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Blog Flashback – Do You Need to Do Cardio? Hmm…Maybe Not?

I'm taking a look back this week at a few of my favorite blog posts from my first blog,

This one is from October 17, 2014, and focuses on the age-old dilemma about cardio.

Do You Need to Do Cardio? Hmm…Maybe Not?

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Wake me up when September ends

Fall is a weird limbo time of the year for workout programs. The beauty of summer is a fading memory – the beaches, the barbecues, the suntans. The ugliness of winter is within sight – the slush, the colds, the parkas.

I’ve always had a hard time finding the motivation to workout once September hits and fades into Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There are no tropical vacations to get in shape for and the gluttonous memory of the holidays hasn’t been created yet. Waking up to walk on the treadmill is the last thing I want to do.

Do you need to do cardio? When it comes down to it, maybe not, provided you lift heavy during your home gym training sessions.

Wake up! It’s treadmill time!


Destination unknown, especially at 5:15 A.M.

Most days I get up at 5:15 and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I stopped that when I got sick last month and just slept in an extra 30-45 minutes. I haven’t started back to that after doing the Vodka and Pickles workout for the last two weeks, figuring the extra sleep would help my recovery. Most of the people in the know at StrongFirst aren’t big on traditional cardio anyway, so I’ve decided to test what would happen if I didn’t do any while on this program.

Fridays are the day I usually weigh in and measure for the week so I have some data points to show from last week and today. So far I’ve lost 1/2″ off my stomach while keeping my weight around 215# – all without doing any cardio and only working out three times per week.

And I can’t say that I’ve eaten clean the last two weeks. BBQ, ice cream, beer, and Mexican food for my wife’s birthday the weekend before last. Then two pizzas and a 1.75 quart tub of ice cream last Sunday.

What can I say? I let go on weekends. ????

I know in the past when I’ve done Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss program that cardio isn’t necessary to lose fat, but that’s an extreme diet. It’s essentially a protein-sparing modified fast where you eat high protein and a few fish oil caps and limit carbs and other fats to the trace amounts in the protein you eat. It ends up being only around 1000 calories per day so adding any cardio is just dumb. The lack of calories is what causes the fat loss – and it’s amazingly effective. I’ll get more into that in a future post.

Will getting stronger help you get leaner?

Since I’m not not really watching my diet, nor training for anything aside from strength right now, I’ll stick with just the heavy deadlifts and sleep in every day instead of doing any cardio. I’m guessing I’ll finish Vodka and Pickles the first week of November so I’ll revisit whether you need to do cardio once I finish up the data.

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