This week’s post sees me venturing off onto exciting new territory for this blog – cardio – in response to this charming request that I received from My Muse; henceforth referred to as MM.
“Hmmmm….blogggg!!!! I await patiently for ones wise words….please….maybe based on cardio? I don’t like cardio…the thought of being stuck on something for whole 20 mins bores me to death.. 🙂 ”
I’ll be honest with you all here; your favourite Edinburgh personal trainer isn’t exactly a huge cardio fan 😀 I don’t think I’ve done any at all this year, hence the somewhat tongue in cheek title 🙂 I don’t go running for fun and neither do I have any urges to participate in mass cardio gatherings thinly disguised as long obstacle courses, fun though I am sure they are 🙂 For me cardio is currently reserved for when I am trying to lose body fat.
Cardio is fucking boring!
My policy here a Lazer Towers is that all blog requests will be honoured and receiving such a polite message from MM I don’t really think I can get away with leaving it there though so I’ll start by addressing the boredom factor 🙂
My first recommendation is quite simple. Just do it 🙂 I’ve employed this approach myself quite successfully; for my first bodybuilding show I did 45 minutes steady state, twice a day. The first session was usually a run on a treadmill, the second was a walk, just before bed – my girlfriend would drop me off 45 minutes away from home and I’d walk back 🙂 This regime was so far beyond boring it was bordering on soul destroying, but I wanted to get in good shape so I just did it anyway 🙂
You’ll now understand why 20 minutes cardio isn’t a big deal to me 🙂 20 minutes should fly by, especially if you’re doing intervals. If you’re doing ‘em right you’ll be far too busy feeling exhausted to be bored 🙂 Music helps a lot here although I don’t always use it myself 🙂 When I do Motorhead are my favourites 🙂
Just add weights!
There are other ways to make cardio interesting too; ways that don’t involve “being stuck on something for whole 20 mins” 🙂 The most exciting way I can think of is to throw weights into the mix 🙂 There are lots of creative ways to do this, the only limit is your imagination really but I’ll share some workout ideas to get you going 🙂 These are not easy by any means, but they’re not boring either 🙂
Giant Sets = Good
This is what I’d recommend MM to do. Use Giant Sets; a group of 4-6 exercises performed back to back with minimal rest between exercises for the uninitiated.
Start with the lower number of reps and build up to the higher one.
- Bodyweight Squat x 8-12
- Press Ups x 8-12
- Plank (15 secs)
- Lunges x 8-12 (4-6 each leg)
- Hip Raises x 8-12
- Burpees x 5-12
Rest for a minute and then do another Giant Set. Do 3 Giant Sets to start with and build up to as many as you can do in 20 minutes.
Including a warm up, cold down and stretch you’ve got a 45-60 minute workout that will allow you to maintain muscle mass, shape, tone and strength, burn body fat and it’s not boring 🙂
In the case of MM I’m recommending doing this routine 2-3 times a week, with no other training.
You may have noticed that I’ve included all bodyweight exercises in MM’s Giant Set. You don’t have to do this of course but I know that MM uses a very busy gym and getting hold of multiple pieces of kit might be challenging. Using bodyweight exercises solves this problem rather well 🙂
Want more variety? 🙂
I said that there were lots of ways so here’s another, courtesy of my mate Tom Robertson. Unlike me Tom actually does cardio and I watched him smashing himself in the gym with this little number recently which he later posted on his FB page as an ‘ass ‘n’ abz’ workout 🙂
- Rower: 350m steady + 150m sprint x 2 = 1000m
- Circuit x7 rounds
- Kettlebell Swing x 30 reps (10 x double hand swings + 10 single arm swings (5 each arm) + 10 x double hand swings)
- Knee Grab Sit Ups x 15
- Mountain Climbers x 30 (15 each leg)
Again this is a pretty tough workout but I challenge anyone to find it boring 🙂
So there you go MM. Hopefully this has solved your boredom issues and revitalised your workouts too. I’m actually quite pleased with how this post has turned out 🙂 If you’ve enjoyed it please press the pretty buttons 🙂 Actually please do this even if you didn’t enjoy it 🙂 Until next time …. 🙂