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Cardio is DEAD

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Cardio is Dead!

I was going to start this post with that one picture.  You know the one I’m talking about.  That really obese chick with the leopard bikini walking on a treadmill.  Oh the sweet, sweet memories.

But I figured I would tone it down a notch and just talk about the reason “cardio is dead”.

Most of you are informed but some are not.

When people talk about “cardio” they are typically referring to cardio for fat loss.  This cardio for fat loss is usually low intensity efforts for a long duration on the treadmill, elliptical or stepper.

This very concept is counter-intuitive and counter-productive.

When performing low intensity cardio on a treadmill you are burning calories.  That is true.  But, the amount of these calories and the metabolic disturbance is dependent upon the effort.  Which means that we are burning a few calories and this happens during the session.   The “metabolic disruption” is very minimal, ie. our post-workout metabolism has not increased.

We want a solution that not only burns a great number of calories during the training session, but also increases our metabolism for many hours AFTER the workout (EPOC, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption).  In fact, if you train again within this elevated metabolic window, the benefits are even further enhanced.

There are many alternatives for turning on EPOC, for this article we’ll show you High Intensity Resistance Training.  If you think about linking different (typically non-competing) resistance training movements into a circuit, then you have the idea.

What Equipment Do You Need?

The cool thing is NONE!  Use your own bodyweight and link the movements.  Here are just some off the top of my head.

  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Squat Jumps
  • Pull-ups
  • Burpees
  • Burpees into Pull-ups

If you want to make them harder, put on a weighted bookbag with some books in it!

What Equipment CAN I Use?

Everything and anything you want.  You could use anything that adds resistance to strength training movement patterns:

  • sandbags
  • dumbbells
  • bag of dirty laundry
  • barbells
  • bodyweight
  • machines
  • bear cubs
  • kettlebells
  • rocks
  • tires
  • roadkill
  • prowler
  • elastic bands
  • or any combination of any of these
  • many others

Did you know that AMD has a fat loss component?  Of course, it is a complete system!  Check it out here.

movarrowLeave your favorite “end of the workout” finisher in the comments!

High Intensity Resistance Training

Circuit 1
Knee Circles, 10 each way
Heavy Bag Squats, 5 each side
Jump Rope, 50 speed

REPEAT 3 TIMES

Circuit 2
HB Squat to Lunge, 5 each side
Heavy Bag Throws, 5 each way
Jump Rope, 50 speed

REPEAT 3 TIMES

Circuit 3
DB Rows, 5-10 each side
Chain Curls, 6-8 reps
DB Tates, 12-15 reps
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions, 10-15 reps
Barbell Shrugs, 10-12 reps
Push-ups, 10 + or *AMAP

REPEAT 1 TIME

* AMAP – As Many As Possible

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6 Responses to “Cardio is DEAD”

  1. Scott Brady Says:

    Great video. Never seen the knee circles before; def gonna try that myself and on my clients. Enjoyed the bag work, esp throws and squats to lunge.

    Thanks for the great info you share so often.

    Cheers

    Scott

  2. Josh Says:

    Nice vid Smitty!
    I love either sledgehammer tire slams or sled dragging post workout myself (depending if it was an upper body or lower body workout).
    -Josh

  3. Coach mike Says:

    My wrestlers love our bear crawl/sand bag shouldering intervals! Great video!

  4. Mike T Nelson Says:

    I agree that for most athletes, higher intensity work for
    “cardio” is the way to go.

    Not sure I want to watch the opening swiss ball scene again though! hahaha

    One of my fav routines for CRF (cardiorespiratory fitness) aka cardio is
    http://extremehumanperformance.com/blog/saturday-strongman-training-in-white-bear-lake-minnesota/

    Shameless plug I know.

    Rock on!!
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  5. Bill Jones Says:

    Love the post. Always hated “traditional cardio”! This is the way we train every time…especially since my joints aren’t as good as they used to be!

  6. D-Rock Wilson Says:

    there are some great ideas in this issue as always Smitty. Man, I am really lookin forward to that knee rehab video! I just arthroscopic on the left one Friday and should be up and around soon

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