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Working the Heart vs. Working Off Fat

#TBT – Throwback Thursday

OLD TREADMILLThe US Air Force conducted one of the first studies on cardio vascular (or aerobic) exercise. It took another 20 years after that before most people would actually step on a treadmill for some “cardio” in a gym.

Back in the 80s, no one even knew what the word “cardio” was. People ran, people did aerobics and people road bikes, but no one did “cardio”. Treadmills weren’t even being introduced to gyms until the mid 80s – and it took another few years for people to actually start using them.

Over time, gyms gained a few more pieces of cardio equipment (like bikes, treadmills and steppers), but it probably only made up for 20% of the equipment in an average health club.

Ironically, people are rarely talking about exercising the heart and lungs when they say they are going to do cardio. They are normally referring to burning fat. What they really mean is “I’m going to burn off the pizza I ate last night” or “I’m going to make room for ice cream”.

When people finally started to understand the whole “calories in vs calories out” concept, exercise took a drastic turn toward more heart-pounding workouts – but not for the heart-pounding part. They wanted to burn calories – and most of all, FAT!

Don’t Take My _________ Away!

Andreas Cahling Nowadays, cardio, aerobics and conditioning programs make up more than half the market. Boot Camps, aerobics classes, CrossFit, cardio machines, spinning classes, Zumba, circuit training and even a lot of one-on-one workouts all have a cardio component in them because it’s no longer enough to just strength train. People want to burn as many calories as they possibly can in as little time as they can.

When the NPC Central District Chairman, Pete Fancher, spoke to our competition team at our gym recently, he talked about his early days competing. He explained to the group that no one did “cardio”. They didn’t even HAVE cardio at his gym – and they laughed at him when he bought the first bike, calling him wimpy names. When they had to lean out for a competition, they mainly relied mainly on diet to shed the fat.

run-for-beer_thumb3We live in a ‘gimme” world that hates giving up ANYTHING – even if it’s to get something great, like an amazingly fit and trim body. Most clients are not too happy when their trainer recommends cutting back calories. They panic. “Don’t take my wine away, or my chocolate, or my nightly snacks or my beer. Don’t cut my portions, don’t give me a list of foods I should avoid.” Oh no! That would be cruel and unusual punishment. Instead, they want to know what they can do MORE OF in order to keep the current lifestyle.

People will do two and three workouts a day so they can eat whatever they want when they are not at the gym. Yet, if they would just practice a little more self-control, they wouldn’t have to turn into a overly obsessed gym rat who’s facebook has more gym checkins and fitness chatter than family photos – AND they’d probably get a LOT faster (and better) results.

I Do Cardio For (Fill In The Blank)

If this is you, or you are in maintenance mode and just want to avoid weight gain, then you may want to read my newest article “WILL RUN FOR BEER: TOP 10 CALORIE SCORCHING EXERCISES” on “HealthyWay.com“, powered by Answers. At least you’ll know which exercises will help you burn off your favorite food fix. :)

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