Cardio Bunnies

by Jennifer Boudreau on August 20, 2013

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People in sport gym on treadmill runningBack in my personal training days, I remember my boss referring to cardio bunnies. I was like, “what the heck is a cardio bunny?” It was a cute title, but I had no idea what one was. According to Urban Dictionary, a cardio bunny is “a fine female specimen found near elliptical, treadmill, stair-stepper, or other calorie burning equipment, usually finely attired in roll-up shorts, sorostitute mixer shirts, and nike shox.” Funny definition, but in summary, a cardio bunny is someone who is at the gym to look cute and in addition, does too much cardio and not enough strength training.

Now, I could care less if someone is trying to look cute at the gym. To each their own. However, I do want to focus on the excessive cardio part. Fortunately, I was taught early on in my fitness life that not incorporating strength training is a bad, bad choice.  As a matter of fact, my boss flat out told me, “women who do cardio look great in clothes, but women who use weights look amazing naked.” It is possible to be “skinny fat”, which means you can be thin but not firm. I personally feel anyone who is exercising should be commended, but if you’re going to exercise, you may as well maximize your time to get the most bang for your buck, right?

Don’t get me wrong, there are perks to regular, moderate cardio. According to an article by Shannon Clark on bodybuilding.com, my new favorite website, some benefits include: improved heart health, increased metabolism, improved hormonal profile, improved recovery and management of diabetes. Plus, it helps with creating a lean looking body, which all of us could get on board with. Cardio definitely has a place and shouldn’t be skipped, but there can be too much of a good thing.

What is the issue with too much cardio? It can put your body in a catabolic state and start eating away at your hard earned muscle. Not good, especially if you aren’t currently adding muscle with strength training. This will slow down your metabolism. If you’re like me, you need all the help you can get in the metabolism department, which is one reason why strength training is so important. It has anti-gravity effects and creates more lean muscle which literally turns your body in to a fat burning machine. It is the fastest and easiest way to improve your shape, especially if you combine it with a clean eating diet.

How much cardio and weight training you do truly depends on your goals, body type and form of cardio you’re doing (HIIT, long distance running, etc.). A good rule of thumb is to typically incorporate weight training 3-4 times per week. Doing more than 60 minutes of cardio is typically pointless for the reasons I mentioned above, unless you’re training for an event such as a marathon. I have found bodybuilding.com to be a GREAT resource for workout advice based on my needs. If you need some guidance, I suggest you poke around their website. It isn’t just for body builders!

Good luck with whichever workout program you choose! If you currently don’t exercise, please be sure to ease in to a program. Stop by any chiropractor’s office and they’ll tell you that jumping into an intense workout program right out of the gates is NOT a good choice.

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