What if I told you there is a simple way to reap all the benefits you think “static cardio” (or “treadmill hell”) gives you in a fraction of the time? Let's be honest. Cardio sucks! One of the most common things I hear in gyms (predominantly from men) is people hating on cardio! Who wants to plod along on a treadmill for half-an-hour? Or sit on a static bike that's not going anywhere? You've just finished a long day’s work, and now you find yourself in an underground room with no windows, thinking about the one-hundred-and-one stressful things that have happened in your day, while attempting to raise your heart rate because — so we've been told — “cardio is good for us” and “it burns lots of calories.” Meanwhile, in the back of your mind you ask, “will this really help me lose weight?” and “should I really be doing this when my goal is to gain muscle?”
Yes, cardio burns calories. But what if you could do something that takes a third of the time but is WAY more effective? You don't need to allocate a day to it (“today is cardio day,” YAWN). No, today is not your dinner date with the treadmill. Today is your strength today. Today is your strength day with some explosive cardio at the end of your workout so that you are not only getting stronger, you are getting fitter!
First of all, let's stop with our “steady state” cardio (the plodding along kind) because let's face it, no minute is longer than a treadmill minute. And 20-30 minutes 😳 well good luck to you, sir! After you have finished your strength workout, whatever it may be, before you stretch, you are going to do 10 minutes of explosive cardio. It will consist of four different exercises, all 30 seconds each. You will have no rest in between and you will try and get as many reps out as you can in the 30 seconds! I would suggest starting with bodyweight exercises, especially if you have just spent close to an hour doing strength work using weights. It might look something like this:
Chest to floor burpees - 30 seconds
Jumping squats - 30 seconds
Mountain climbers - 30 seconds
High knees - 30 seconds
Rest - 30 seconds
REPEAT! Do it 4 times in total.
I promise you your heart rate will rise significantly if you push yourself to the limit in each 30 second time slot! What you put in is what you get out so the faster and harder you go, the more effective it will be 😁. I won't sugarcoat it. It hurts. It's not comfortable. But you will live I promise! No pain no gain. You will do more work in less time and you won't be reversing any effects of your strength training as you will be working explosively! Though it may feel like more effort while it's happening, there no longer has to be an allocated cardio day! AND you are getting fitter and stronger, as well as getting your cardio in. Boom. Welcome to my new (but not so new) cardio revelation.