I find a close relation to this topic and the faith and works discussions in the bible. James 2:14-26 talks about a person saying they have faith, but not doing anything and a person doing a whole bunch but maybe saying they have little faith in God. In the end we determine that one without the other is really impossible. In the same way a person cannot be 100% healthy on lifting weights alone and vice versa, a cardio person isn’t 100% healthy on running alone and one without the other is impossible. I also tie this into the “human triangle”. Mind, body, and spirit! If a person’s mind is off, usually one or both of the other two aspects are hurting. If the body is out of shape then maybe the mind will go and that for sure affects the mind.
Recently a person came on good morning America saying spin classes cause people to gain weight. Wow that is a broad statement. Really super high intensity training can cause a person to not burn as much fat, and start to burn off muscle. So yeah, if a person goes into spin day in and day out, at all out efforts, they will start to lose strength. The thing is a proper stationary trainer class and proper spin classes should focus on one aspect of cycling for the entire hour, with maybe micro intervals. In other words if it is a sprint day, it is a sprint day. If it is endurance, the heart rates remain moderate and those anaerobic intervals just aren’t happening that day. So people get bored and want to go all out all the time instead of looking at it like a program. Maybe just like a weight lifting program where each day has a different goal. The point is that some sort of strength program also needs to be going on while the cardiovascular exercise is going on. Professional athletes of all types perform better when they can run, longer and stronger. The bigger the heart and lungs, the easier everything else becomes. A running back that can cycle 50 miles or run a half marathon, will be able to last longer on the football field over the guy that can’t run 2 miles, but can lift a school bus. Furthermore if that same running back just scored an 80 yard TD, the one with the bigger lungs will more than likely be able to do it again and again and again. While the other will die out around half time.
As a trainer and cycling coach, I see the benefits of a good resistance training plan. The only problem I see with one over the other is that the heart and lungs are also muscles. Although they be involuntary and act naturally on their own, they still need to be “worked out”. I find so many people, men and women that may be able to lift all kinds of weight, but cannot run 5 miles. 5 miles is nothing! Or can’t cycle 20 miles, which is both an involuntary action in lungs/heart, but also natural strength. People that have a varied exercise routines, both cardiovascular and muscularly, are generally in better “shape” than someone who just lifts or just runs. Also I see the myths that calories aren’t being burnt when cardio exercise stops. The human body is always, always, always burning calories. The amount of them and how fast is determined by what type of exercise your doing. It never stops! People that do a good moderate level of cardio, have higher metabolisms and burn more fat/calories, even while not exercising. This is over time! I mean have you ever seen an elite distance runner that was fat, but you do see body builders that are. Again they may be able to lift a bus, but couldn’t walk a mile if they wanted to. Proper exercise is about having structure and routines that are varied. This is in general for the losing weight types and the weekend warriors. When you specify your sports that is when you tend to add periodization and specificity. So I hate seeing a 1 sided article. Exercise isn’t cardio verses resistance, It is resistance and cardio.