who only care about building huge muscle and listening to loud thrash metal. Eventually Bill just becomes a psychopath about lifting weights, and ends up severely hurting himself in the process. Anyway, while in the middle of doing some 50 bench presses in a row, Hank reminds him, “You do realize you just need to run on a treadmill, right?” This leads to a lot of derision from the other muscle heads, and Hank eventually gets ticked off with Bill for a while. Either way, the episode is rife with great lines, but just the way the muscle heads went about saying “Cardio!” is the kind of stuff that makes me laugh even more in hindsight. I used to be like that, merely to the effect of my own derision toward “cardio.” Since I could never do, I hated, and boy did I hate it with a passion.
There were a couple instances in my life where I made a rather decent effort to try and make myself a better runner. I remember during my time at the University of Arizona how physical I used to be, playing basketball just about every day and making a decent physique out of myself, even though my musculature was pretty low. But for some reason, the stop and go mentality of basketball just didn’t translate at all into a good running regimen. I tried my best to circle the elevated track that was available at the recreation center, but I merely seemed to piss people off with my stop and go running. One time I even had to puff up my chest and intimidate a rather rude and scrawny runner that took offense to my walking. Eventually I gave the running a rest, merely because I decided being able to play basketball uninterrupted for nearly three hours was enough for me. But of course, everything changed when I started working, and ultimately, the long slow slide of my body ballooning took flight. I tried some weight lifting at a couple points, but ultimately I got bored with the idea of even driving to my parents house to do some lifting. Of course, I was much too weak and proud to weight lift at the rec center, and if anything, that self awareness led to me staying away from the gym in general. Whatever happened, I always knew I would be a good walker, because I always seemed to be the dumb sap that chose classes on the opposite side of campus. Plus, being a habitual bus rider aided in that plot. But it seemed almost at the moment I stopped walking on a regular basis was the moment my weight started becoming a problem.
Now there is always going to be the ultimate push-pull battle between the desire to have a good cardiovascular workout as opposed being “vast-cular.” While we have one side of people content with being gigantic on one side, we have a whole other subset of people that can run 50 miles without really stopping, claiming their way of life superior. Which side do you really want to be on? Of course, when you have muscled up freaks and start comparing them to the bodies of most of the best runners in the world, the visual aid is certainly no contest. Look like Joe Mangiello or look like Meb Keflezighi (first American to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years, even though we had to poach him from Eritrea so we can finally compete with those darn Eastern Africans. hehe). Which would you prefer? It has always been an interesting paradigm to look at in society, for strength always seems to trump the ability to do things for a long time. Even in a rather independent film about Inuit society called “Atanarjaut - The Fast Runner,” Atanarjuat was looked down upon by his peers merely because he was only known for being a good runner, while his brother was looked highly upon due to his strength. But I kind of knew you needed a good mix of both camps, not just from the standpoint of having a good breath, but just from the standpoint of having good health. There used to be a hilarious syndicated show that would force people to try on activities they would often look down upon, merely because some relative or friend was being verbally abusive about it. The best ones I remember was the huge muscle beach weight lifter that couldn’t hack it playing tennis (after making fun of his sister for doing so) and the uncle that would put down his overweight niece for being in the marching band rather than trying to participate play sports to lose weight (which he then struggled to even keep up with the marching). Personally, showing people up is always good motivator to do well at something, but the truth lies in the middle of the argument.
I’ve talked many times before about the benefits of all type os working out. I’ve pointed out before that many studies indicate having a steady running regimen aides in the strengthening of the body and keeps the joints healthy and strong (as opposed to the pre-conceived notion). http://blog.parsonstrainingtucson.com/2014/01/to-run-or-not-to-run-personal-trainers.html I also went on to write about the idea of having functional strength throughout the entire body, not just in certain parts of the body. http://blog.parsonstrainingtucson.com/2014/05/lets-get-functional.html The issue in regards to building a good physique is matching the quality with the quantity, for you could do 2,000 curls with five-pound weights, but never become a strong man unless you match the intensity with the strength….and also rest from time to time. http://blog.parsonstrainingtucson.com/2013/10/knowing-when-to-slow-it-downpersonal.html Anyway, here comes the important question…how much cardio you should put into your workout regime?
When I say cardio, I don’t mean just running and cycling, it could be the non-stop deluge of a rugby match or a few hours of basketball or a high intensity soccer match. It’s no real secret one the biggest problems to losing your muscle is running a lot. Even the muscle bound, supplement loving people at Men’s Fitness have the right idea. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/10-worst-ways-lose-muscle/slide/1 But on the other hand, they recommend less than 45 minutes of cardio a day, which begs the question….how will I become a better runner that way? Now of course, my primary goal is to lose weight and be a better runner, capable of running half marathons without cramping. I even have this crazy idea in my head to start training for triathlons, even though I don’t have bike and can barely swim. But how does one legitimately balance out the good and bad of weight lifting and cardio?
There are plenty of options to choose from, and one has to deeply consider the goals and their body type in order to get the kind of results they desire. Since weight loss and being a better runner and improving my cardio is the primary goal, putting more time on the track is important. Lately I have been doing a lotto 20-mile weeks, spreading them out over three or four runs a week. My mileage tends to fluctuate on the number of lifting sessions I have, which is usually three per week. If I can only squeeze in two, then I will usually put in some miles. But ultimately, I’m going to want add some muscle, and this is where it could be problematic for me in the future. https://www.horizonfitness.com/blog/strength-and-cardio-training-should-they-mix/ According to this blog, putting together an hour or less of cardio training during your off weight lifting days is key. While I tend to run a little more than an hour during my off days, ultimately I want to put even more time on the track, maybe someday pushing the time to 70 minutes per running session. The good thing for me is I have a good body type to help with my goal of gaining muscle and losing fat.
Since I have a big frame and a large waist, I kind of fall under the category of the endomorphic body type. Since I naturally carry a lot more muscle and fat, I therefore have to keep a pretty steady workout regimen or I will fall off the wagon pretty quickly. One website, bodybuilding.com recommends I put in at least there workouts a week, with a maximum of six. I kind of already have the right formula going for me, running at least three times a week and putting in at least three workout sessions in the gym. Now this is just something I prefer to do, but it usually comes down to your goals.
No matter what website I came across or what blogger said what, the first step for anyone is to figure out what you want to do with yourself and with your body. Having an ambiguous goal is good for the short run, but ultimately, you will need something more. I think that is why 2014 was such a lost year for me. While I improved my strength and added to my running ability, I never really had a major goal. While running a half marathon was something I really worked for, I never really established myself or really worked to improve in the gym. I think this is why I want to start pushing the limits of my ability, which I started doing last month. This is something I have already put to practice in the gym. Last week I mentioned how difficult it was to bulldoze through 72 reps of chest presses using the 50-pound barbells. Well I topped it by getting through 89, and I had to do it on a Bosu while I was at it. In less than a week, I managed to power through all 100. Sure, the workout I had for the 89 reps was a little harder, but the 100 completed reps were at the end of the workout, not to mention I had already done quite a bit of work with my entire body. Eventually, I want to make those chest presses with 60 or 70 pounds. Eventually I will be doing squat-push-presses with heavier weights than 50s. Eventually. Eventually.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
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