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Top Cardio For Muscle Building

What is the role of cardio in muscle building?

Any old time stalwart, when asked, will tell you that cardio is a waste of time. However, this is not true.

There are two important roles played by cardio in muscle building.

1) Muscle building cardio warm-up.

The best way to warm up before lifting weights is a five-minute light cardio session. In addition to increasing your body’s core temperature, it also warms up your arms and legs so that they are ready to take on the onslaught of pumping iron without being prone to injury.

Running, spot jogging, using a stair climber or elliptical trainer, or cycling are some of the forms of cardio that you can do. Cardio prepares your body for the weight training session by raising your heart rate, ensuring that adequate blood is pumped throughout your entire body.

2) Muscle building cardio for definition.

Cardio only plays a role during the warm up session of your exercise, and not otherwise, if your goal is only to increase strength and build muscle volume. However, a combination of high intensity cardio and weight training is required if you want to get ripped muscles and six pack abs.

I’ve seen this so many times in gyms around the country. People start going to a gym because they want to get the ripped physique of their favorite movie star. While they pump iron for months and get bigger and stronger, the definition that they are looking for continues to elude them. You need to include muscle building cardio in your workout if you want well-defined muscles. So would you choose muscle building cardio that comprises of a long, leisurely run through that park or 45-minutes on the treadmill every alternate day?

None of them.

High intensity, low interval cardio is the only one form of muscle building cardio that can get you serious definition with a ripped look and washboard abs.

That’s right; running on the treadmill for hours is not what you need to do. Muscle building cardio, just like weight training, needs to be brutally intense and short for it to be truly effective.

Now that we know the type of cardio that you need to do, let’s move on to how often and when.

A high intensity cardio soon after a weight training session can help to burn maximum fat, as shown by studies. Not having to schedule time for exercises on your off days is another advantage of doing cardio just after your weight training session.

In fact, by adding some standalone muscle building cardio on your off days, you can even maximize your fat loss. It is a good idea to start slow if you’ve previously never done high intensity muscle building cardio. Slow does not mean you reduce the intensity; it means that you need to reduce the number of days in a week that you do this.

Trust me, high intensity muscle building cardio is not the easiest of things to do. Your muscles will burn, your eyes will water, and it will leave you panting for breath. But be persistent, and you will eventually start to see the muscles beneath as the fat dissolves.

Visit the website below for additional information on muscle building cardio training….

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Bodybuilding Cardio Secrets – How To Get Shredded Fast!

As advanced bodybuilders approach a bodybuilding competition, cardio becomes more and more important. While there are always those blessed with spectacular genetics that don’t need to do any cardio, they are few and far between. The rest of us require 30 to 90 minutes, 5 or 6 days per week, in order to shed enough body fat for our muscles to look their best onstage. Calories can only be dropped so far if you wish to retain muscle mass. Supplements such as ECA (ephedrine/caffeine/aspirin stacks) help as well. But when it comes down to it, cardio is what sheds the body fat.

Cardio should be completed first thing in the morning, for up to 45 minutes. Doing it BEFORE eating any food will ensure the body uses stored body fat, not food in the body, for energy. Cardio should be performed at a moderate rate, limited to 70% heart rate capacity at the very highest. The bodybuilders should do up to 45 minutes of cardio maximum. After that, the body begins using muscle stores for energy, and the exercise quickly becomes very counterproductive. Remember – when the clock hits 45 minutes, walk away from the machine!

For those with slower metabolisms and higher bodyweights, a second round of cardio training might be required in the afternoon or evening, directly following training. This cardio session can last up to one hour. As it is done upon the completion of weight training, the body has likely utilized any food present during the weight training session. At this point, as no food is available, the body will use stored body fat for energy during this cardio session.

