Is “cardio” good for you? Absolutely. Cardio is great for your heart and overall well-being. First things first. What does cardio mean? Cardio is anything that causes the heart to beat faster and harder for a prolonged period of time. We generally think of cardio as anything exercise related that doesn’t include weights such as running, rowing, biking, swimming, ect.
What I think is lacking is resistance training that builds lean muscle. You can accomplish this by doing traditional body-building, CrossFit, HIIT Classes, Boot-Camps, Powerlifting, or Olympic weightlifting.
At least 3-4x a month I sit across from someone in my office that has been doing Orange Theory or another similar program. They all complain about the exact same 2 things. It’s too much cardio and I stopped making progress. The reason for this is that these cookie cutter programs lack variance and progressive overloading. You cannot go to class and do the same weight and exercises and expect to progress.
In order to build lean muscle specific exercises at specific rep ranges have to be used. Along side of this you have to challenge yourself by progressively adding more weight. An example I use with athletes in class is with kettlebell swings. Athletes come to us and explain how they feel like they have plateaued.
The reason for this is that athletes will typically use the same kettlebell, dumbbell, or barbell weight in class because it’s what they’re used to. The stimulus is always the same. You have to change the stimulus.
You pick up a 35lb kettlebell instead of the 26lb kettlebell for the next workout. It’s a completely different workout now. 150 kettlebell swings for time feels exponentially more uncomfortable with a 9 more lbs. Do the math. 150 reps x 9lb = 1350 more lb moved
As a result of adding more weight you will eventually add more lean muscle and the result of more lean muscle is more calories burned at rest. Your cardio won’t suffer one bit, in fact, the anaerobic exercise will boost your overall fitness including your aerobic engine.