When it comes to getting lean and developing strength, I think many of the fitness channels on YouTube would say that cardio is both unnecessary and sometimes detrimental. “Abs are built in the kitchen,” or so the saying goes, and time in the gym should be devoted to building muscle, not running on a treadmill. I am, of course, talking about the channels devoted to developing aesthetic physiques and not focused on specific sports like running or cycling.
I used to do an excessive amount of cardio growing up and throughout college. As I entered the working world, I found it to be much easier to simply go to a gym and solely lift weights. It’s far easier to try and avoid eating a hamburger as opposed to eating said hamburger and having to jog an hour or so to burn the calories off.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I entered a line of thinking that is definitely reflected in many of today’s fitness mantras. MegSquats even commented on this lack of cardio in her video entitled Tracking My Weight:
“Of all the YouTubers that I know, I don’t know anyone who’s ever done like a 5k, which to me, is the first step to health. Is there somebody, is there someone I should know about? I know Erik TheElectric, love that guy, he has a lot of endurance. Where’s the fitness? I have no idea. I realize I’m not really a fitness person, more of a strength person.”
It’s easy to lose track of the benefits of cardio, and MegSquats even goes on to say that strength and cardio don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I have integrated some light cardio into my workouts where I try and jog at least a couple of miles a couple of times a week or hop in the pool for a short swim. The benefits of doing light cardio have had a tremendous impact on my lifestyle. I feel much healthier and I’m able to better keep up with my three-year-old son.
I believe that the pursuit of looking good or even the quest for sheer strength sometimes comes at the cost of all-around performance. I’m by no means anywhere near some sort of idealized physique. My chicken legs definitely look out of proportion to my gangly and pudgy upper body. That being said, I wouldn’t have any problem completing a 5k. Finding a balance between looking good, feeling good and actually being able to athletically perform is perhaps what I find most difficult to do in my adult years.
MegSquats has a great channel and I enjoy watching her videos, especially the insights she provides into the powerlifting community. I also find it somewhat discouraging that MegSquats can easily out-squat me. I guess I need to spend more time working the gams. Do I even legs bro?