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  • Jen Curtis

Why You DON'T Have to do Cardio

I have a client I ADORE at the moment.

I'm coaching her over the phone. She has many goals including getting stronger and fitter, having more energy and losing some weight.

We talk once a week about an aspect of training / nutrition and fill in the gaps in her knowledge and set a task for the coming week. We stay in touch via WhatsApp.

I love working this way because it engenders much more independence on the part of the trainee.

Last night we wrote her a training programme.

One of the questions was "do I REALLY have to do cardio??!"

She thought she knew the answer and was surprised at my response.

"No, you don't".

"We can find another way around it"

She loves lifting weights and she enjoyed CrossFit in the past. But every other trainer told her she HAS to do cardio too.

I hate it when trainers do this. Why? It's just sets people up for failure.

It IS beneficial to do a mixture of cardio and weights. BUT, telling someone who HATES cardio that they must do it just makes it harder for them to get to the gym. And then they don't do anything.

Which is better? Doing weights twice a week with no cardio. Or doing nothing? When the task at hand is too big and overwhelming, it puts us off, and we don't do anything. This kind of "all-or-nothing" thinking is what holds so many of us back from our goals.

And in any case, there IS a way around the problem.

Being an effective coach is about:

  1. Breaking down the task so it is manageable and

  2. Finding solutions that work for the individual. Not everyone will succeed with the same programme.

So let's first of all get her to the gym doing a MANAGEABLE amount that she ENJOYS. We can refine the programme later on down the line.

A GOOD programme that you will do is better than a PERFECT programme that you won't do.

The programme REALLY doesn't have to be perfect in the beginning. It just has to be better than what you're currently doing. (Which is easy if you're not doing anything). Doing the perfect programme for a week, even a month, won't get you results. But finding a way to exercise that you enjoy and can do long-term and build on.... that's the money maker.

Secondly, let's figure out a way for her to get her heart rate up that works for her.