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Spoiled Rotten

CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING

You either don’t watch TV or you don’t read magazines if you’ve never seen an advertisement that shows some buff young girl or guy pounding out miles while running on a beach, or happily sweating profusely while cruising on an elliptical or enduring an intense Spinning class.

These young models always look extremely satisfied to be working their bodies so hard, and they also share one other common characteristic: they are already in shape! Have you ever seen a commercial for a gym or exercise device that showed a 5-foot, 300 lb person grinning from ear to ear?

This is a common example of how the media and fitness industry retailers promote the mass-confusion over cardio. The ads scream messages like, “Buy our pill, put on some sexy clothes while running on the beach, and you’ll look just as good as our models do!”

Gym owners do it, too. “Join our gym now and we’ll give you one month free! Just by joining and then attending our Award-Winning Spinning Class, you will look just like Cindy, the Supermodel we hired to do our commercial!”

It’s ridiculous how the “powers that be” portray cardiovascular exercise as some effortless activity that you can easily use to gain the body of your dreams just by purchasing their product or joining their facility.

The truth of the matter is that cardiovascular training works. The additional truth of the matter is that it can range from moderately to intensely difficult, and that it will take you weeks, months, or maybe even years of combining cardio with resistance training and proper nutrition to attain the body of your dreams.

Is that what you wanted to hear about cardio? Probably not, but it’s the truth. If you think there is some shortcut to being buff, young, tan, and in complete control of your life, then you should go turn on the TV. There is a commercial on right now that is just waiting for you to call in your credit card number!

RESISTANCE TRAINING

The hype surrounding resistance training isn’t quite as appalling as the myths about cardiovascular training, but it still exists. Regardless of what you have seen, heard, or been taught, the truth is this: everyone needs resistance training.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to be a bodybuilder or a 90-year old who can tie your own shoelaces, you need resistance training. Listing the many reasons for engaging in a consistent resistance training routine is beyond the scope of this article, but there are some myths about weight training that need to be brought to light.

1. Weight Training makes you big and bulky. Actually, the size of your muscles is determined primarily by your gender, the type and intensity of your training program, and your nutrition. If you think you will just “magically” turn into a muscle-bound athlete because you picked up a couple of dumbbells, just ask any bodybuilder how much time, energy, and raw will power goes into building his or her incredible physique. It does NOT happen by accident.

2. Using any given device or exercise will “sculpt” your abs, biceps, butt, or any other muscle. There is one thing and exactly one thing that determines the shape of your muscles, and that is your DNA. It is quite impossible to “sculpt” any part of your body – that job belongs to your chosen deity. You can control the size of your muscles, but you cannot control the shape. Anyone who says otherwise is straight up lying.

3. Resistance training is just for men. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to be healthy, strong, and have a great metabolism and energy level? Then weight training is for you. Period.