I Don't Hate Cardio
I have a meathead confession to make: Contrary to popular opinion in the strength world, I actually LOVE cardio. I know it’s really en vogue to hate on cardio in favor of lifting weights, but I just don’t care. I like to sweat. I like to feel my lungs burn. I like feeling fast and moving my body in different, challenging ways.
I hike in the Santa Monica Mountains at least once a week, do hill sprints, and sometimes run a few miles on the beach. I enjoy doing high intensity intervals on the stair machine in my apartment gym and crushing metabolic workouts in the Deuce yard.
I think somewhere along the way it became necessary for strength coaches and enthusiasts to lambast cardio, and I get it. We were coming off the heels of a period of time when cardio reigned supreme.
Women felt largely intimidated by weights and uncomfortable in traditionally male dominated spaces. Rather than lifting weights, you’d likely find us toiling away on cardio machines or pounding the pavement in hopes of aesthetic and athletic change.
But you know what? That’s over. We are over all of that—isn’t that amazing? We wrote all the articles and filmed all the videos and spread all the strength training propaganda. We won. Do we still have battles to win when it comes to women’s bodies and how they’re perceived and controlled? Hell yes, we do—but the cardio battle is a wrap.
Let’s call it.
We don’t have to bash cardio to elevate the importance of strength training, just like we don’t need to skinny shame in an effort to promote body positivity. It really doesn’t have to be so black and white, because at the end of the day, how we approach our own fitness is wholly individual.
We can sit around arguing about the “best” methods for fitness, fat loss, and strength, or we can affirm this universal truth: The best type of fitness is the kind you’ll commit to, and that usually means you have to enjoy it. (It’s not exactly that simple but it also kind of is.)
This year, I’ll have been in the fitness industry 17(!) years, and I’m done my fair share of bashing in the past. I’ve been a fitness snob and I’ve felt my methods superior to others. I’ve rolled my eyes at people doing ridiculous things in the gym and cringed at badly executed kettlebell swings.
What I’ve learned as I’ve grown as a coach is that none of that actually helps people. What truly impacts change and enriches lives is having the freedom to explore your body, and the permission to do that in a way that feels enjoyable and feasible.
I’m in the movement biz because I truly believe that regular movement is absolutely CRUCIAL to mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. I do this work because I want to help women come into their power and feel at home in their bodies. I’m no longer in the business of shaming people for what type of fitness methods they choose and I’m wholly uninterested in being a “gym elitist.”
So, yeah. I’m a meathead but I also love cardio. Some days I lift. Some days I do cardio. Some days I do yoga. Some days I dance or hike or sip margaritas by the pool. But I what I see in every day is an opportunity to honor my body with movement—a chance to move with gratitude for the ability to do so at all.