Video: The Truth About Cardio

By April 15, 2016May 13th, 2016No Comments



Hi, this is Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer at MaxStrength Fitness. 

Today I want to explain why High-Intensity Strength Training, like what we do at MaxStrength Fitness, Is a MUST for Aerobic Conditioning

You’ve likely heard the terms anaerobic, aerobic and cardiovascular training.  Many believe that in order to improve your aerobic capacity, you need an aerobic workout, such as jogging, biking or taking an aerobics class like Zumba or Jazzecise. But this is actually incorrect.

In order to access your cardiovascular system, you have to work your muscles. As long as you’re doing some form of mechanical work with your muscle, your aerobic capacity will improve. And High Intensity Strength Training, like we do at MaxStrength Fitness forces your aerobic metabolism to run as fast as it possibly can.

You see, “Cardio” is a term that was created when referring to “steady state activity”. Your cardiovascular system, which is made up of your heart, lungs and circulatory system are always working and their primary role is to provide blood, oxygen and nutrition to your organs, primarily your muscles, and carry waste product away. In other words, your cardiovascular system serves the demands that your muscular system places on your body.

The amount of work your muscles perform directly correlates with how hard your heart works to keep up with the demand. During a workout at MaxStrength Fitness, your muscle fiber types will be systematically recruited and fatigued and ultimately brought to a point of momentary failure.

During this process, your muscles are telling your heart that they need more oxygen and nutrients to stay fueled for as long as possible. After the first few exercises, your heart rate will be as high or higher than your heart rate would be if you were performing steady-state activities (such as running, jogging or walking). Once you reach muscular failure it will be as if you are sprinting on the machine without any of the stress on your joints that sprinting causes.

Now speaking of sprinting, High Intensity Interval training has become very popular.  This involves sprinting or working at a very high level of intensity with rest periods between sprint intervals.

Now, you can perform HIIT using a recumbent bicycle, a treadmill, or by sprinting, for example. Or you can use weights, like we do at MaxStrength Fitness. One of the primary reasons for that is because it’s far safer. As the intensity goes up, the forces actually diminish when you’re doing high intensity low force strength training.

When doing HIIT on say a bicycle, you increase your risk of injury simply because the intensity required also creates increased force through acceleration.

Force is mass times acceleration. When you deprive yourself of the acceleration, you deliver virtually no stress to your joints, so there’s no repetitive use injury. Also, at the peak of intensity, when you’re at your weakest, high intensity low force strength training therefore becomes safer rather than more risky.

cardio quote

Still, at the end of a 20-minute MaxStrength routine, you will feel as if you just ran an all-out 100 meter dash; you’ll be breathing like a freight train humming down the tracks and that’s a good thing! Therefore, our program provides total conditioning, even without the traditional aerobic component.

Another question I get all of the time is:


 The answer is No.

Steady-state “aerobic” activities such as running, jogging and cycling do not burn a significant amount of calories. In fact, One pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories.

Most people burn approximately 100 calories per mile, which means you would have to run/walk 35 miles to burn a single pound of fat. Therefore, aerobic activity is obviously an inefficient way to burn calories.

In a fat-loss fitness program, the maintenance of muscle tissue is very important. Strength training is the best way to maintain muscle tissue. Every pound of muscle burns an additional 35 to 75 calories per day for the average adult. At MaxStrength Fitness, you can add enough muscle to burn an additional 3,500 calories per week—and you can accomplish this change in less than one hour per week. In a sense, you become a fat burning machine at rest!

So there you have it. The reason WHY high intensity strength training is a MUST for your aerobic conditioning.

As always, if you found this helpful and would like to help us help others debunk this fitness myth please Like or share this post so that we can help as many people as possible.

Until next time, be strong, eat clean and live well!