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In the world of fitness, opinions about the necessity of cardio workouts are as diverse as the exercises themselves. Some people swear by the high of a heart-pounding run or a sweaty spin class, while others prefer the controlled intensity of weightlifting or yoga. So, the question that needs to be asked: Is cardio truly essential for a good workout?

Let’s debunk this myth once and for all.

What is a Good Workout?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the concept of a “good workout” is subjective to each individual person, preference, and physical condition. For someone aiming to improve cardiovascular health, drop a couple extra pounds, or boost endurance, incorporating cardio into their routine might indeed be beneficial. However, for others focusing on muscle gain, strength development, or flexibility, traditional cardio exercises may not be the most effective or enjoyable choice.

It’s also worth noting that cardio isn’t the only way to elevate heart rate and burn calories. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training, for instance, combine strength exercises with bursts of intense cardio, offering a time-efficient and varied approach to fitness. Moreover, activities like swimming, dancing, or even brisk walking can provide cardiovascular benefits without sticking strictly to conventional cardio workouts. Our approach here at Embody is unique in that we incorporate conditioning into our strength training sessions. By listening to each individual’s goals we cater workouts to achieve their goals whether they are to shed some pounds or build some muscle. Sign up for a consultation with us today or email us at for more information.

When is Cardio Too Much?

Something else to consider is the potential drawbacks of too much cardio. Prolonged endurance training without adequate rest can lead to overuse injuries, muscle imbalances, and burnout. Also, excessive cardio may interfere with muscle recovery and growth, getting in the way of progress for those aiming to build strength or sculpt their physique.

When do you know if you are doing too much cardio? Listen to your body. If you are feeling extra tired, exhausted, unmotivated, or getting injured a lot, these are signs to slow down and rest. If your body is feeling great with the level of cardio you are doing, make sure you are eating enough to support your conditioning as this type of training exerts a lot of energy.


Ultimately, the key to a “good workout” lies in balance and variety. A well-rounded fitness routine should have elements of strength, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, and mobility. By diversifying workouts and incorporating different ways to move, individuals can maximize results while minimizing the risk of overtraining or complacency.

Moreover, listening to your body and honoring its needs is key. If cardio feels like a chore or becomes uncomfortable, it’s completely okay to explore alternative forms of exercise that align better with your personal preferences and goals.So while cardio definitely has its place in many fitness regimens, it is by no means mandatory for a good workout. The importance of individualization, enjoyment, and balance cannot be pushed enough when making an effective exercise routine. So, whether you’re pounding the pavement or pumping iron, prioritize what feels right for you, and reap the rewards of a holistic approach to fitness. If you are looking at taking the next step in your fitness journey and are looking for that holistic approach, we are here for you in taking that step. Sign up for a consultation with us today or email us at for more information and let us help you work towards and achieve those fitness goals!

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