In this episode, we share an excerpt from Dr. John Jaquish’s book Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want
Full Transcript #
Dr. Neal: This is Optimal Health Daily, episode 1335. An excerpt from the book, Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want. By Dr. John Jaquish and I’m Dr. Neal.
Hey there, happy middle of the week Wednesday, and welcome back to Optimal Health Daily, where I act as your narrator of the best health and fitness blogs, all for free. I cover fitness, diet and nutrition, stress management, weight management, and lots more. This is just like an audiobook but from a bunch of different authors. And then on Fridays, I do something a little different. I answer your questions right here on the show. Now I occasionally narrate from books.
And that’s the case today. I’ll tell you about the author after the reading. And the title is meant to catch your attention. As you’ll hear in the excerpt, the author is all about exercise. Even though the title makes it seem like he isn’t. He just simply prefers more unconventional methods of exercise.
Dr. Neal: He’s a huge supporter of using resistance bands over maybe some other forms of resistance training for example. But we’re going to get into that. Now, it is the middle of the week. And like I do every Wednesday. I want to give you a bit of inspiration to help you push through these last couple of days.
So here we go. Quote, “Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no results. Work, continuous work, and hard work are the only ways to accomplish the results that last.” Hamilton Holt. All right? And with that, let’s get right to it and start optimizing your life.
Dr. Neal: An excerpt from the book, Weight Lifting Is a Waste of Time: So Is Cardio, and There’s a Better Way to Have the Body You Want, by Dr. John Jaquish. Falsehoods of fitness. By now, you may be wondering, which other fitness facts you put your faith in are false? The sheer number of exercise principles that fall under this umbrella will probably astound you. It certainly astounded us. You see, we didn’t set out to investigate any of the following myths. We weren’t even aware of some of them until they were brought to our attention on the X3 social media pages.
No Weights, No Cardio
In certain cases, people commenting there felt compelled to educate us about these facts. While other times, they were reaching out to ask us if a given piece of exercise advice was true. In either event, we dug into the research to get to the bottom of the issues. We were committed to making the best possible exercise recommendations.
Dr. Neal: That meant understanding the research supporting and more often discounting fitness concepts people had learned at the gym. Whether they made their way into the fitness world through initial misinterpretation of research, personal anecdotes, or were simply fabricated at some point by somebody wanting to be seen as an expert, these mistaken beliefs are not helping your workout. They’re probably holding you back from reaching your goals.
In this chapter, we aim to set the record straight, with science. Falsehood number one, “Cardio is healthier than strength training.” This is the belief, cardio is the only kind of exercise that provides real longevity benefits. Whereas strength training is optional, supplemental, or perhaps only important in the context of vanity. Effectively, people are saying, “Strength training is fine, but you need to do cardio to be healthy.” In our experience, people using the word cardio, in this way, are referring to endurance aerobic activities, like spending hours on the elliptical or running long distances without the inclusion of a strength training component.
Dr. Neal: Using the term, “Cardio” to describe this type of exercise, is quite misleading. First, all exercise is cardiovascular. Meaning it imposes demands on the heart. But more importantly, when it comes to cardiac health, weight training provides the same. If not, more cardiovascular benefits compared to strictly cardio exercise. Cardio is also a sub-optimal protocol for achieving your health and fitness goals. It may even make them more difficult to achieve.
In one experiment, patients with type two diabetes were assigned to either perform strength training or cardio. The strength training group saw improved blood lipid profiles and glycemic control, while the group assigned to cardio exercise, saw no significant improvements in these metrics. Other research shows strength training improves endothelial function, an important component of cardiac health. And can effectively lower blood pressure. In addition, a meta-analysis of more than 100 studies concluded strength training provides equivalent cardiovascular fitness improvement to traditional cardio exercise.
Dr. Neal: And this benefit, primarily correlated with the intensity of the exercise, rather than duration. To be clear, when we say cardio isn’t necessary, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t care about your cardiovascular fitness. You should care. And so do we. But when you evaluate the evidence, it shows strength training provides all the cardiac benefits people currently associate with long-distance running or hours on the elliptical.
In addition, strength training offers the benefit of substantial added musculature, which keeps the heart working more efficiently at all times to meet the additional demand for circulation imposed by that tissue. Another disadvantage of cardio is that the cardiac benefits of this exercise type, unfortunately, diminish quickly, if you take a break from it. Cardiovascular endurance, in other words, your aerobic fitness, begins to decline just days after you stopped working out. Structural fitness or your body’s ability to withstand the impact of stressful cardio activities is lost almost as fast.
Dr. Neal: For example, let’s say you’re a great runner, you complete a marathon averaging six minutes per mile. You then take half a year off of training before deciding to go run another marathon. This time you’re disappointed to find your six-minute mile pace has fallen into the 10 minutes per mile range. What happened? While you still can be an accomplished athlete, your cardiovascular endurance began deteriorating right after you finished that first marathon. Your body sought homeostasis and you no longer have the heart of a marathon runner. Now you have to start over almost from scratch.
Dr. Neal: Oh, and as promised, a bit about Dr. John. He began his experience in life sciences after his mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis. He created a bone density building medical device, to trigger the effects of high impact loading, but without the risk of injury.
Dr. Neal: After successfully reversing his mother’s osteoporosis, as part of his doctoral dissertation in biomedical engineering research at Rushmore University, he conducted four years of testing with human subjects. Focused on user comfort, biomechanics, and optimal musculoskeletal stimulation. The device he designed was put into production and has since been placed in over 300 clinics worldwide. Osteogenic loading has now helped over 30,000 individuals with their bone health.
You can find his book on Amazon. And I have links in this episode’s description. Dr. Neal is here for my commentary. The research on weight or strength training has come a long way. It used to be believed that strength training was separate from cardiovascular activity.
Dr. Neal: Strength training didn’t seem to provide the same benefits to the heart that rhythmic cardiovascular exercises like running, jogging, cycling, rowing, and so on provided. But as you heard, this may not be true. Now the key here is to think about the intensity of the weight training or strength training sessions.
For example, when you’re lifting weights, if you usually rest for three to five minutes in between sets, you may not be experiencing the same heart health benefits as if you kept the time between sets to one minute or less. Keeping the rest time between sets will help keep your heart rate higher while you work out similar to what would happen if you went for a jog or bicycle ride.
Dr. Neal: Now, because of this shorter rest period, you may need to choose lighter weights. But that’s okay. Especially if your goal is to improve your heart health. And as Dr. John described, the added benefit of strength training is that you’re going to put on muscle. Muscle is highly active tissue. It helps you burn calories all the time.
And over time, our muscles start to get smaller as we age. So preserving our muscles may help preserve our fitness over time. All right, that’ll do it for today. Thank you so much for subscribing, thank you for being here every day. Thank you for sharing the show with someone. That’s one of the best ways to keep the show going. I hope you’re having a wonderful week and I’ll see you back here tomorrow, where your optimal life awaits.
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