“Forever” Cardio? How bout nope.
I’ve never been a big fan of the hamster wheel known as “the treadmill” or “the elliptical”. I’m as big of a fan of it as I am of awful indie rock. While the topic of awful indie could easily fill up this blog for the next three days, “Awful Indie Rock Fitness” is not the topic today. Thankfully.
I’ll just put this out there that cardiovascular training is something I recommend. Of course. Don’t think this is some kind of an “anti” stance on the matter. Cardio has its benefits. It’s the type of cardio we’re talking about here. If you have bad knees and need an elliptical machine, in no way am I’m giving you a hard time for using it. But what if there was another option that hasn’t been touched upon that could be useful to you? Interested? “Tell me more Dru!”
If you’re not a complete Metal Made Fitness gym rat like some of us YET…that’s ok. I’m going to let you in on something. Not maximizing your time while doing cardio is a waste of your time. You could do chores in your home for an hour and get a better workout. You probably should. Your floors need vacuuming.
It’s really dependent on what your fitness goals are here. So let’s clear that up. If you are a marathon runner, you have to run all the time. Are you a cyclist? Then you’re spending a lot of time on the bike. This is how you get the endurance you need for your particular craft. It makes sense. But what if you’re a gal or guy who wants to keep the body they’ve worked hard for, stay strong but still have the endurance to go anywhere, do anything without a huge block of time to commit to constant cardio sessions? A lot of you have lives after all that don’t allow more than 60 minutes at the gym a day, or even less. You might work two jobs, or go to school or have a family…by the way, your kid is sticking a penny in an electrical socket while you read this…go tend to him really fast.
So what is good option then? Let me ask you…do you have a COMPLEX?
You probably do. But that isn’t what I meant. A Complex in regards to athletic training is a series of exercises you perform non-stop, much like a circuit. Except with this, you have one piece of equipment and that’s it. And the weight doesn’t hit the ground until the series is done.
You have one set weight amount. And you can bust this all out in around 12 minutes. Not an hour. Not 45 minutes. 12.
“The fuck you say!” Yes. The fuck I say. You take up barely any space doing this too.
It’s an amazing way to keep your strength and increase your cardiovascular capabilities. And save time. It’s literally a quadruple win here. Space saving. Time Saving. Muscle saving. Body fat? Get the fuck out.
How it’s done:
1) As with anything else, warm up a little bit and stretch because the last thing you want when kicking your own ass is to kick your own ass in the first minute to where you can’t walk for a month. Safety first kids!
2) Grab a barbell or plate. Make sure the weight is the heaviest weight you can use on the weakest movement of the complex. As in, if you’re doing a shoulder press along with lower body movements, make sure you can effectively (and safely) press the weight over your head during all the movements.
3) So here you go. Do the full set, rest 60 seconds and repeat 2-4 more times. Remember! Do them all in a row without setting the weight down. Because you’re METAL enough to do this. Promise.
Featured Set (10 reps each):
Deadlifts to Upright Row
Squat to Shoulder Press
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.
After you’re done with this, there is a slight chance you will think you’ll need to be rushed to the emergency room. But that’s the point. This involves pushing yourself to your own personal limits for a short amount of time. If you know your limits, push yourself to them with this and get all the benefits. You can also create your own Complex drills. Just pick 6-8 exercises you can do with the barbell or plate, and make sure the flow of everything makes sense. And get to it. It’s the concept that has to be in place, so if you’re thinking you’ll forget your complex while in the middle of kicking your own ass, I would highly recommend printing out the list and putting it on the floor in front of you so you don’t have to stop at all.
If you want to enhance your anaerobic endurance, or if you’re short on time and want to burn as much fat as possible, use complexes. Do not lollygag on these. I want you to kick your own ass as much as possible here. Much like tabada drills, it’s about doing the max amount of work while working.
This is a great way to be able to keep all the strength gains you’ve been making, increase your work capacity and over all conditioning, and melt body fat off your frame. So write up your own drills, and go give it a shot.