I have a confession to make . . . I am a personal trainer who personally hates cardio! That’s right, I do not enjoy running (see 9/2013 post “Why can’t I run?“), I avoid hour long cardio-based group classes, and am bored to tears with stair-steppers, elliptical machines, spin classes, you name it. I find it all mind-numbingly dull and excruciating on my body and brain.
So what kind of a trainer does that make me, you ask? Well, it actually makes me an excellent trainer for I share a perspective with many of my clients that most trainers do not. When was the last time you worked out with a trainer and they didn’t prescribe a huge chunk of time (either before or after their session) where you were planted on a stationary cardio machine?
I have also gone out of my way to study and experiment with alternative options that benefit cardiovascular systems, assist in rapid fat loss, and improve endurance, all without being a slave to a machine for more than about 10 minutes.
Seeing as the fitness marketplace is littered with DVDs and programs all promising huge results in a minimum amount of time, my training style clearly mirrors a popular trend which many clients seek. Why do 45 minutes when 8-20 minutes of Tabata or HIIT will suffice? Plus if you can do less and still achieve cardio benefits, help build, tone and strengthen muscles – all of which as we all know help burn calories and fat – then why wouldn’t you?
Now this doesn’t mean I can’t train you to run a marathon, or teach an aerobic step class, it simply means that if you train with me, you will receive a well-rounded work that even the biggest exercise-un-enthusiast can get through and see results.
I share this with you now because I for years I have down played my feelings about cardio for fear they would make me seem less of a fitness professional, less fit, and less qualified, etc. But recently a relatively new client of mine said, with much relief in her voice, how happy she was that I “don’t make me do a whole bunch of cardio day after day” and further that she couldn’t believe she was “seeing great results without long sessions of drenching cardio all the time” (her previous approach to fitness).
So if you are a cardio un-enthusiast like me, hold your head up high and know that you are not alone, and that it does NOT mean you can’t be in great shape. Look at it this way – you get out of the gym quicker and on to living and enjoying life, which in the end is why we work out in the first place, right?