Just so we are clear, if you didn’t already know I do not recommend excessive amounts of cardiovascular training. It is one thing if you truly enjoy running but it is a completely different matter if you are going on long runs to get in shape. I understand that some of you love running, competing in Triathlons, and biking hours on end. By all means continue to do these races and go jogging if and only if that is your passion. Do not continue to partake in a long duration cardio type training if you are looking for a way to get in shape. The fact is, excessive cardio training can be un-healthy. If you are just trying to be healthy (more on that subject and being fit vs. being healthy in a future post) and loose weight well you will get more bang for your buck with short duration full body high intensity training (such as rock climbing on a lot of hard routes in a very short time frame).
When I refer to excessive cardio training I mean you are on a constant schedule of frequent medium intensity sustained workouts. So if every once in a while you swim around in the lake or go on a long casual bike ride you are fine. You will only potentially suffer the drawbacks I will explain below if you partake in excessive cardio.
Next time you sign up for a marathon training plan consider that you can overstress your body which can lead to these various consequences
- Hormones – raises cortisol and lowers testosterone/growth hormones; imbalance compromises optimal fat burning, energy, muscle growth & sex drive.
- Injuries – arise from excessive catabolic hormones released
- Metabolism – burning more sugar drives eating more sugar drives producing more insulin drives storing more fat
- Stress – excessive oxidation and triggering of the fight or flight response compromises the immune system and accelerate aging and disease risk
- Neglect – compromises development of power, speed, strength, and lean mass and leads to muscle imbalance and inflexibility.
- Total fitness is sacrificed