Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cardiobots and Cardio Bunnies--Stick to the Hornet's Nest

I just have a sec as Jodie and I are off to the airport in a bit for Seattle WA for 8 days. Well, we were supposed to be on a plane now but there was a change to our flight time and the plane already left at 6:30am instead of 2:30pm today! Thanks for the great notice!
All the details will be in my newsletter that goes out tomorrow if anyone is interested (can still sign up at the bottom on this message).

Some good friends of mine were kind enough to open up their house to us (little do they know what is in store) and time for a much needed vacation. Neither of us have been to Seattle yet either and I will be a the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) conference this coming Wed-Fri sniffing out the latest and greatest for all of you here. I am working on some special updates and perhaps even an interview(s). Some of it will be released here and some tidbits will only be sent to my newsletter group, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the end of this post (it is free too).

If you are going to be at ACSM, drop me a note and we can chat live in person!

So it looks like a previous blog post I did stirred up a few comments and I got permission to post one below as this weeks "Letter to the Editor"

Read on

Ok, time for me to say something about the language you use as you may be hurting yourself and not even realize it. First, let me say, I love your blog posts, I can tell you spend a great deal of time and effort to not only "just post links to research articles", but you take the time and effort to break down the research articles and you do an excellent job of summarizing and breaking it down to a lay person's level, who, may be interested and intelligent enough to really "get" the article, but who may not be willing to dedicate the time to actually read the whole study, in part b/c you break it down so well!

Constructive Criticism Details below:
Anytime you write on your blog or in these email updates to your blog about strength training, you refer to it as "strength training" or as training for "power/speed athletes", but I have Never read you making Any derogatory remarks about strength training.

Except for the one blog post about "Broscience".
At the same time, I have observed, that almost anytime you write, on your blog, or in these email updates to your blog, about endurance training, you Almost Always refer to it as exercise conducted by "cardio bunnies" or as exercise conducted by (in this case) "Cardiobots", or you may use some other derogatory word, but "Cardio bunnies" seems to be your favorite.

And I get that there are people out there who "only" will do endurance training, and I can see how you may feel that strength training is not stressed enough or paid enough attention to and therefore I can see that you may be trying to make a case for why strength training is important. However, at the same time, I think there are probably just as many people out there who "only" engage in strength training and don't see any value in endurance training. And I know, you know the value in endurance training, b/c I've read a number of your blog posts about how amazing you find endurance athletes like the bike race across America.

Plus, I know you are very smart and as a smart person myself (at least I like to think so), who tries to have a good balance of both endurance and strength training, I find it demeaning and simply not necessary, to almost Always make fun of people who engage in endurance training by calling them demeaning names.

This all leads to my question:
Why do feel it is necessary to make derogatory remarks about endurance training or people who engage in endurance training, but you (almost) never make derogatory remarks about strength training or people who engage in it, but you in strength training?


Thanks again for the comments Charles. Much appreciated as it take cajones to actually give constructive feedback.

Yeah, I may be pissing off some cardio people although that is not my intent. I refer to a cardiobot or a cardio bunny as someone who does mindless hours of cardio normally on a treadmill or elliptical without any plan or any change in intensity--just the same thing every day hoping it will work better tomorrow. You can spot these people in big health clubs very easily (and they don't even wear rabbit ears).

I have HUGE respect for ANY athlete (athlete is defined as anyone that trains and uses their body for a living, so that includes pretty much everyone). I totally understand why people run marathons and heck, bike across the entire US from my volunteer stint on the RAAM and I give mad props to all of them. I personally will not be signing up any time soon though.

Don't worry, there are tons of stupid things that weight trainers do in the gym too! I tend to forget about it since the only gym I go to on occasion is at work and that is mostly cardio equipment. I do 95% of my sessions in my garage gym (aka the Xtreme Human Performance Center) and for cardio I primarily do KBs, some biking and now that summer is here more sprints, sledge hammer on the tire, push cars, etc.

I do feel the tide is turning and strength work is getting much more respect in the research community, but the reality is its much easier to study endurance training. I fully admit to falling in that camp too as part of my Monster Energy Drink study is using a bike ride to exhaustion because of previous literature (although not much) and it is easier to measure.

Yes, cardio (cardiorespiratory fitness) is very important! I actually believe that many strength athletes could benefit from more intelligent CRF work in their programs, even if strenght is their main goal. My buddy Aaron S from ND said it best, "it just helps to be 'ft'" I will save you a lecture about HRV and work capacity.

The reality is that this blog will never be a home for die hard endurance fans, and that is fine with me. I don't mean any disrespect to them, but I have to narrow the focus a bit to provide relevant info to the loyal readers

Hope that helps and thanks again for the feedback as most just unsubscribe without any comments or why; which makes it very hard for me to improve them. My goal long term is to make this a trusted home for athletic performance enhancement. I agree with Dr. Cobb when he said "it is actually UNnatrual to NOT be athletic"
Rock on
Mike N
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