Let Us Go For A Drive...

Sometimes I think that people have this massive misunderstanding that we at Spurling HATE cardio. 

"All they do is lift weights."

If by lifting weights you mean we get people stronger, leaner, more toned and increase their confidence than yes, that's exactly what we do. 

A couple thoughts on cardio...

First off, let's define what cardio is. 

Cardio means that the primary muscle being worked is the heart. 

There may be some other side effects, but the main thing being worked is the heart. 

So, basically, we're talking anything from about 30 seconds in duration to hours. 

Cardio in its simplest form breaks down to two forms:

Steady State and Interval.

Steady state is what most people are familiar with. 

Going for a 45-minute run. 

Biking for 60 minutes. 

Walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

You get the point. 

It's steady state, which means your heart rate has an initial peak when you first start and then it stays elevated throughout the entire duration. 

Now, we're not against this type of cardio. 

Just a few notes:

1. The reason why we don't do it at Spurling is because our clients are paying for expert coaching at every visit. You don't need to pay for expert coaching to go for a 30-minute bike ride. 

2. Steady state cardio inside is boring to 99% of the world. Our number two goal outside of safety is to make fitness fun. Nothing sounds less fun than spinning your wheels on an elliptical machine for 45 minutes as you stare at a wall. 

So, we're not against steady state cardio. 

We just have our clients do it on days they don't come to Spurling, and ideally, do it outside. 

It's just more fun that way. 

Plus, it allows us to dial into more complex things when they're here like why their hamstrings are tight or fix their core weakness. 

So we get steady state cardio. 

Now we have interval training. 

This got popular when HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and Tabata got introduced to the mainstream world. 

This is short bursts of work, followed by a period of rest, repeated for several rounds.

For example, you could walk for a minute, jog for a minute, and repeat that for 20 minutes. 

Or you could slam a medicine ball ten times, sprint 100yards, rest, rinse and repeat. 

Basically, your heart rate throughout a workout has a bunch of peaks and valleys instead of staying at the same pace the entire time. 

It goes up for 30 seconds, then comes down. It goes up, and then it comes down.

Now, here's why we like interval training:

1. It's a lot more fun. We can have you do cool stuff like slam medicine balls, push sleds, shake battle ropes, hop on a rower, or do some squats, all while getting your heart rate up. Becuase it's more fun, you work harder and stay with it longer, so you get better results.

2. It is a lot more joint friendly. Picture something. I'm 275lbs. If I go for a run, how many times in a 3-mile run does my foot strike the ground? Thousands of times. That's 275lbs repeatedly slamming into concrete. It's no wonder our knees, hips, and backs bother us. With interval training, we can still get the heart rate up using upper body stuff like ropes and medicine balls if you have joint restrictions. 

3. We're terrible at it. Seriously. When in your daily life do you shake a 50' rope, slam a 14" ball into the ground, or push a hunk of metal down turf? Never. So, your body is super inefficient at it. When your body is inefficient at things it burns a ton of calories trying to do it. 

So, let us go for a drive in separate cars

You're going to go on the highway. You're going to drive 75mph on cruise control for 45 minutes. No traffic, just steady state. 

I'm going to drive in NYC for 45 minutes. Start. Stop. Accelerate. Slam on the brakes. Interval style. 

Who burns more fuel in that same 45 minutes?

The city driver. The interval driver. 

It's not that we're anti cardio. 

We are in the business of changing people's lives, coaching you at every workout, and motivating you to become a better person. 

Steady state cardio has its place, but you can do that on your own time. 

Go for a bike ride with the family. 

Go for a hike. 

We'll focus on the interval stuff. 

The kinds of things that burn massive amounts of calories in shorter periods of time.

The kinds of things that are fun, let stress out, and things you look forward to doing, not dreading it. 

So I guess we're just a gym that has a bunch of people that like to drive in the city :)

Hope that analogy helps you understand our approach a bit more. 

It's not special, it's just effective. 

I'll be back tomorrow to keep the week going strong (and bring the sunshine)! 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling