The Cardio Myth

The metabolic system, cardiorespiratory health, and digestive tract benefit from cardiovascular exercise.
The type of cardiovascular exercise you do should be based on your sport (or exercise) history and personal preference. For example, if you were a college swimmer and have a torn rotator cuff, running or cycling might be a better choice than swimming (even though you may be more comfortable with swimming).
Core training and resistance training should always be done in conjunction with a cardiovascular program. Core training and resistance training strengthen muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments which protect the joints during cardiovascular exercise.
Also, the single most important variable in controlling body weight is the elimination of sugars (bread, pasta, processed food, alcohol, etc.) Processed sugars elevate blood sugar levels and insulin levels leading to a host of issues from obesity to diabetes to heart disease.
The goal of any cardiovascular programs is to (a) improve posture, (b) exercise all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body, and (c) create caloric debt. Caloric debt is when the body uses nutrients (found largely in fat) to repair muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and joints
after exercise has concluded. This almost sounds like a late-night infomercial (but it’s true); an effective cardio program “burns fat” even when you are sitting on the couch! The trick is to exercise at a high enough intensity level where caloric debt will occur. More on this in a bit.
A cardiovascular program should be simple. Contrary to popular belief, too much variety may slow progress. It takes the body several weeks to adapt to the same exercise stimulus, and too much confusion won’t allow the body to make necessary changes to accommodate to new stress.
A typical Core Fitness running cardiovascular program is: running 8 seconds at 85% of maximal speed with 2-minute walking recovery, repeated 5 to 10 times.
That’s it! Over several months this will accomplish:
  • Improved posture
  • Increased strength in the lower body, the upper body, the hips, and the low back
  • Improved joint health
  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Improved blood flow
The goal is create caloric debt, which is accomplished by exercising (running, cycling, swimming) at 85% of maximal speed. 85% of maximal speed is a high enough where repeated bouts of exercise are doable. This key to an effective cardiovascular program is repeatable high intensity training.

Jon has more than 40,000 hours as a personal trainer and can be reached at or 732-475-0142.

Read about Jimmy’s success story here.