Where do you feel the most comfortable at the gym?
In the cardio room or the weight room?
Personally, I stick to the weight room.
It’s not because of the fact that I despise cardio because, in fact, I quite enjoy it! I mean, I’m no Heather and will never be running marathons like she does, but there’s something about cardio that just makes you feel good. My favourite way to spend time on cardio machines is doing sprints on the treadmill; it’s exciting and you don’t need to do it for long. I was only ever on a treadmill for 20 minutes max. However, by learning from trial and error, cardio doesn’t jive with my body type and goals of putting on weight and muscle.
Today I will be writing a post about how I dealt with saying goodbye to cardio in efforts of putting on more weight and muscle. This post topic was requested by one of my sweetest friends and I hope all of you enjoy the topic being discussed, as well!
I incorporated cardio into my training routine in the past, but it only slowed my progress of putting on muscle, so, in November 2011, I jumped off of the treadmill train and stuck to weight lifting only.
Of course there was anxiety when I began focusing solely on weight lifting. I had a mix of different thoughts running through my head about why I shouldn’t cut out cardio…
“You need to do cardio. It would be silly to only lift weights!”
“The perfect training program includes cardio and weight lifting!”
“You’re slacking off if you don’t do cardio!”
“Your body might change too much if you don’t do any cardio, you need to keep doing it!”
Honestly, every time I walked out of the gym after a 45 minute weight lifting session I was overwhelmed with thoughts like the ones I’ve described above. At times I really felt guilty for not doing at least 15 minutes of sprints on the treadmill after lifting weights, but I knew that if I caved and did do those sprints I would feel even more guilt.
It’s hard to convince yourself sometimes that this is what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals. But it is important to not compare yourself and what you do to what others do.
I needed to realize that cardio wasn’t allowing me to accomplish my goals; instead, it was hindering me.
I was able to become more comfortable without doing cardio over time. One of the biggest things that helped me while dealing with “going cardio-less” was treating it like an experiment.
I took the “no cardio approach” one week at a time. I told myself, “just give it a try for a week and see how it goes.”
Well, nothing bad happened. In fact, nothing really changed at all other than my love for weight lifting – it grew, obviously
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, cardio gives you that good feeling. Well, weight lifting provides me with that good feeling, too, plus so much more!
Without doing cardio, I have been able to put on some mass and become a lot stronger. I still have goals to put on some serious mass, but I know it will come. It’s a slow process, but it will come; and by not doing cardio I am only helping the process!
As for battling those thoughts that creeped into my head every time I left the gym without doing cardio? Well, I promise you that the more you deny those thoughts and take charge, the easier it gets!
I had to remind myself that I shouldn’t feel guilty for not doing any cardio. Instead, I had to tell myself to be proud of what I did do. I focused on the weights I lifted and repetitively told myself that that was the workout I needed.
There are no rules when it comes to fitness.
Do what you love. Do what makes you happy.
Don’t do something because you think you have to.
This post definitely was not intended to convince all of you that giving up cardio and only lifting weights is what you should be doing. Like I just said, there are no rules when it comes to fitness. Through this post I was only hoping to help those of you who may want to reduce the amount of cardio you do by providing examples of how I overcame my personal experience with the issue.
So, if you are trying to decrease your time spent in the cardio room and maybe lift some more weights, give it a try! Treat it like an experiment just like I did! It’s worth a try, right?! You might be surprised with the positives that result from your little experiment!
Even the best of the best limit their time doing cardio, so when I start getting doubts in my training routine I think of my biggest inspirations and what they had to do to gain that beautiful muscle!
And, personally, I became more confident from lifting weights than from logging hours on the treadmill, but that’s just me!
Do you prefer cardio or weight lifting?
Are you wanting to reduce the amount of time you spend doing cardio?
What are your current fitness goals?
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I’ll be back tomorrow with a What I Ate Wednesday post and a new recipe!