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Cardio Addict!

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  • Cardio Addict!

    Hi! Im new to this forum and have a question/need inspiration.

    In the past six years I have run six marathons and am hugely a cardio junkie. I am usually doing some form of cardio 5 miles a day, lift weights about 2x per week and take gym classes (weights/cardio, etc.) I generally run about a 8 - 9 minute mile.

    The PB recommendations, particularly about the chronic cardio and what it does to cortisol levels make perfect sense to me. I have been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for years now and have hope that changing my exercise style will do that for me. My diet has been Primal, as I was overcoming a candida issue.

    The problem is overcoming my addiction to the cardio and the need to be exercizing at a type "A" level. I would appreciate any suggestions to brining my workouts to a much more PB level taking my addiction and current fitness level into account. (Like would slow cardio be a slow jog or does it have to be walking?)

    Thank you! And help!

  • #2

    Alright, there are alot of misconceptions about cronic cardio that I see. First off is people think no cardio, but if your idea of play involves running, do it, just do it as play (like once a week). I know Mark enjoys ultimate frisbee, and that is actually cardio, just keep it down to a reasonable level.

    Also, you wont miss the cardio so much if you ramp the intensity of everything waaaaaaaay up. A 20 minute workout can have you so drained the next day that you wouldnt dream of doing cardio... especially if you really hammer out the compound lifts (squats and deadlifts), and do your high intensity interval training. When I was a chronic cardio junkie, I could run those miles everyday, because I was always holding back from using everything. For me, Primal is about outrunning the bear, you put it all in like your life depends on it, and when you are done, you couldnt fight off a mouse.

    Articles like this may also help you There are tons of articles on endurance atheletes who want to go primal.


    • #3

      Jadebb1- Im an exercise physiologist who has been interested in primal living for a while. My experience is that if you want to overcome an "addiction" to cardio, channel your focus into another modality of exercise. My recommendation would be strength training. Keep your volume low (5-7 "work" sets of 4-6 reps) and your intensity high (heavy weights) and focus on compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, various types of pressing movements). I'm personally a gym rat and workout 5 days a week at pretty high intensity. I avoid overtraining (as you should) by focusing on different lifts/muscle groups each day and keeping my workouts to about 25-30 minutes each. The really cool part for "type A's" with this type of training program is that you can make gains in strength and/or number of reps literally every week. It's very motivating for driven types. This type of focused intensity in your strength training will make you glad that your cardio is low intensity. Also, the increase in strength and muscle density from this type of training will drive metabolic effeciency and you're likely to drop that 10 pounds more quickly. Hope this is helpful. If you would like to discuss it more I'd be glad to help you. You can contact me on Facebook!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1617306561.


      • #4

        Thank you for your replies and great ideas!

        Yesterday I did about a 1/2 hour of lifting heavier than usual weights and body weight exercises, (pull ups/push ups, lunges, deadlifts, bridges(wow, those are hard!)) and because I had slowed down my cardio so much it seemed easier! I like the idea of focusing on heavier weights, shorter sets. I guess I'm going to have to do some research to get more compound exercises (any suggestions?).

        This morning I did 30 minutes of a new exercise - sliding! My husband made me a slideboard and this is a butt kicking exercise! I don't know if it's considered cardio or intervals - I did 20 minutes, rested and did 10 more minutes. All I know is - it was fun!!

        Let me know what you think!


        • #5

          Because your an endurance athlete, moving at a slow pace might be a slow jog for you...

          Try adding in a sprint day, with your 2 strength training days, and 2 slow jogs...


          • #6

            Doug McGuff on "why cardio doesn't exist":


            I know when I'm done with my brief strength straining, I'm breathing pretty hard. Not quite as bad as when I actually sprint, but darn close!


            • #7

              What is your goal? Do you wish to continue competitive "Type A" marathoning? That's a far more narrow and specific fitness goal than the all-around functional fitness that Mark promotes with PB. I'm not saying that marathoning is a bad thing, but high level marathoning might not be terribly consistent with PB. As Jonas Colting and Brad Kearns point out, Primal marathoning can certainly be done, but it may require some fairly steep compromises.

              That said, do you have a heart rate monitor? If so, check out your HR during your movement sessions. Mark describes the "move slowly" zone as between 55% and 75% of your Max HR. At that level you are still deriving most of your energy from fat metabolism rather than carbs. An endurance athlete like you might be able to take it up to as high as 80% of Max HR, but there's not really any advantage to it. The modality of movement (biking, hiking, jogging) isn't terribly important, rather it's the intensity.

              Brewtality also raises a very good point - The problem is "Chronic" Cardio. Going out for a hard run once in a while isn't the end of the world. It's the day after day grind of sustained elevated but sub-maximal HRs that get you.

              +1 also on Brewtality's notion that if you're really working as hard as you should on the "hard" days (lifting, sprinting), your "easy" move slowly days will tend to take care of themselves.

              Overall, the idea of


              • #8
                Bumping so I can get some help! thanks!


                • #9

                  OK, having some difficulty curtailing my cardio addiction - I would really appreciate some ideas of compound "bodyweight" exercise. That way I can do them at home. (I feel like I'm ok at the gym).

                  Also, would walking/slow jog (keeping my heart rate 55 - 75%) EVERY DAY be too much if I feel the energy. I guess I just need to know how much slow cardio is too much??

                  Thanks for your input!!


                  • #10
                    Compound body weight exercises? How about jump burpees for a start.

                    You almost can't do too much of the "move slowly" stuff as long as you're sticking to the recommended intensity range and it's not wiping you out for other higher intensity workouts.