When I first attended one of those 5 AM outdoor bootcamps, they had us pair up with someone and do a series of exercises. My partner ended up being a fairly fit woman who looked to be in her mid thirties. One of the exercises they has us do together was a roughly thirty yard bear crawl. And I stunk the place up. I hated it mid way before I was finished as I watched my partner cross the finish line yards ahead of me. “Drop your butt and use your legs for power. And synchronize your movements.”, she suggested. So I did. And immediately I was able to keep up!
A couple weeks ago, I was having a discussion with a buddy about trying to find some new workout routines that would be fun. “Have you tried walking?” he asked. Walking? Why would I try walking? I mean, I know as yound as I used to be, but I ride mountain bikes, lift weights, do sprints and play sports pretty regularly. Isn’t walking for old people, I thought to myself? “Uhm…no,” I replied sheepishly. “You should,” he replied. “Great low impact workout. You might enjoy it.”
After a year of outdoor boot camps, I gave up. I didn’t like getting up before the birds, I didn’t like being so exhausted following a workout, I wasn’t losing weight and at times, it was painful! Those long, difficult cardio workouts, come to find out, can actually be bad for you. Not only do you run the risk of injury but you also, in many cases of doing too much cardio workouts, can lose muscle mass. According to Livestrong, “When you do too much cardio at once, you run the risk of increasing the amount of muscle you burn as the body struggles to keep up with the increased level of energy being used by the body. When you combine excess cardio with an improper diet, such as one that drops your total calorie intake below 1500 calories, the risk of burning significant muscle increases.”
As I get further into the paleo/primal lifestyle, one thing has become very clear and that looking fit is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. And yet, I still feel the need to get to the gym as often as possible, feeling like it is a MUST if I want to stay fit and lose weight. I attribute this to years of being in the mindset that, “exercise equals weight loss”. Being a gym regular for the last ten years really didn’t change my body at all, which is why I would get to a point where I felt I was too heavy, try some quick fix plan or diet, lose some weight and put it back on as soon as I did. And in my mind, I felt I just needed to work out harder!