Fellas, I hate to break it to you but as much we HATE seeing these girls on treadmills as we would want them lifting with us, there’s one advantage they have that we need more of and that advantage is a higher AEROBIC capacity. When we think of cardio, we think of sucky, boring, long bouts of low intensity runs on the hamstermills and gerbilmasters. That shit sucks. Period. I don’t care you disagree. Unfortunately, as much as it sucks, it has so many benefits that you’re better off doing it then not doing it at all.

What is cardio? Whether you’re a trainer or coach, you’ve heard it, “today, I’m just gonna do some abs and cardio.” Cardio, to answer the original question, is a term that refers to cardiovascular fitness, otherwise known as aerobic fitness.1

Human beings are aerobic in nature. If you have taken a biology class, you know that. If you haven’t, now you know.

Now that you know what the term “cardio” means, we can skip the many sciences behind anaerobic and aerobic and get to why YOU NEED more aerobic work.

I teach a class that in reality is considered High Intensity AEROBIC Training. How it’s done is  5 rounds of 60 seconds of resistance training work with transition time rest. 8 exercises followed by some type of cardio component like burpees or something along those lines. Anyhow, my class is predominantly female but as a bro myself, I’ve been able to attract some fellas in to my class. That said, there has been one thing I’ve noticed week in and week out…the guys gas QUICK. I always wondered why that was when I first started teaching the class.

The more I learned about energy systems training by reading work from Joe Dowdell and Martin Rooney, it all makes sense. Many women, because of the idea that they (unfortunately) NEED to run to lose weight have built up a higher aerobic endurance energy system. Meaning, the amount of work it takes for their body to to reach aerobic thresholds before going anaerobic is much higher than it is for most men. Why? Because naturally, a lot of bros don’t run. We don’t wanna go catabolic and lose muscle (even if we strength train so much, the effects are little to none).  Building a higher aerobic capacity isn’t inherently a bad thing either. Reasons to build up a higher aerobic system:

#1- Still burns calories. We lift…we eat…we want to get shredded. Well with all that lifting and eating, it’ll help stave off fat gained while in a caloric surplus when building muscle.

#2- A higher work capacity. Flipping heavy ass tires and slamming the tires with a sledge hammer is only fun when you can do it for more than a few reps before getting winded.

#3- Remove lactate build up from lifting. It’ll help clear the soreness better and a little faster. Who wouldn’t want that?

#4- No science here but man, it sure does help clear the mind. Throw on the iPod and leave the world behind.

Ways To Get In Aerobic Work:

 -       Aerobic Sports like Swimming, Soccer, and Basketball: These sports and their athletes are always moving with minimal rest between efforts. If you’re going to get it in, might as well be be fun

-       Train for a 5k. Now I’m not saying to drop the weights and become part of the Somalian national team or something but if you want to challenge yourself, get yourself in a 5k race. Not for nothing, if you strength train your lower body, it’ll make your strides stronger and you will end up running it faster than those who don’t. Just a thought.

-       Hit the rower and see what’ll end first….you or your favorite DJ’s podcast.

-       Do you live in/around NYC? Running the Pier might be the most beautiful thing. Take in the sites and just let yourself be free.

Now I will say this, 20-30 minutes of any of this 1 day a week is fine. You don’t need to go overboard. If you want to make it 2 days, that’s cool too. Just work at getting BETTER. It’ll help your lifting, it’ll help your recovery, and it’ll help your mind. Keep it up.

1Rooney, Martin (2012-04-10). Warrior Cardio: The Revolutionary Metabolic Training System for Burning Fat, Building Muscle, and Getting Fit (Kindle Locations 153-154). William Morrow Paperbacks. Kindle Edition.