Advanced bodybuilders often engage in split weight training session as well. For example, the bodybuilder will train chest in the AM, then triceps in the PM. This kind of training allows the athlete to better isolate body parts and give each body part a better workout. At the same time, however, it does interfere with multiple cardio sessions. It’s very hard for the body to recover from two weight sessions and two cardio sessions in the same day. Bodybuilders in pre-contest mode would be best served by limiting weight-training sessions to one daily, when engaging in multiple daily cardio sessions.

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Burn More Fat – Walking For Weight Loss – Cardio Workouts

Hmmm…walking for weight loss?  No, I’m not talking about a leisure stroll around the neighborhood, parking further from the mall entrance or taking the stairs instead of the elevator (while those are all great ways to increase your daily activity).  No, I’m talking about getting that heart rate up, getting out of your comfort zone and getting results, all the while taking advantage of the fact that walking is low impact and anyone can do it.  How to get the most out of your walking for weight loss workouts…

     

  1. Re-Program your Brain: We have been programmed to believe that long sessions of slow, steady pace cardio in the “fat burning zone” are the best way to get results.  This couldn’t be the furthest from the truth.  While your body does pull from sugar store during more intense training, it doesn’t mean your are burning less fat.  Our bodies actually adapt to these long cardio sessions and end up conserving energy and, therefore, burn less calories.  Bottom line, the theory behind the “fat burning zone” has been completely misunderstood and is totally outdated. This brings me to number two…
  2. Harness the “After Burn”: The “After Burn” is a result of your body’s efforts to try and restore itself after an intense workout.  Research shows that your metabolism can stay elevated for as long as 24 hours after an intense bout of interval training.  Yes, unlike steady pace cardio, your body will continue to burn calories even when you’re snoozing. 
  3. Incorporating Interval Training is the Key: By intervals, I mean regular bursts of intensity followed by periods of recovery for 20-30 minutes. There are all kinds of ways to incorporate intervals into your walking for weight loss workouts.  The simplest way is to (after a 5 minute warm up) increase your pace for 30 seconds, recover for 90 seconds and repeat 7-10 times.  It is that simple.  You can do that on a treadmill, on a track, or around the neighborhood. The key is getting out of your comfort zone for those 30 seconds.  It should be difficult to carry on a conversation during that time period.  Treadmill example: walk at a 3.7 for 30 seconds and recover at 3.2 for 90 seconds.
  4. Other Interval Options: Using a treadmill?  Don’t be afraid to incorporate hills as your intervals.  This is a great way to mix it up.  Walk at 5 incline for 30 seconds, recover at a 1 incline for 90 seconds.  Maintain the same pace for both inclines (try a 3.0-3.2 speed).  Again, getting your heart rate up is the key.  So, you can play with the inclines and the pace to meet your fitness level.

Remember, it is all about the numbers.  Calories in vs. Calories out will determine your weight loss.  So, get the most out of your walking for weight loss workouts.  You will get the most bang for your buck and burn more calories by incorporating intervals into your walking workouts.  Added bonus, you’ll spend less time working out and get faster results.  Can’t beat that!

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2 Explosive Super Intense Cardio Drills For You!

Real cardio workouts are intense cardio workouts, period. Now there is nothing wrong with walking or jogging, but if you are wanting to speed up the progress of your overall conditioning and physical appearance then you have to dial up the intensity. This is why I have included 2 explosive and hard hitting cardio drills in this article for you to slam the door on the old treadmill cardio workouts. Read and apply!

Intense Cardio Drills!

1. Squat Jumps: One way to speed up your metabolism and total body conditioning is to engage in squat jumps. This body weight drill is highly effective in conditioning your body to execute intense intervals of short burst work while keeping strict management on your recovery time. Additional loading can be done, but is not necessary.

To execute this intense cardio drill simply stand with your feet at about shoulder width distance apart in length. From here initiate a counter-movement with your arms by swinging them back with your hips as you descend into the base of the squat. This squat movement should be quick and powerful. As soon as you reach the base of the squat you will then want to explosively extend at your hips, knees, and ankles with enough force to elevate your body off of the ground. As you force your body up bring your arms forward to assist your body in extending in the process. Make sure to land heel to toe and to flex at the hips, knees, and ankles in order to set yourself up for the next immediate jump! Perform all jumps in continuous succession.

