I don’t do cardio and intense conditioning the way I used to.
But I still love it.
For me, the feeling of exhaustion and shakiness you get after a grueling conditioning session is irreplaceable. I absolutely love that feeling.
Last night, I jumped on the rower.
My goal was to do a quick 3000 meters.
But when I hit 3000, I decided to do 4000, then 5000.
20 minutes in and I said fuck it, let’s do 10,000 meters.
By the end of it, I felt like I would fall over.
At around 8500 meters is when I really started fatiguing. The trick is to find a flow. It’s not about toughing it out, it’s about going somewhere else in your mind. It’s about absorbing the pain and letting it flow through you instead of focusing on it.
It’s a visualization technique I use. Whether it’s the rowing machine or running or swimming, I imagine the pain building up in my body when I breathe in, and then dissolving away when I breathe out.
Finally, just when I thought I couldn’t do anymore, I hit 10,000 meters.
I woke up this morning and immediately felt the soreness in my legs and in my upper back.
There are entire schools of thought in the fitness world that are against intense cardio and conditioning. There are some downsides to it. It can cause injuries, it will deteriorate muscle growth.
So then what’s the upside?
For me? I think cardio is important because it forces me to suffer.
Weight lifters think they’re in shape until you ask them to work through 130 BPM heart rate. There’s an element of mental toughness and emotional fortitude that is necessary to keep going when your heart feels like it’s going to explode out of your chest.
I need to add cardio into my workouts because I like knowing I am capable of doing something that 99% of the population can’t do.
I like knowing that when the zombies come, you’ll get eaten before I do.