A common question I get: How much cardio do you do?
A: I don’t do cardio.
Now, hang on stop freaking out. I know what you’re thinking. As I was once someone who made sure I not only “lifted weights plus did cardio” 5-6x per week and if I didn’t do it I classified myself as a “failure” . Wow, a lot has changed.
That doesn’t mean I’m not extremely active day to day. Example: walking Hugo (my Dog duh get with the program) or on a hike here in Southern California, and I pretty much walk everywhere where I live… I walk to the grocery store, hot yoga, Sephora.. you name it!
Since stopping cardio 2 years ago I have not only changed my body but also it has helped me extremely with my eating.
The Founder of P.Volve (Stephen Pasterino AKA P) is actually the person who made me realize that by doing cardio I was most likely causing my body to be inflamed and also loading weight on my quads (which for me I already have a ton of muscle). After listening to him and doing some intense research (because I’m not just going to do anything) I’m an ALL in or ALL out type of chick. I decided to commit to his advice. So I committed for 6 months. I stopped running. Yep, STOPPED.
I only did my P.volve program | Hot Yoga 1-2x per week
RESULT: 4 months in my shoes became too big for me. LOL like what? Yeah, My feet were that inflamed you guys! Crazy!!! I went from wearing a size 9 my entire adult life to now a 8.5 (lets just say it was fun getting new shoes)
P says it best: “One of the main reasons I created P.volve was that I had so many women approach me with the same question over and over again... "Why am I bulking so much?" Some women worked out every day and some only a few times a week but they were consistently baffled as to why they were bulking, especially in the upper thighs.
Studying biomechanics helped me understand why this was happening. Muscles get inflamed and bulky for multiple reasons but for the majority of women it is based on two primary causes: constant repetitive motion (high reps), and dysfunction or imbalance in the muscles, caused by poor form.
The first thing I tell my clients who are looking to de-bulk and get a longer, leaner body is to cut the cardio. Instantly, I see the panic. I was pretty hardcore about this when I first started training. I can work with most women who have bulked up heavily and get that inflammation down in a matter of a month. But they have to stop doing cardio while we are training.
Over time, I have created a list of cardio exercises that compliment my streaming and studio workouts. Done in moderation, these are great extra activities that can be done in addition to your P.volve workouts.
- Sports. People forget that by actually playing a recreational sport, you are doing cardio. Tennis and volleyball are great examples of sports that can get your heart rate up, keep you moving, but don't require the same repetitive motions over and over again. I suggest joining a rec league and playing once or twice a week to get your cardio fix.
- Rowing. When done right, this is a great full-body exercise. The key is to row in between other non-cardio workouts. For instance, I often have training clients row for three minutes in the middle of a P.volve workout. It's a great way to get the heart rate up and burn some calories. Remember, keep the reps low and do it in intervals between workouts to avoid bulking.
- Running. I always worry about throwing this out there because running is tricky. It becomes problematic when you run to the point of exhaustion. The type of running that will complement my workout method is two to three miles, once or twice a week. If you push it more than that and for longer than that, you will see that your leg muscles will start to get inflamed.
- Hiking. For those of us that don't live on the west coast, there are only a handful of months a year that you can get out to hike, but to me, it's amazing. Hiking gets you outside, challenges your body and gets you using different muscles. It's a great way to push yourself without harming all the work you are doing to lean out.
It's worth saying again: if you really want to focus on creating a longer, leaner physique, I would cut cardio out altogether for the first full month that you do P.volve. But if you're a cardio junkie and need to get your fix, stick to this list and you'll be able to avoid bulk. At the end of the day, your fitness plan should support your end goal - and you may have to make some sacrifices, like going without cardio for a while, to get the results you want.”
AND there you have it! take it or leave it. I wanted to share since it changed my life.