Athletes can train for strength, endurance, stamina, agility, speed or 1001 other qualities. Whatever training they do for those qualities is sport specific athlete development. It is never “cardio”! “Cardio” is not for athletes. “Cardio” is a medical exercise intervention for sedentary people with cardio vascular disease! That is why it is called ‘cardio’.
The fact that the heart and circulatory system are involved in all physical activities does not make sport/conditioning specific training “cardio”. Actually, the fact that all athlete development practices provide a cardio-vascular benefit strengthens the argument as to why no athlete should ever use interventions intended for sedentary people with cardiovascular disease. If an athlete lacks conditioning for their sport, they need to train for that specific conditioning. That is not doing ‘cardio’. It is conditioning.
So, realising that ‘cardio’ is the lowest stress, lowest risk exercise suitable for a sedentary person on the brink of death, what is an hour of ‘cardio’ training a healthy athlete for? To be the worlds worst endurance athlete? To be slow, weak and tired? Why would you train for these outcomes? Do you really desire becoming a slow, weak, tired version of yourself? Do you really think training to be slow, weak and tired will be beneficial to any superior athletic endeavour? Have you ever heard of any athlete wishing they were slower and weaker? From a body composition perspective, do you really think you will look more physically impressive because you are so much less physically impressive? When you picture yourself with your dream body do you really envision a slow, weak, tired person, slothing along miserably on a treadmill?
So ‘cardio’ is the lowliest form of exercise to hopefully prevent a terminally ill person from dying. That might not mean it will negatively affect your superior athletic outcomes if added to a training program. If it does not subtract from your athletic endeavours then it was just an absolute waste of time, by definition. It failed to make you the athlete you trained to be so it was a failed intervention. And it makes sense that ‘cardio’ would be a waste of time for athletes. Athletes aren’t suffering cardio vascular disease! ‘Cardio’ was never intended for them. Its utterly irrelevant.
But what about all that theoretical stuff about fat burning and lipolysis and metabolic boosting and all those other technical biochemical processes you cannot measure and cannot affect? The most important concept to understand in regards to all such arguments is: when you cannot measure or see the thing you are trying to affect then you are acting in total ignorance. When it comes to your body’s complex biochemistry, you have absolutley no idea how your body works or what its doing! Nobody does. Nor do you need to know. Everything you need to know you can measure. You can measure your food. You can measure your strength. You can measure every sort of sporting performance or physical performance attribute. You can measure your body composition. Why would you ignore everything relevant that you do know and can measure, to chase after a bunch of irrelevant, hypothetical nonsense that you cannot measure or see? Why would you choose to be ignorant?
You don’t know how or when your hair, skin, bones and muscles recycle, repair and renew. So how on earth do you expect to know how and when your body is becoming leaner or when it is running on what energy substrate? Do you know what you are burning right now? Do you even know how you are able to read a computer screen and process the abstract concepts I’m writing about? If you think you do, why are you reading a blog on how ‘cardio’ doesn’t burn fat? You should already know.
to act both ignorantly and in complete contradiction to what you ultimately want to achieve is, literally, insane. Yes, I am saying that doing cardio to get leaner is insane
You should admit that, like everyone else, you have no clue whats going on inside your body. Then you should ask why you would want to base your efforts on manipulating unknowable processes? You can’t measure or know what’s going on inside your body, every minute of every day. You can’t measure the changes that occur when you take a particular action. You cannot forecast the net result of incalculable manipulations on unknown processes. To base your actions on variables you cannot know, cannot measure, cannot control and cannot predict is to act in complete ignorance. It’s not scientific; it’s scientism. Or it’s quackery and witchcraft; which amounts to the same thing.
Why would you engage in an activity medically prescribed to a terminally ill person? All arguments are based on losing weight indescriminately? Chemotherapy is another medical intervention that causes weight loss. And it does so more rapidly and reliably than walking or jogging. You don’t have cancer but you don’t have cardio vascular disease either. So why not just do chemotherapy for weight loss? Its equally insane, irrelevant and inappropriate to your goals as “cardio”.
A lower bodyfat percentage means a higher lean-mass percentage. In other words, being leaner means you are proportionately more muscular. That is math; not my opinion. So to create a leaner more muscular physique then you n are going to need to train to be a strength athlete. That, ideally, means weights. Ideally and logically it means heavy weights. It means lifting weights like a person who really wants to be strong. You do not want to be an aerobic, endurance athlete. How far you can run (or swim, walk or ride) has absolutely no relationship to how much muscle you have, nor, therefore, the percentage of you that is muscle or, therefore, your percentage of bodyfat. So don’t do it.
Diet and train to become the strength athlete you want to be. Everything you do to contradict that outcome will ensure you fail to achieve it. Don’t starve and eat zero carbs because that won’t make you a good strength athlete. And don’t spend hours per week training to be a slow, weak, bad endurance athlete because you will probably succeed!