The next time you’re at the gym and you see someone getting their proverbial “swole on” ask them in between sets “Excuse me swell chap! I must ask, what really twiddles your knickers in this fine establishment?” and chances are they’ll respond with the following.
Cardio. I really dislike doing cardio.
For many in “Do You Even Lift Bro?” nation, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Now, it’s not true that people with monocles come up to us and speak in olde timey slang like the above, but cardio is very unpopular for the gym rats. Reason being it can eat away at your gains, and or, it’s just fucking boring. But what if I told you there was a way to get a great fat burning cardio slam in, without really wasting muscle away, and that would get your heart rate up to make you feel like a total champ? Would you do it? Gimmie your ears for two minutes and I’ll give you the world.
Before we explored the magic of the Complex. And while Complexes are dope like soap on a rope, they often will come after one body part involved will be straight wasted and you want to give that said body part some much needed rest. So what then? Well simple really.
Yes, sprinting intervals are fat burning gold. Lemme ask you a question: You’ve seen a lot of marathon runners right? They’re slender athletes, for the most part. Not the buffest you’ve ever laid eyes on though normally. But what about sprinters like Usain Bolt? The guy is a beast. And he’s a world champ. Built like a statue but able to kick everyone’s ass on the track. Same with a lot of well-built NFL wide receivers. They’re cut up, built and might as well be WWE wrestlers in their spare time. And they basically sprint when they aren’t lifting or complaining about not getting paid enough money.
I can stake a claim to this as a former long distance runner. Beings that I am a short compact ball of muscle, I’m probably not the most suited for marathons. Yet, I flipped off that stereotype and became rather good in a short amount of time. But during the training, I was unable to retain my normal amount of muscle because of the 55+ miles a week I needed to run to do well. While my legs were ripped, they were not big. And I did not have time to lift as normal because I was running 5 days a week. As soon as I stopped competing in races and went back to lifting, I brought in HIIT sprints and off I went, rebuilding my muscle and shooting back up from 156 lbs to 170 while being able to keep my body fat pretty low. High Intensity Interval Training is a real time saver, much like stereotypes are. You can get the work done in 15 minutes, and still make it home in time for The Walking Dead.
This all works because your standard cardio workouts are as simple as they come. Perform your activity at a steady, challenging-but-manageable pace (60 to 70 percent of maximal physical capacity) for 20 minutes or more, aiming for a heart rate of 120 to 150 beats per minute. HIIT workouts are more taxing and complex. You go balls out (90 to 100 percent of maximal capacity) for a brief, set time period (usually two minutes or less), then back off for a rest interval (usually three minutes or less), and repeat the cycle. While it’s physically demanding it’s really not that hard to perform.
So what is a good, no-BS workout you can do at the end of lifting to help keep the body shredded? Well I’m glad you asked chap!
Dru’s HIIT THE LIGHTS CARDIO WORKOUT:
Approach the dreaded treadmill. Come on, don’t front like you aren’t freaked out.
1) Warm-up with a light 5 minute jog. You have to. Can’t sprint cold.
2) Jack the speed up to a good pace for 30 seconds.
3) Then speed up to maximum effort for 30 seconds.
4) Repeat sequence for 5-10 rounds, whatever you can handle.
5) Cool down for a few minutes. So we lied, it might take a few minutes over 15. Sue us.
Give it a go. Even for “cardio” day it’s more effective than standing on the elliptical machine and churning through an hour. Bored inside? Find a track and do it outside. And here’s our link to some “research” since we know a few of you are big on that sort of thing.