By Kalle Beck
Recently, I made a video about how Strongman competitors and strength athletes should do more low intensity steady state cardio. I did this because I see the question asked frequently, and judging from the answers, most people either give suggestions which are not LISS cardio or they mock the idea of cardio all together. This is because when you can deadlift 700lbs, but can’t run ½ a mile, it is embarrassing. So, it is easier to devalue it than admit you have a weakness.
I notice this because I have made the same mistake. I have always been bad at “cardio”, so I neglected it. I would do stuff like Farmers Walk EMOMS that raised my heart rate and made me sweat because I was good at them, but they are not the same thing.
You are probably sick of hearing me talk about cardio so I will give another example.
The Strict Press.
I was reading client feedback on their workout today, and they mentioned they would never do strict pressing before because they were embarrassed of how low of a weight they had to use.
This really struck a chord with me because I used to do the same thing. I would never strict press because I had to use under 100lbs for working sets. I would push press and jerk because then I could do “real weights” my overhead also stalled. Once I put my pride aside and started by doing sets of 12 with 65lbs on the bar, I eventually got up to pressing 1.5x my bodyweight strict and doing sets of 12 with what used to be my max jerk.
This took years to accomplish, but what if I never addressed my weakness and stopped trying to hide it? Would have I ever got as strong at Log Press as I did? Probably not.
The same goes for my cardio. I am awful at it, but just by incorporating 1-2 light jogs a week and daily walks my resting heart rate has went down over 10 points, and my recovery in between workouts is better.
Oh and an update to my client. She said since starting the program she is finally starting to feel strong in her strict presses.
Don’t mask your weaknesses, address them.
Kalle Beck has been competing in strongman competitions Since 2007, he founded Starting Strongman in 2014 and is available for Online Coaching
With highlights including 2012 California’s Strongest Man, 2012 Washington’s Strongest Apple, Multiple top 10 finishes at Nationals and 6th place at the 2013 Arnold World Championships. Best lifts include a 600lb deadlift, 505lb back squat and a 290lb log press.