Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cardio is DEAD!

Guest blog from Jim "Smitty" Smith from the Diesel Crew.

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
  • or any combination of any of these
  • many others


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