Over the last 40 years, since fitness training has become organized, exercise has been classified as either a 'cardio' or 'strength training' exercise. Even today, we see this segregation in a typical commercial gym, . The 'cardio' equipment is clustered together (usually facing multiple televisions), while the 'strength training' equipment is in another part. Interestingly, many people will choose one modality over the other, as they think they are simply choosing between burning fat or building muscle.
In my opinion, classifying exercise as either 'cardio' or 'strength training' is flawed. It is based on a reductionistic view of exercise and fitness. While this model has served many recreational exercisers and athletes over the years it is simplistic and limited. We need a new, improved model that takes a wider view of the physiological impact of exercise on our entire body, in order to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and appeal of our training techniques and programs.
In a new series of posts, I am going to cover this topic more thoroughly, including:
- Examples of why the Cardio-Strength Training classification is not only flawed, but contributes to less safe and less effective exercise training for the average Joe and for athletes.
- Introduction of my new model for exercise classification, The Movement Continuum Theory.
- Application of the Movement Continuum Theory and answers to your questions.