2. Cycled Split Squat Jumps: This is another plyometric drill that will give you a tremendous cardio workout routine. For this drill you will want to start from a lunge position. Now the key to this explosive cardio exercise is to maintain body control and balance while performing a very dynamic movement.

From the lunge position you are going to explosively extend and jump off of your front leg and switch your legs in mid air to reverse their position. As you land you are going to land in the same position as you started which is from the lunge. Now the key here is to keep your jumps moving in a constant pace or cycle. You should cycle the lunge jumps back and forth maintaining your balance and position to the ground with smooth effort. This is a cardio fitness exercise that will change your workouts forever.

If you haven’t already started to implement the following 2 cardio drills into your workouts then you are missing the boat! Take the time to learn more by accessing my articles. Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart!

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Be a Fat Burning Furnace With an 18 Minute Cardio Fitness Program

The High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) technique has been around for over 10 years but has only caught on in certain circles of fitness pros that have given it a shot. HIIT is a technique that will drop your time in the gym significantly while still giving the benefits of a great workout and fat loss. If you aren’t familiar with what HIIT an example would be performing your exercise such as a stationary bike for 10 seconds at your maximum pace followed by 50 seconds at your normal pace. This cycle is repeated anywhere from 15-22 minutes depending on the setup.

Experts may argue and state that you need to spend at least 20 minutes just to get into “fat burning mode”. The problem with “experts” is that they might not be “experts” anymore while fitness science is advancing rapidly and many of them don’t stay up to date with what’s new. I put HIIT to the test a few years ago and found that it was superior for my workout needs and fitness program. I was able to do 2-3 twenty minute workouts per week along with my typically weight training and I lost fat at the same pace as doing 4-5 30-40 minute cardio sessions per week. HIIT isn’t for everyone as you should be in decent condition before attempting a HIIT workout. Someone that is moderately obese or a beginner in training will probably have a hard time with this type of session until they have got themselves into good cardio condition which then makes longer duration steady state cardio a better choice.

And why does it work? How do short intense fitness workouts end up burning as many calories as longer lasting lower intensity fitness exercise? During a HIIT workout you will be tapping into the anaerobic (without oxygen) energy systems. This means your body will be burning glycogen stores rather than fat tissue for energy. So why would you want to do HIIT? It’s the after burn you are looking for or in technical terms, it’s called “EPOC” – Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This means that your body will be using more oxygen for several hours after your workout. This equates to a much higher metabolism and is where the majority of the fat is burned.

There are many possibilities to choose from when performing a HIIT workout. Here are a few examples. I would suggest an overall time frame of 15-22 minutes depending on your level of conditioning. I also suggest at least a 5 minute warm-up prior to going right into these workouts. You’ll want your blood flowing and your body warmed up prior to going all out on these exercises.

Stationary Bike

Ride 10 seconds maximum pace – 50 seconds moderate pace

Turn up the resistance on the bike for 10 seconds to increase the difficulty

Elliptical Machine

15 seconds maximum pace – 60 seconds moderate pace

Sprints or treadmill

10 second sprint – 90 second moderate walking pace

Jump Rope

15 seconds jumping rope – 45 seconds moderate walking pace

The variations of time sprinting vs. time at a moderate pace can vary. It is suggested to switch these intervals up to keep the body guessing and to keep your workouts interesting.

These fitness workouts can be performed two to three times per week in place of steady state cardio exercises. If you are seeking fat loss it is sometimes a good plan to use both HIIT and steady state cardio fitness programs if you wish to perform several fat burning workouts per week. On my days that I train with weights I’ll usually add a 20 minute steady state cardio session after my workout. After training with weights your body will have decreased blood sugar and glycogen stores so once you start your cardio you will typically go right into fat burning. On my days that I don’t train with weights I like to do a 20 minute HIIT fitness workout.

