For more than 40 years, the fitness culture for American women has suffered from an over-emphasis on cardio and a downright dismissal of strength training, weightlifting and other resistance-based exercises.
Don’t get me wrong: A moderate amount of cardio is great! Walk into our Bradenton gym and you’ll see our personal trainers keep our incredible clients on their toes—literally! When done right and in moderation. Cardio can be a low-impact way of maintaining your aerobic capacities and burning a few calories. (It’s especially good as a warm-up for your weight-training workout, hint hint.)
But cardio alone will not create the changes you want to see in your body. Cardio will not generate improvements in your day-to-day lifestyle. These changes come with strength training.
And when people try to attain significant health improvements by doing absurd amounts of cardio, they wind up frustrated, injured, and evening suffering from long-term health problems.
Our Bradenton boutique gym builds up women’s bodies through personalized, coordinated strength training, multidisciplinary personal training, and select, expertly guided cardio.
Why Do So Many Women Overdo Cardio?
The 1980s aerobics craze told us that an hour of dance every other day was all we women needed for beautiful healthy bodies.
And these same cardio-crazy fads totally ignored—or actively lied about—the benefits women gain from strength training. They told us weightlifting was “not feminine” and would result in bulky, unappealing bodies. Untrue!
Even as exercise trends have evolved, these same misconceptions live on.
But as other women try in vain to achieve their goals through impossible cardio routines, here are some of the ways their cardio overload may be wasting their time and damaging their bodies instead.
Cardio Can Be Repetitive
Repetitive exercise leads to mental fatigue and even chronic injuries from overuse. Shin splints, joint issues and other repetitive-motion injuries from excessive cardio will limit your exercise and create long-term problems.
Cardio Does Not Tone Your Abs, Arms or Any Other “Problem Area”
You cannot target specific “problem areas” with a cardio workout. You cannot choose where your body will burn fat from.
Too Much Cardio Can Decrease Muscle Mass
That’s right, when you over-tax your body with cardio, your body responds by burning muscle instead of fat.
Too Much Cardio Can Decrease Metabolism
Less muscle means lower metabolism. Plus, with excessive cardio, you’re actually training your body to conserve energy. Your body will try to store all the calories it gets in order to have something there for the next too-long workout.
Too Much Cardio Can Cause Exhaustion and Frustration
When you focus exclusively on cardio, you feel like you have to do extreme things like go for a two-hour run five days a week.
Who can maintain that kind of determination? And who has the time for that?
Your body was not meant for this extreme exercise schedule. At a certain point in an excessive cardio routine, your body will begin to rebel.
- You’ll do more and more work to gain fewer benefits.
- Your depleted body will be fatigued all the time.
- You’ll grow frustrated with exercise in general.
- Your mental health with suffer.
Cardio Has Its Place—When Done Properly
The professional trainers at our Bradenton gym offer cardio done right. Our cardio options include bootcamps and HIIT—or High-Intensity Interval Training—that improve cardiovascular health and triggers fat-burning while also maintaining muscle mass.
Strength Training Benefits Women’s Bodies Quickly and Efficiently
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Strength training is essential for all bodies, including—and especially—women’s bodies.
Strength training does not mean lifting very heavy weights, creating bulky muscles or focusing on your bench press max.
Strength training does mean incrementally increasing the strength, coordination, and range-of-motion in all of your body’s muscle groups, big and small.
Check out our other Bradenton women’s fitness blogs for the specific ways strength training can improve your body and mitigate, modify and even sometimes eliminate all kinds of health issues:
- Strength training generates vital benefits for health issues like diabetes, depression and anxiety, sedentary lifestyles, and weakened immune systems.
- Strength training is especially beneficial for a wide range of women’s health conditions, including hormonal fluctuations, breast cancer
- More than any other exercise, a well-rounded, professionally guided strength training regimen helps to delay and even reverse age-related conditions like osteoporosis, especially for women over 50.
Our Bradenton boutique gym is created by women, for women. Call us today to find out how fitness can really improve your life.