One For The Runners

I’m not much of a talker, but nothing will get me going on a rant faster than absolutes with regards to training, and/or nutrition.

Let’s not make this a ten page diatribe, and just skip nutrition today. However, let’s go over that nasty four letter word “cardio”.

Okay, so “cardio” is actually a six letter word, but the point is, it’s still looked down upon by the more “mainstream” fitness professionals. Sure, going from couch to 5K, or ¬†couch to marathon is still one of the most popular methods for getting “in shape”, but those of us in the industry know, that usually never works (especially in the “long run”… excuse the bad joke).

But, why all the hate for cardio? Is running a mile cardio? How about swimming a mile? Or hiking? If you look at the average time it takes for a person to run a mile, or mile and a half, it’s the same amount of time we spend on one of our typical WODs here at NorCal. Is it high intensity interval training if it uses weights? Well, what if I put on a forty pound weight vest? What if I do a set of push-ups before and after the run? You can see where I’m going with all this.

So, can’t we just get along? Properly implemented, “cardio” can be a benefit to body composition, and athletic performance. Improperly implemented it can be a detriment to health, and performance. But, so can weight lifting.

Here’s a link to a quick article discussing “cardio”, and how it doesn’t burn muscle when properly structured into a persons training routine:

Just a little food for thought as people look to better their training, and achieve their fitness goals.  


Written by Justin

Justin Scott was Southern born, East Coast bred, and Midwest educated. The only constant being a love of athletic, martial arts, and competition. While earning a Bachelor and Masters degree from Purdue University he competed as an amateur boxer, endurance athlete, and trained Krav Maga (an Israeli self-defense system). These activities led to coaching a variety of athletes in everything from combative sports to endurance events. As a Krav Maga instructor Justin has had the opportunity to train not only civilians, but military, law enforcement and first responders on how to appropriately react during violent and life threatening situations. Due to his diverse experiences, Justin is able to bring a unique understanding of people, goal setting, achievement, and motivation to his coaching. He knows achieving one's goals in health and fitness can be difficult, but believes anything is possible with the right resources, programming, and motivation. With an eclectic background and rich steeping in fitness and nutrition Justin is able to coach a variety of clients with phenomenal results. "I find each individual comes to me with their own strengths and weaknesses, goals and aspirations, and perceptions of their ability to achieve them. I live for these moments when I see a client do something they never thought they could, or achieve a goal they always wanted to." Justin is a Certified Crossfit Endurance Coach, Phase B Certified Krav Maga Instructor, and Phase B Certified Fit-To-Fight Instructor.

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  1. Jenny LaBaw
    Jenny LaBaw

    GREAT ARTICLE JUSTIN!!! I know that cardio does get a bad name a lot of the time…and I’ve always been one to keep it in my programming. Going for a nice light jog every now and then, or hitting hill sprints up in upper park, or riding my bike to the gym as fast as I can …or like you said adding a some pushups or squats in the mix with a mile run is extremely beneficial. For those of you that read my comment, implementing this into your weekly routine somewhere is great (assuming you’re not a 5 day-a-weeker at the gym. Getting outside (mental break) and being in the sun (vitamin D) are two huge factors of getting some outdoor cardio training in as well….thanks again for a great post Justin! :)

  2. Matt B
    Matt B

    *two thumbs up*

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