Today's workout session was a matter of the heart. I made my comeback on the treadmill, after more than 6 months’ of cardio-free workouts. The next few weeks I’ll make it a habit, as I have done in the past, to finish each workout session with 10 minutes of intense cardio.
I recently wrote a post where I put emphasis on the fact that it is possible to be ripped all year round without ever performing any cardio (and without undergoing any excessive dieting). This doesn´t mean that I’m against cardio as such. I just wanted to highlight the fact that one´s strategy for cardio training should be composed in relation to one’s goals. You don’t need to perform cardio to become truly ripped. And you don’t need it to get strong.
I have, as already mentioned, gone through periods where I have been implementing some cardio every single workout session (most often at the end of it, after having finished the weight lifting – and most often in the form of intervals). Today I breathed new life into this old habit of mine. Despite the above mentioned insights regarding cardio I hold it in high regard. Here follows a few of the reasons for this:
1. The heart, really, is the most important muscle.
2. The general feeling of well-being that springs from regularly performed cardio work is fantastic.
3. I want to be in great shape all over. I like feeling strong – but I also like to feel inexhaustible and in possession of great energy. To be truly in shape one needs to be well conditioned. You are not really fit if you are easily out of breath.
4. It spices up the workout routine in a good and inspiring way. Today, for example, I really enjoyed the contrast of first pushing a heavy barbell up towards the roof – and then, just some minutes later, leave the last traces of comfort behind me on the treadmill.
5. Even if I don’t see it as an absolutely necessary tool in my pursuit for a chiseled physique I still feel that it makes it a little bit easier to bring that extra spark into my muscles. It helps me getting that extra finish.
6. Few things makes one feel so wonderfully alive as having the pulse climb its way up to the temples after having finished those last intervals.
In summary: cardio is not necessary for anyone looking to become muscular, strong and ripped. It is, however, a fantastic complement to the weights if one want to ensure the best possible all round shape.