Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cardio is not evil! Seeking to balance the BS...again...decades later

I recently receieved an email that from a great man and avid KSI fan, and I thought the content was worth sharing with you!

Hi Ian, I just ordered book III. In your previous books you downplayed the role of cardio, or so it seemed. As I have got older (I’m 52) cardio has taken a larger role in my training – I want to stay in the same size pants! I also am active in other sports – hiking, running, mountain biking – and am currently gearing up to climb 14,442’ Mt. Rainier in June.

So the question is how will cardio work with the next book’s programs? I have to say that I’ve been pleased with the progression I have seen as I have gone through the Book of Muscle programs and then the GB I and II. At 52 and 160lbs I’m still squatting and deadlifting 400lbs for 1 rep max. Bench is a little off but that’s a function of shoulder pain. I imagine the cardio has limited my lifts, especially the squat, but wanted your opinion. I’m not ready to give up on my other activities and wanted some input on how to combine the two most effectively.

A secondary question is that of repeating some of the GB programs. I used the neural training/advanced rep scheme in book two. If I wanted to repeat with more emphasis on hypertrophy, would it make sense to repeat – or just progress to book III?

Thanks for your help. Following a progressive routine has really helped me push through some barriers that I thought I would ever see again. It’s nice to a small, “old” man outlifting some of the bigger “kids”!

Ken – great to hear you are continuing your education with our books! Let me give you some historic perspective about my published comments on what you call ‘cardio’.

I noted during the 1980s the promotion of the ‘aerobic base’ in sport. I tried it, and for the most part found it flawed, and certainly lacking in any evidence to support the level of rhetoric.

I also noted the rise of aerobic training post the late James Fixx and Kenneth Cooper influence, in the general population, during the same period. Again, I felt it was exaggerated.

I sought during the 1980s and 1990s to balance the published information, sharing an alternative view.

Post my comments which many perceived were ‘anti-cardio’ (because there were the to other end of the continuum than the dominant paradigm), many trend-spotters jumped on the bandwagon and over-reacted.

The new paradigm driven by these over-reactors was that endurance or cardio was useless. One of the specific over-reactions and questionable claims was that the best way to lower body fat was by high intensity anaerobic type circuits. Now personally I have done both, in my personal training, in my professional coaching of elite athletes, and in vocational training – and certainly didn’t share these ‘new conclusions’.

So what you have is general population clients lacking the preparation and conditioning, engaging in high intensity circuits (boot camps, trendy toy based circuits like swinging ropes and flipping tyres, and ‘cross-fit’ like methodology) and creating a new wave of injuries leaving the physical therapy and joint replacement industries licking their lips. And by the way, typically failing to produce the marketing claims of ‘melting your fat off like butter in a frypan’, and other clinically crafted emotionally-effective marketing scripts.

I have written at length about my conclusion that ‘human over-react in the short term and under-react in the long term’. (not to be confused with the repetitive use of my saying by the industry’s greatest plagiarist).

I have also written at length about the industry direction of lying, cheating and stealing, where how you train and what you think is secondary to the immediate cash flow and perception of greatness sought by certain class-leading bullshitters.

I have also since sought to publish to once again correct the unbalanced influences, however the size of the wave triggered by my original ‘anti-aerobic’ statements is such that is unlikely a person lacking the motive to compete in the bs-marketing stakes can ever really effectively suppress or correct in the short term.(br>
So after a long winded intro, to answer your question… So the question is how will cardio work with the next book’s programs?

Why not? Now of course it really depends on all the variables involved and as such I don’t make guru-like assumptions. What I suggest you do is understand that any training method has many variables that can and should be manipulated and the only way for you to learn what works for you is to record the training and the results over time, and reach your own conclusions. Then share them with others who value objective observations about the cause-effect relationships in training.

What I don’t want you to do is fear doing or using a training method based on incorrect conclusions or over-reactions about the efficacy of any particular training method.

High intensity cardio has potentially more interference potential with your strength changes, however if you used periodization in the way I teach, you can perform maintenance strength training in periods where you may want to do more intensive energy system training.

I am really impressed with your continuity and commitment in training, so keep this going. I’m not surprised you have received great results using my programs – because they were only published after decades of refining them and confirming their effectiveness (one of the many things that make my works unique – its patiently time based and actually what has worked, as opposed to latching onto a new trend to appear to be ‘cutting edge’).

With regard to returning to hypertrophy training – I will start every year out doing the program from the GB book or similar. Which makes me smile when people want to bypass this book and program for the more advanced books and program.

I’m proud of you outperforming the youngsters, and encourage to continue with this, because for me, we were born to train, and when we stop training, you know what happens. It’s the opposite to being born!
--Ian King

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