There is a recent fad in the fitness world. The fad is toward fitness without a purpose. The thought is people don’t like to work out, so let’s make it a dance or a “canned” routine. Using a choreographed routine is not a terrible idea, but it lacks a physiological purpose.
We all need a push to get us off the couch. But this is only a first step approach. This type of approach is like how you start a child eating. When we start infants off eating we begin with bland soft food, something to get them started. Then we progress them to food with more sustenance, solid food to give them the blocks to build upon.
This is the same way with fitness, if you have joined a dance, spin or other routine, great for you! But this is the first step, soft food, now you need to move toward building your structure, solid food.
Just having a routine that is based on a cardio activity doesn’t take full advantage of the bodies’ cardio system. When we do cardio activity it is only one part of the fluid flow system.
The arterial system has a pump (the heart) that pushes blood out to the extremities. The heart needs to have the blood available to be able to send it to the extremities. As the blood pumps out it has no way of getting back to the heart without something called venous return.
The venous system is made up of veins which have thousands of one way valves along their length. As muscles contract they squeeze the veins and push the blood through these valves. As the muscles relax the blood flows back against these valves which shut against the blood and keep it flowing in the one way direction back to the heart.
If a program doesn’t work on the strength of these extremity muscles that squeeze the veins and move the blood back to the heart, the cardiac output is decreased and your cardio program stalls. Venous return must have these hundreds of muscle “pumps” performing to their fullest to get the blood back to the heart.
A program that just works on cardio activity will not advance if the muscular system is not developed equal to the demands of the cardiac output. Plain and simple dance, spin, do the “hoochie coo” but don’t add strength training to your program and sooner or later you will go now where fast!!