What’s Keeping You From Doing What You Should?

If you’re the type person who does all the resistance training and all the cardio you should, like clockwork…great job!  But this post isn’t for you.

Us mortals, on the other hand, tend to either not do enough resistance training, not do enough cardio, or both! But why is that?

Why is it that we so often don’t do what we know we should?thinking

There’s no one single answer to this perplexing question, of course, and I don’t intend to offer one.  Rather, my intent is to make you think…help you become aware of what it is you should be doing that you’re not…then to think about why that’s the case.  Reason being, asking the right questions often leads to the answers.

Personally, I tend to have little to no problem getting in enough resistance training.  That’s simply because I love it!  Weight training is second nature to me, and I love the feeling of stimulating my muscles via resistance.  It’s quite meditative for me, actually.  So if I’m going to take time to exercise, I’ll pretty much always get weight training in.

I also tend to get in at least a moderate amount of low-intensity, steady-state cardio in each week.  Again, it’s because I like it (particularly walking and bike riding).

On the other hand, where I tend to falter is with high-intensity interval training and stretching.  Even though I know how much HIIT benefits me (i.e. cardiovascular fitness, fat loss, energy production), I still tend to not do it.  And even though I know doing more (and more thorough) stretching would benefit me (less back pain, for example), I still tend to rush through my stretching, or sometimes skip it altogether.

But WHY?

Is it because it’s not fun?

Is it because it’s not convenient?

Is it because I don’t have enough time?

Is it because I’m lazy?

Is it because the benefits won’t come for quite some time?

In all likelihood, it’s probably some combination of these (and other) things.

What is it you’re not doing enough of?  Are you doing enough resistance training?  Are you doing enough cardio?  What about  high-intensity intervals?  Are you doing enough stretching and mobility work?

If you can’t honestly answer yes to each of these, pause for a bit and think about why that is.  If you’re like me, doing so will at least remind you to do a better job in that area(s), and it may even help shine some light on a solution.

But one thing’s for sure, you’ll never come up with a solution if you don’t start by asking the right questions.

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

Cardio vs Weights – trainer says “cut back on cardio”

Question:

Hi, I’m currently 5′ 9″ 150 pounds and 40% body fat (measured by dexa) – female.

I’m down 55 pounds (I was 205), eating well, doing weight training 2 times a week, pilates 1 time a week and cardio about 5 times a week.

I’m loving my results and feel really good.  My trainer thinks I should cut back on cardio,because the 2 days I train with her I do 1 hour easy cardio before and after our workouts. I find the cardio easy and enjoyable, and I’m getting results.

walking for fat loss
Can you do too much of this?!

It’s easier for me to get the cardio done the days I weight train.  I understand there are benefits to shorter, more intense cardio.  Why should i change what I’m doing?  I’m getting results, I’m getting stronger.  I figure I’ll change things up when I stop getting results.

What do you think?  ~  Jenn

Answer:

I’m reminded of the old saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Too often we humans ask the wrong questions.  For example, “what’s the best way to lose fat as quickly as possible?” is the wrong question to ask.  The reason it’s a bad question is because over 99% of people simply could not or would not actually do what it takes to lose fat as quickly as possible.

Your question, Jenn, is a very good one…and it’s the kind of question people should be asking.  It’s a good question because it takes into account what one enjoys doing and is willing to do.  It’s also good because it acknowledges that while a method may not be the single most efficient way, it obviously has merit if it is producing results.

Now let me tell ya what I think… ;) [Read more…]

Ep62: Uphill Walking…what type of Cardio is it?

 

Episode 62: What type of Cardio is Walking Uphill?

Walking at a moderate speed on level ground is Steady State Cardio (SSC).  More specifically, it’s Low Intensity, Steady State Cardio.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is obviously high intensity in nature, so high that it must be done in an on/off fashion (hence the term interval).

But what about cardio that’s really hard – certainly NOT low intensity – but that you can maintain for a while (thus not interval in nature)… like Walking up a STEEP Hill; what type of cardio is that?!

In this episode of the Dr Clay Show, I’m going to take you on an uphill walk with me as I explain what type of cardio uphill walking is.

 

Notes

  • Low-Intensity Cardio is Aerobic in nature (meaning it uses oxygen)
  • High-Intensity Cardio is Anaerobic (does not use oxygen)

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

 

Related Posts

Don't do too much!

 

While we’re talking cardio, check out How Much Cardio is Too Much Cardio?

 

Great New Cardio Article by Dr Lonnie Lowery

I love Dr Lonnie Lowery!  Wait, that sounds odd…I mean I love his no-nonsense approach to nutrition.  Plus the man practices what he preaches….he ain’t just a lab nerd, that’s for sure!  And that’s the kind of guy I will listen to – one who knows the science and who also has real-world experience to go with it.

Dr Lowery’s latest article – The Ultimate Cardio Solution: Disclosed – was recently published at T-Nation.

Not your average nerdy Doc
Not your average nerdy Doc

If you’ve ever wondered how a nutrition Ph.D./bodybuilder does cardio to get ready for a bodybuilding contest, you gotta read his article.

Funny thing is, this portion (at least) of Dr Lowery’s approach is essentially just like mine.  Did he copy me or did I copy him? Neither, silly – we independently derived similar methods because they are scientifically sound and hold up in the real world.

I’m telling you, all this nutrition and training stuff is actually really simple! You just have to listen to people who will shoot you straight and tell you the truth! And avoid those trying to sell you something by telling you what you wanna hear (i.e. Lose 20 pounds in 7 days without breaking a sweat!”)

That’s it for now.  Go check out Dr LL’s article.

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay