Why is it that when people think of "fitness", so often they think of cardio?

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    Dec 30, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    Weight training, bodybuilding are "fitness" activities too. How many times have I heard a guy say, "I don't want to get really big, I just want to get in shape?" they spend endless hours on a sta-bike or treadmill, "getting fit". Never picking up a weight. I don't get it.
  • RunnerMD

    Posts: 157

    Dec 30, 2011 4:09 PM GMT
    You are right, fitness is about a lot of things. Strength training needs to go along with cardio, flexibility and nutritional health. I think a lot of that comes as a backlash against strength training dominating the equation and a lot of the perceived culture around weight training on getting bigger rather than getting fitter. That's sort of how I feel about the aura of weight training.

    I'm personally trying to get strength training in by doing calisthenics and maybe some exercises like rock climbing. It's not that I shun the weights because I don't want to get big. I just don't necessarily feel comfortable in the weight room along side the guys that are sort of hovering in a clique because they are training all the time in there. Add to that everyone doing like twice the weight. If I'm off doing calisthenics (like cardio) or what not it's a naturally individual activity and it gets a good level of strength fitness too.
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    Yeah, I agree. I don't think it's the best way to truly get fit... they'll just lose the little muscle mass they have spending all their time on the treadmill, which will only make it harder to stay lean in the long-run.

    Besides, why wouldn't they wanna get big?? icon_smile.gif

    I think weight lifting / resistance training should be part of every fitness plan.
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:26 PM GMT
    r3dsn0w saidYeah, I agree. I don't think it's the best way to truly get fit... they'll just lose the little muscle mass they have spending all their time on the treadmill, which will only make it harder to stay lean in the long-run.

    Besides, why wouldn't they wanna get big?? icon_smile.gif

    I think weight lifting / resistance training should be part of every fitness plan.



    It's because cardio is so much easier than a full-body workout plan. The latter takes planning, thought, and more dedication. Jumping on a treadmill for 30 or 45 minutes while watching TV or reading is the simple way out. It's fine for people who have a whole lot of fat to burn, but even then, as redsnow said, muscle is the body's calorie-burning factory and the more you have, the easier it will be in the long-run to stay fit.
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
    Jimib saidWeight training, bodybuilding are "fitness" activities too. How many times have I heard a guy say, "I don't want to get really big, I just want to get in shape?" they spend endless hours on a sta-bike or treadmill, "getting fit". Never picking up a weight. I don't get it.


    I think for your average Joe, "I want to get fit" means "I want to walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath"
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    Dec 30, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    Well, I'd say being in good cardio shape is essential to being fit. If you can't run 3 miles and don't have injuries or arthritis that prevent it, you aren't fit. You can be fit without having big muscles. And you can have big muscles without being fit.

    But if your heart can't take it, then you're not fit. And remember, the heart is a muscle. "Flexing" it by putting it under stress repeatedly is as close as you can come to guaranteeing HEALTH and fitness.
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:06 PM GMT
    It's because most people just want to be lean. They don't want body mass. Once they achieve being lean then they worry about the rest. In some cases, its how they have to be. I mean I'm in that group. I wouldn't say if it isn't cardio than it is not fitiness but for my body I need to do serious cardio before I even consider lifting a weight and if I do.. It needs to be directed a specific mucles. I don't want to put on mass. I want to just lean out.
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:09 PM GMT
    There are a lot of huge/jacked guys that are not "fit".

    Ask them to run a couple of miles and they are gasping for air. Regular cardiovascular training is an essential part of becoming fit.
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    Dec 30, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    It's because people don't want to think about the things they think are difficult and challenging.

    People ask me all the time what I'm doing to get in shape and I say working out with a trainer.

    They want me to tell them I'm taking some magic pill - or doing some fad diet.

    Nope, like everyone else on this site, I have finally learned - eat less, move more. But the cardio and weight training have to go together to get the balance.

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    Dec 30, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    onaquest870 saidIt's because people don't want to think about the things they think are difficult and challenging.

    People ask me all the time what I'm doing to get in shape and I say working out with a trainer.

    They want me to tell them I'm taking some magic pill - or doing some fad diet.

    Nope, like everyone else on this site, I have finally learned - eat less, move more. But the cardio and weight training have to go together to get the balance.



    How is cardio not difficult or challenging?

