What I just learned from a cardio experiment — the results of this were very telling.
Understand this: I have done no cardio for years. I am not gifted or even have a swimming nor running past. Have never been instructed or coached in either and I was the girl that got Ds in PE at school.
When I injured my pec and my sports doctor told me to not even do a calf raise for six months, that’s exactly what I did. I rested for six months utterly and completely. And when I went back to training, although I noticed I had lost some strength naturally, my major issue was not the loss in strength but that I couldn’t keep up with my then training partner’s rest periods. My heart just couldn’t keep going (and we were doing 2-3 min rest times). So, I had a lightbulb moment then. I just had another one with even more impact a few days ago.
Due to one reason or another that I won’t get into – I decided to do a 5km run the other day. Four days later, I did an 800m swim in the lap pool. I asked some friends and clients who are both runners and swimmers what a good time would be for a complete novice who hadn’t fitness trained for years specifically or non-specifically in those two activities.
I ran the 5km in 31 minutes non-stop, not walking at all, so that’s 6.33 minutes per kilometre. When I did the swim, after the first 150 metres I stopped at the end of each end of the pool for a period of time — 800m in 19 minutes. Both of these times are ‘pretty good’ considering I have no cardio and little experience in either activity.
I guess the point of my blog is to point out to those of you who ‘only’ weight train: have no doubt that you are absolutely fitter than an untrained individual. And if you train regularly and consistently with high intensities (loads) like I do, in big, compound movements such as rows, deads and squats you are going to be able to handle any activity with some level of competence. I actually found this to be extremely gratifying in my own head. Good to know the heart is doing ok!
Has anybody else trialled anything similar? Love to hear anyone’s stories about how they equate their weight training to their cardio.