Hey all! Today we are going to talk about why it’s finally time to break up with that no good drag of a relationship you have with your treadmill/cardio equip. —Note I also spoke of it  here  for you visual/auditory peeps. 

If you’re reading this, I imagine you already have some messed up relationship with cardio equipment / long cyclic steady state (or aerobic training – I will use them interchangeably) and you are just waiting for that little nudge to breakup this one-sided relationship. 

First, story time. Like you, I was an avid cardio enthusiast. I competed as an endurance athlete for most of my life and at the highest level in college. Like most Americans, I was taught that I MUST do at LEAST thirty minutes of cardio/aerobic training multiple times a week. Well for the sake of science, time, and boredom (like come on, you seriously enjoy staring at a wall for thirty minutes?) I ditched the long cardio sessions. Guess what happened? I reached my best strength and aesthetic goals. So this led me down the rabbit hole of wanting to know why I look and felt my best after I stopped doing what America regards as “the calorie burning” exercise. This is what I found out during my journey of breaking up with long cardio training and choosing the barbell as my sole lover. 

Now, science time (woooo!). Before we dive in, I want to address a key component to this break-up: hormones. As ladies, our hormonal profile is much different than our co-eds for the obvious reason: baby making. Due to this, advice we get on training and diet is usually research done by men and for men — this is not a knock on my male colleagues — works against our physiology versus with it. We all know that guy-pal, brother, boyfriend, or hubby that can cut coffee creamer out of their diet and add “training for a 5k” to their regimen and BAM they have abzz. Then we give it a try and shocker….. you get my point. SO, here is the short to the long on why long cyclic cardio training is killing your training and physique goals:. 

Chronological cascade of why cardio is a terrible [ex] to your gainz: 

  1. At some point you were probably told that cardio is the “fat-burning” exercise and you have to stay in some zone to achieve ALLLLL the fat-burning. In addition to that, you also jumped on a low-cal or low-carb diet to maximize all the fat burning. Well ladies, this is where we played ourselves. You are now burning it at both ends. You want this strong, lean, body but you are not fueling AND are viscously engaging in cardio. 
  2. Due to #1, this state of low-calorie and long aerobic training discorages muscle growth. We have all probably seen the whole “sprinter vs marathon runner” or “lifter vs runner” body. Although these are extreme examples, there is some truth. If your goal is to build muscle, the body responds really well to brief, intense bouts of training like lifting and/or sprints. Which leads me to point #3
  3. Muscle mass is the most “taxed” tissue in the body. Meaning it costs calories to create it and to keep if from withering away — read: more muscle means more cals burned at rest. Therefore as women, our body loves to hold onto body fat based on our estrogen and progesterone levels THIS is why muscle growth is so important…without encouraging muscle growth, we are definitely not encouraging fat loss. 

Low Calorie + Long Aerobic Training = ↓ Muscle Synthesis

I know break-ups can be tricky so if I have not convinced you why to ditch your treadmill, here are some quick reasons why you should ALSO have a relationship with strength training:

Get strong

-Body Comp improvements (build muscle & lose fat)

-Improved posture and flexibility

-Look bad ass while doing it

-Increase bone density (drops after menopause)

-Improve balance and Coordination 

-Super confidence


Okay, let me know when you officially break up with your elliptical! Thanks for reading! Follow me on IG at coach_jhelms or on facebook at Jordan Helms. Please shoot me an email/DM or comment if you have further questions. Keep your eyes peeled for my next talk on staying conditioned without excessive cardio training. 

Xoxo Coach Jordan