    People on here seem to be equating cardio with walking on a treadmill for an hour. . .A proper cardio routine is extremely rigorous.
  • greekguy79

    Posts: 112

    Dec 30, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    At the risk of sounding repetitive, being fit is not exclusively one or the other. It's BOTH, because you need both to be fit.

    If you have a great physique, but you can't handle a jog around you're block, you're not fit, doesn't matter what you're benching or squatting or dead-lifting...you get the idea.

    On the other hand, if you can run for hours, but you haven't built up a strong back, you keep throwing out or straining muscle groups, you lack balance, and flexibility, and posture....then you're not fit.

  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Dec 30, 2011 5:16 PM GMT
    In the gym where I work there is a deliberate policy to exclude "body builders" and "lads" who want to do free-weights because they are "intimidating to the average gym-user" and "give the wrong impression".

    So basically...there's a room full of cardio machines,and an area with a few fixed-path resistance machines and a corner with some ab-cradles and mats. The machines are like a pec-deck, leg curl, leg extension and pull down oh and a "lady zone" with a bizarre "hips bums and tums"machine thing.There are no free-weights in the place, simplyto deter the "body builders" and those who want to build lean muscle rather than do cardio cardio and nothing but cardio.

    Its bonkers. Stupid. But "fitness" is just "cardio" and nothing else really.
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    Dec 30, 2011 9:10 PM GMT
    7Famark said
    onaquest870 saidIt's because people don't want to think about the things they think are difficult and challenging.

    People ask me all the time what I'm doing to get in shape and I say working out with a trainer.

    They want me to tell them I'm taking some magic pill - or doing some fad diet.

    Nope, like everyone else on this site, I have finally learned - eat less, move more. But the cardio and weight training have to go together to get the balance.



    How is cardio not difficult or challenging?

    People on here seem to be equating cardio with walking on a treadmill for an hour. . .A proper cardio routine is extremely rigorous.


    Cardio is difficult and challenging. But when you say cardio to most people - they think they can go for a walk - or buy a treadmill - which is good if you are getting your heart-rate up and keeping it there. - I am not criticizing cardio. I think there should be a balance between the two.

    When you mention weight training - there is a whole different image of big scary machines that pop into people's heads. - Trust me, I was one of those people not too long ago. lol

    I in no way meant any disrespect to the runners and people who rely heavily on cardio. I am just sharing the experience I have had with the people I know.

    What you said above is correct People seem to equate cardio with an hour on the treadmill. A true cardio workout is much more than that.

    But the OP''s question asked what's people's thoughts were did it not? Just because that's what people think doesn't make it correct.

  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Dec 30, 2011 9:12 PM GMT
    Jimib saidWeight training, bodybuilding are "fitness" activities too. How many times have I heard a guy say, "I don't want to get really big, I just want to get in shape?" they spend endless hours on a sta-bike or treadmill, "getting fit". Never picking up a weight. I don't get it.
    dude, your guess is as good as mind. i often wonder the same thing
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    Dec 30, 2011 9:14 PM GMT
    r3dsn0w saidYeah, I agree. I don't think it's the best way to truly get fit... they'll just lose the little muscle mass they have spending all their time on the treadmill, which will only make it harder to stay lean in the long-run.

    Besides, why wouldn't they wanna get big?? icon_smile.gif

    I think weight lifting / resistance training should be part of every fitness plan.




    You are just flat out sexy!
  • Bobschwab

    Posts: 1

    Dec 31, 2011 3:43 AM GMT
    Some how the cardio-aerobic folks dominated the fitness industry.
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Dec 31, 2011 3:59 AM GMT
    It is all part of being fit, but the cardio aspect of fitness is the more important in terms of long-term health. Weight training is important, also, but if a person were to only partake in one of the two, then cardio should be the choice if being healthy is the number one goal.
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    Dec 31, 2011 4:06 AM GMT
    Why do people think anything exercise-related when they think of fitness? It includes the right foods too, ya know.
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    Dec 31, 2011 6:27 PM GMT
    Jimib saidWeight training, bodybuilding are "fitness" activities too. How many times have I heard a guy say, "I don't want to get really big, I just want to get in shape?" they spend endless hours on a sta-bike or treadmill, "getting fit". Never picking up a weight. I don't get it.


    I hear this all the time and I just laugh. I've never met anyone who ACCIDENTALLY got "too big". To get "BIG" it takes long hard work and dedication--something that people that are worried about getting "too big" don't usually have in the first place.