So there! These are headlines to establish the premise for this guy’s pitch for his sexy little fitness routine. OF course the old Tabata study gets pulled back off the shelf periodically to support claims that interval/sprint work is the be-all-and-end-all of fitness exercise. Now, don’t get me wrong I have no problem with people doing sprints all day long if that’s what makes them happy. Knock yourself out. I shrug when I see another ‘junk training’ marketed with some pictures of bronzed bodies in Lycra, and promises of ripped muscles in 10 minutes a day for the limited deal of just $**.95 with 3 free reports. But when they trash running and the millions of people who love doing it, and everything that Arthur stood for in his life, I find myself getting a little hot under the color. When I read further I see the heading NEW RESEARCH BY CRAIG BALLANTYNE with subtext that the New York Times claims that eating a cheeseburger is healthier for you than cardio. (As reputable as it is I would not look to the New York Times on exercise issues any more that I would look to Runner’s World for the latest financial news.) Now the expert is telling you to put your Nike’s up and eat a McDonald’s! Boy does that ever appeal to the those who have become stupid and lazy from lying around eating cheeseburgers!!! Well it turns out Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Turbulence Trainer, whatever that is. He then goes on with his series of scientific “FACTS” such as cardio (i.e. aerobic activity) makes you fat, tired unhappy and age faster as well as damaging your heart and joints. We’ll go to town on all these points in a later post. Anyhow I fired off this letter to Shawn Hadsell, the owner of the site. His wife sent me a very nice reply acknowledging my letter and said Shawn would get back to me. A week later I have not heard from him. Perhaps he is busy working on it.
I have followed your website and news items for sometime and for the most part enjoy your regular posts immensely. I have however been frustrated with the declarations of “cardio is dead” etc, not just from you but other popular health websites that venture into the exercise field. Dire warnings of endurance exercise with “scientific back-up” in my view is misinformation and counter-productive to helping ameliorate the appalling state of America’s fitness.
So I was pleased to see some “cardio damage-control” from you in today’s post. When people, through ignorance and misinformation, exercise in an unbalanced or premature way as to cause inflammation or mitochondrial destruction, it is very easy for the self-proclaimed ‘experts’ to bash aerobic conditioning while pushing to replace it with anaerobic/alactic workout systems that as a stand-alone routine have the potential to be even more destructive. I find the debate about aerobic vs. anaerobic quite silly as are the studies that are so short-term as to have little relevance to anyone looking for a healthy long-term exercise routine (really 8 weeks in the life of an athlete is miniscule). It is like comparing the hare and the tortoise over a hundred yards and saying the hare wins therefore we should all train like hares! Well, we all know how that story turns out.
I understand that your fitness goals may be somewhat different from those of the running crowd (though most runners share the goal of looking ripped and lean and feeling vital with you) but if you are truly interested in the dynamics of lifetime fitness and peak performance also I strongly suggest that you research the system used by the best athletes in the world – Lydiard.
Lydiard was a famed New Zealand coach who did more to advance the endurance coaching methods throughout his lifetime than any other single person. You could call him the Founding Father of Old-School Cardio. Not only did he coach champions single-handedly using correctly sequenced training, he also was the force behind the jogging movement when in the 1960’s he introduced his system of training to Bill Bowerman, one of Nike’s founders. His methodology of training to maximize ALL available energy systems has stood the test of time and today is the most widely used system worldwide for endurance sports and the basis for most training systems worth their salt.
If you would like to see how the more sophisticated endurance athletes train for performance and longevity I invite you to be my guest at any Lydiard Coaches Levels I&II Certification training. While the training is geared to runners, the methodology is applicable to all endurance sports, and provides a sound basis of knowledge for any activity over a few minutes in duration.