The flexibility of HIIT allows me to do a sprinting, biking, or jump rope workout outside without having to go to the gym. If the weather is nasty and an outdoor fitness workout isn’t in the cards I go to the gym for a half hour and I am done quickly. It doesn’t require a huge time commitment to lose fat once you have implemented HIIT fitness workouts. Your fat burning will be incredibly supercharged if you add in a solid eating and nutrition plan.

If you’re looking to drop body fat or maintain a healthy weight but you don’t have hours to spend in the gym you should consider adding HIIT to your fitness solution.

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3 Intensive Cardio Workouts to Burn Stomach Fat

One of the best ways to burn stomach fat is to do cardio. However, there are many people who hours and hours of cardio each week yet get practically no results in the process. Why is that? 

The reason is that they’re doing the wrong kind of workouts. The key is to do intensive cardio workouts because they burn the most fat in as little time as possible.

So, what are some effective workouts that you can begin doing today?

1. Running – My all time favorite, running is a highly intensive cardio workout which works the entire body and burns a lot of calories in the process. To make sure that you run as effectively as possible, change your tempo every few minutes. This ensures that you’re working your body at different levels and helps to burn more fat.

2. Rowing – This is an excellent workout because it incorporates strength stimulation with cardiovascular stimulation, so you get the best of both worlds. Rowing, if done fast, is super intensive. You not only tone your back, shoulders, and arms, but also burn a lot of body and belly fat.

3. Jumping rope – I know that you may consider this a children’s game, but boxers don’t jump rope for no reason. It’s a great and quick way to burn off some calories. What I love about jumping rope is that you can do it at home, in your backyard, or anywhere where there’s some space. You don’t need a gym or a machine to do it, just an inexpensive rope. It’s great.

These workouts are great, but to burn off the most stomach fat, I recommend also doing weight training to really get the metabolism running and the fat melting. This combination of cardio and strength is the best way to really get lean.

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Gaining Weight While Doing Cardio

What we all know about cardio is that it is a type of exercise that helps burn calories leading to weight loss. That is why most people who are trying to gain weight wonder if it will be right for them to do cardio. Although this fact is generally true, there are other benefits of cardio that makes it a very important part of a healthy life. You should do some cardio while gaining weight for three important reasons.

Cardio helps in recovery

Weight and strength training are exercises that produce large amounts of by products which make recovery take longer time. The longer you train, the more byproducts the body produced naturally. On the other hand cardio helps reduce recovery time. That is why those training for weight should do cardio to reduce the recovery time between training days. Cardio leads to an increase in circulation helping to remove byproducts that create problems during recovery.

Muscle gain is leaner with cardio

There is no doubt that when people gain muscle, they necessarily gain some fat in addition. It is only a very few people who are exempt from this. Naturally, a third of the muscles people gain is made of fat. By following a well planned nutritional plan and doing cardio, the amount of fat that accompanies muscle gain can be reduced appreciably. This helps a lot when it comes to putting the muscles in shape. Losing fat leads to leaner muscles which are more sustainable than fatty ones. Cardio is what makes this possible.

Cardio ensure general fitness

It is possible to gain muscle and still remain unfit, and there is nothing worse than that. There are some well built people who are constantly gasping for breath when they do simple physical activities such as climbing the stairs. This is because they forget that the heart is also a muscle that needs to be trained to be healthy too. Cardio simply means cardiovascular exercise which has the primary aim of keeping the heart healthy and in good condition. A well built body without a healthy heart cannot survive.

Finally, the issue with cardio and weight gain is how intensely it is done. Doing high intensity cardio over very long periods will lead to depletion of calories needed for building muscles. What is recommended is about 20 to 30 minutes of cardio two times a week. That should help keep the whole body fit. There should be a good balance between weight training and cardio.

