his FREE Tabata Calisthenics Workout Mini Course.
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