I hate cardio

But not as much as this guy:

A post shared by gymfuckery™ (@gymfuckery) on

Quite aside from the highly amusing voice-over commentary, I do need to get something off my chest here:

WHY, in the name of ALL THAT IS HOLY, do people RUN ON TREADMILLS IN THE GYM?!?!?

Yeah, I know, it's easier than running outside and the impact damage on your knees and shins is much lower. And I will readily admit that I used to run on treadmills in the gym before I started lifting.

Mea culpa, Deus, mea exegi culpa.

But if you are going to run - TAKE THAT SHIT OUTSIDE.

It is much more fun and much less boring than plodding away on a machine in a sterile gym environment while watching some show on your tablet or phone. The world is out there to be experienced and seen, not on a screen.

The difference between me and most cardio-bunny types is that I confessed my sins to the Lord of Iron and pledged to obey His Commandments. Nowadays, in the extremely unlikely event that I want to go for a run, I'll put on a pair of Five Fingers and go jog outside.

This is not very much fun, by the way. The muscles and tendons in my feet and legs are not used to taking those kinds of impacts and that kind of repetitive stress, so I am always extremely sore for days afterwards.

And as far as I am concerned, my martial arts teacher's advice about cardio is the only kind worth following.

I once asked him something about running - I forget the exact context but it had something to do with the fact that he was suffering from plantar fasciitis in his feet and was having a hard time walking. I asked him if he had a hard time running too, since - being a naive lower-ranked belt at the time - I just sort of assumed that he did cardio to stay in shape.

I will never forget his response: "I don't run. The only time I'll ever run is if I'm running after some asshole to f*** him up."

And then people wonder why I love fighting so much... When you are taught by people like that, it is not in the least bit surprising.

If you must do cardio, here are a couple of useful ideas.

Get yourself a pair of 7oz hybrid gloves (I highly recommend these) or 14oz training or sparring gloves (again, try these) and go pound the crap out of a heavy bag for 30 minutes, throwing combinations of punches and then adding kicks. If you have some idea what you are doing and know how to strike, you will be exhausted by the end.

Or get a groin cup, some gloves, and shin protection, and some friends that you trust, and go spar for an hour, with 3-minute rounds. I was on the mat yesterday with my buddies and we beat the crap out of each other. By the end of that sparring session I could barely stand, and I am in pretty good shape. EVERYTHING hurts this morning. And I would happily do it all over again tomorrow.

There is no better way to get fit, fast, than by learning how to fight. Cardio is dull, boring, and repetitive - and only helps you when things get real by giving you a better gas tank than your opponent.

Even so, my view of getting good at fighting, or cardio-bunny exercises, or anything else, is always and everywhere the same:

If you want to get good at X, do more of X.

If you want to get good at lifting heavy stuff, then lift heavy stuff.

If you want to get good at running, go run. (Just don't ask me to go running with you. I'll succumb to narcolepsy about ten minutes in.)

If you want to get good at fighting, then FIGHT.

And if you want to get good at hating on cardio - like I do - then by all means, carry on.


  1. I prefer the way I was taught Cardio- ie swimming 10 miles in freezing cold heavy surf.


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