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In-Line Skating For Cardiovascular Fitness

If you find walking and running boring, then you may enjoy in-line skating as a way to get physically fit. Instead of running in straight lines skating allows you to turn, glide, curve, sprint and spin. Because of the varied muscle movements required to skate, you will find that it works your legs, hips and rear end very well. Since in-line skating is a great cardiovascular workout it is also a great way to burn calories.

Here are a few tips for beginning in-line skaters:

  • To maintain balance keep your hands in front of your body with your elbows in, your forearms straight ahead of you, and your palms down.
  • If you start to lose your balance you should crouch lower.
  • If the surface you are skating on suddenly changes to a different type of surface you should run on your skates instead of trying to stop quickly.
  • The proper skating position will have you been in your knees as if you are about to take a seat. You will keep your weight on your back wheel and push off with your heels.
  • You should practice maintaining your balance by walking on your skates on a soft surface such as carpet or grass.
  • You should also practice braking is this a difficult maneuver for beginners to learn. To slow yourself properly you should lean forward from your waist, tilt the braking skate up, and exert pressure on your heel pad while trying to maintain balance.
  • If you are skating near traffic you should always skate with traffic not against it. Even though you are on skates you must abide by the same traffic rules as cars.
  • You should not hold anything in your hands while you are skating. It is a natural reaction to try to save what you are holding instead of protecting your body if you fall.

What equipment should you purchase in order to incorporate in-line skating into your overall physical fitness program?

Essential gear for in-line skating should include a pair of quality in-line skates, a protective helmet made specifically for in-line skating, wrist guards, knee guards and elbow guards.

You should try on several pairs of skates before you purchase a pair. A good pair of skates will not be cheap therefore you want to make sure that the pair you purchase fit very well, are comfortable and safe. You should wear any pair of skates for at least 10 minutes and make sure to tilt your feet inward and outward to simulate a skating motion before you purchase them. This will help ensure that the skates fit your feet properly which will help prevent blisters as well as give you more control when you need to stop.

Purchasing a quality pair of skates and safety equipment will go a long way towards making in-line skating an enjoyable activity. The more enjoyment you get from in-line skating the more likely you are to continue your workouts and achieve physical fitness. In-line skating may also be performed indoors or outdoors allowing you to continue your exercise program regardless of the weather.

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Cardio Workouts – High-Intensity Vs Low Intensity

The warmer months are almost on us and it is time to start getting trim and proper for the sun drenched days ahead. It is about this time that people start heading to the gym and start doing long grinding cardio workouts. But what you may not know is that long cardio workouts are not necessarily the best use of your time.

Long-duration cardio has a number of disadvantages. Firstly, you are subjecting your body to stress for long period of time and this can lead to stress related injuries. Secondly, in order to exercise for such a long period you have to keep the intensity low. This means that getting any results from your workouts can be slow and often, they don’t materialize at all.

High-intensity cardio focuses on doing more in less time. This means that you can achieve your fitness results more quicker. And in our busy lives, how doesn’t want to be able to achieve better fitness results faster? High-intensity focuses on doing short-distance at bursts of near-maximal effort. You then catch your breath and start again. You will find that you will be exhausted in a shorter period of time and you will getter fitter quicker in the weeks and months ahead.

Examples of High-Intensity Cardio

Cycling: do a light warm up of 3 minutes to start. Then do 12 second sets as fast as you can followed by 10 seconds of going slow. Finish with a 3 minute cool down.

Sprints: do a light warm up for 5 minutes. Sprint 30 meters and rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 10 sets. Have a rest then repeat for two blocks of 10 sets. Increase the speed and distance as you get fitter.

Skipping: warm up for 3 minutes. Do as many skips as you can for 1 minute and then rest for thirty seconds. Rest for 1 minute and then repeat 15 times.

