Born to Walk (or Sprint) NOT Run

Ask any rehabilitation specialist (physio, chiro, masseuse), and they’ll tell you how detrimental chronic repetitive movements can be on muscles, joints, bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. At first glance, moderate intensity endurance exercise may seem like it’s easier on the body than weight training, or interval training, but it’s not.  The same consistent impact for hours at a time, causes hip pain, knee pain, or ankle pain, and becomes arthritis and tendonitis over time. What’s worse, is that individuals doing this as a ‘weight loss’ strategy, are generally putting higher loads on their joints and ligaments.

Interestingly, recent findings provide evidence that the earliest form of human was not designed to run because the conical shape of the ribcage made it difficult for them to swing their arms.

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“They probably couldn’t run over longer distances, especially as they were unable to swing their arms, which saves energy.”

Even when hunter-gatherers developed organized hunting, they relied on their brains and other resources to track and trap animals (not chase them around for 3hrs!).  Furthermore, one could argue that when food was scarce (the reason to hunt), the last thing they’d want to do is burn all of their stored energy for the ‘potential’ of catching something.

What a GINORMOUS waste of energy that would be if the hunt was unsuccessful!

Or we could forget about the hunter-gatherers for a second and take a look at children playing outside with no constraints. You’ll notice they go hard for short bursts, recover by walking or moving slow, and then ramp it up again. And if you don’t feel like observing it yourself, science has done it for you, producing a study showing that children playing don’t move consistently at a constant speed, they unknowingly exercise in intervals.

Either way, running for distance as a consistent form of exercise is extremely unnatural, and looking at the medical records of most Cardio Kings, it’s not surprising that they’re frequently injured.  The irony in the term ‘stress fracture’ is almost laughable, when you consider the excess cortisol and oxidative stress one can expect from chronic aerobic exercise.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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