Cardio – a lot like shopping for shoes!

By: Quinton de Bruin

Now that I have all the attention of the ladies, it's a rather odd comparison I'll give you that, but hear me out. The thought came to me while training this morning.

This is dangerous territory but hey it keeps things interesting. I give women credit when it comes to shopping, they have this unbelievable ability (it almost qualifies as a skill) to spot a deal or sale. It could be happening on a website for a shop in a totally different city and before you know it you have had a day at the Mount and stop in at a shoe shop on the way home! That's a story for another day, back to this talent the ladies have, so the girls spot a bargain, shoes at a reduced rate – "30% off for one day only!" or "buy one pair, get a pair of heels for half price!" The nature of the sale is less relevant than the fact that you have obtained a pair (or 4) at a great price, a price that represents real value, a real return which one would not be getting while shopping on the standard pricing days.
And this is like cardio how? Well, the human body is one amazing thing, amazing but lazy! It has an incredible ability to adapt in a very short space of time to be efficient. When you set out to train for a half marathon, the first few days and even weeks seem like you are never going to be able to run 21kms! Before you know it though your joints and muscles aren't all that sore anymore, your breathing while running becomes less of a heaving sound and you almost enjoy the run! Absolutely there is an element of getting fitter but also your body is being conditioned to perform a set of activities (being put one foot in front of the other) in the most efficient manner as possible.

Similarly, when you are doing cardio you will no doubt have your preferred piece of equipment or activity (running or cycling) and sure, when you first start you will be getting great value from that activity. Unfortunately, our smart lazy bodies are also figuring out how it can run for that 20-30 minutes using far less energy – being burning less calories, meaning less fat burning. By changing up your activity you are keeping your body guessing and by doing this the value you get from the time you put into your cardio work is high – a bit like the value of shopping at a sale! This thought came to me this morning when I decided to do an Erg (rowing) session after some resistance training. I haven't don't that for months, if not years! Boy, did it feel like a long 20 minutes – great value session.

The morning started with a black coffee – love my coffee. It was shoulders, legs and abs day – which is a session I am really enjoying lately – probably because there are a couple of functional fitness trainers in the gym and I'm blown away and envious of the ab strength they have, so provided the gym is not packed, I give some of their exercises a go… there is some work to do there!

Breakfast was great, I used the leftover fake potato salad from last night, added some fish and used that as the filling for my frittata – I scrambled 3 eggs and done, gourmet breakfast in 4-5 minutes. I had a flat white coffee at a lunch meeting followed by a packed lunch which was again a tuna salad (you may notice I will be blogging a lot about green salads, not only because it is in the meal plan but also because we have an overexcited veggie patch that is going nuts with lovely lettuce.

Dinner was great too, a nice piece of pan-fried steak and a mountain of BFGS (Big Freak'n Green Salad). I flicked through the meal plan and had a pleasant reminder that I could have two blocks of dark (70%+) chocolate for dessert tonight…and that is day 3. Day 4 presents its own challenges, I shoot to Tauranga for a breakfast meeting so leaving really early means no training until later, commitment will be tested, my conversion rate is so much higher when I aim to train early.

The small print: now is probably a good time to encourage you to have a discussion about your personal situation with your doctor, a nutritionist and the Body and Motion trainers to work out how best to achieve any challenges you have in mind. The thoughts in these blogs are my own personal opinion and shouldn't be taken as direct advice. Some of the choices around what I consume or what activity I partake in may not be endorsed by Body and Motion. However, the team will always be keen enablers of your fitness goals! Talk to us today.


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