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High Intensity Interval Training Vs Slow Cardio Workouts – A Guide to Choosing the Finest Option

Gone are the days when Cardio used to mean countless hours of work-outs, runs and jogs. Welcome to the new age approach to cardio that offers not only better benefits but also takes a much shorter duration to relieve you off your excessive body fat. For anyone aspiring to take their body to a new level of fitness, it is essential to understand the importance of including interval training in your regime. Intertwining intense work out phases with brief interludes for revival ensures that you burn enough fat to transform your body and give it the fitness level you desire.

If you are still the type to prefer long drawn out cardio workouts, here is a guide on why HIIT might be a superior system to achieve your fitness goals.

HIIT – The fine points

A HIIT usually involves few initial workouts for warm up and that is followed by a series of intense exercises for short durations. These high intensity workout sessions are immediately followed by a period of rejuvenation with moderate intensity workouts which again is followed by a series of low intensity exercises. The moderate intensity workouts are generally done at half the intensity with a medium number of replications. That is, one can go for 30 seconds of intense sprinting followed by another minute of jogging or walking or any other form of workouts of lower intensity. Since the whole session lasts for a maximum of 30 minutes, it is a highly efficient technique that can be completed in quick time.

HIIT – The Gains

Tabata, Timmons, Gibala, or the Peter Coe regimen, whatever the type, these workouts that last anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes have a wide range of benefits.

Heightens Metabolism

The beauty of HIIT is that it helps you enhance the total amount of fat burnt, in quicker time. Since the intensity of workouts is higher, it translates to a much longer duration of exercises and consequently an increase in the overall amount of fat burnt. A Higher intensity workout reduces the amount of oxygen taken in by your body. This deficiency causes your body to consume more oxygen post the workout sessions as a result of which the metabolism is substantially amplified. So you end up burning fat even after the sessions are over for the next 24 hours at least. Professionally this is called an EPOC or the Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption.

Improves glucose tolerance and decreases aging

HIIT ensures that your body muscles take up the responsibility of absorbing Insulin thus preventing the increase of blood glucose and assuring an enhanced Glucose tolerance level. With the increased burning of fat, the aging process slows down and you get to maintain a form that is much younger and healthier.

Helps stay lean without losing muscle

Dieting might ensure that you become lean but only at the cost of losing significant muscle mass. Dieting causes you to drop muscle along with the fat and to regain the lost muscle mass becomes another headache altogether. HIIT provides the perfect answer to that problem by ensuring that you retain your muscles while burning the excessive fat from your body. Through HIIT you tend to burn fat not from your muscles but from the innumerable fat storehouses in the body. These high intensive workouts kindle hormones that serve to build muscles and as a result you burn fat while keeping your muscles intact.

Increased endurance and aerobic power

HIIT is also said to greatly enhance athletic performance by increasing endurance levels and speed. This is made possible by augmenting the amount of oxygen taken in by your body.

Cardiovascular benefits

The High Intensity Interval Training serves to improve the cardiovascular system. During the sessions your heart rate increases substantially which in turn improves your cardio power and fortifies your heart. Plus these intense workouts, the short revival sessions improve your capacity to get back to normalcy at a much faster rate.

Speed and Efficiency

The modern world has left little time for ensuring better health and fitness. For those of you with an extremely busy and tight schedule, HIIT is the perfect partner to bring in a high level of fitness and well being into your life. Whether you would like to workout during your office breaks or get yourself a fantastic figure before an important and key occasion, if you are restricted in time by social, familial and professional pressures, HIIT gives you the perfect weapon to win the battle against fat and bulge. A 20 minute regime, in accordance with quite a number of researches, is said to burn more fat than a low intensity, longer duration jog or workout.

A Low Intensity or steady state cardio can work for those who are pregnant or advanced in age but for those who are looking to turn their lives around within a shorter span of time, HIIT shows a great new way. Perfect for the present generation that lacks the time and access to healthier and better food habits, HIIT ensures a body that is fit, robust, lean and enduring.

Check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

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