Going to the gym and trudging away on the treadmill or staring at a tv while whirling away on an elliptical kind of suck. Call me crazy, but in the attempt to do either I find the boredom and miserable-ness of each to win out on any sad attempt.
Pile on top of the boredom the fact that they are not the most effective exercises for conditioning, staying injury free, and building a bad-ass body!
For the best results you need to go hard for shorter durations (HIIT) and go easy (walk). Nothing in the middle. There are two main problems with these medium intensity- steady state workouts:
1. They can actually cause fat storage
When you do long duration steady state cardio like jogging your body starts to pump the stress hormone, cortisol. This is why a lot of women gain fat when they start doing a lot of cardio, joggingc and burpee fests.(Study)
Cortisol is a hormone most people are already too high in and gives the body a tendency towards storing fat on your stomach.(Study)
2. Higher risk for overuse injuries
The constant, repetive movement for long periods place a lot of stress on the same joints, tendons, and ligaments day after day.
Over time, your body breaks down and you get achey knees, a nagging hip, and are always sore.
I want results and efficiency.
So do my clients.
Which is why over the years I have found a few conditioning exercises that you can go hard & fast on AND provide no joint impact and leave you feeling fresh for your strength workouts. Done in a high intensity interval fashion (which shortens the amount of time you have to spend doing them) these will get the job done better than any traditional cardio.
Here is the kicker....
They aren't easy.
This is why most people will choose to go to the purple gym and read a book while they do "cardio" and then wonder why they never get any results.
If you aren't scared of a little work and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone then give these 3 exercises a try:
1. Assault Air Bike
Many people call this the "Devils Tricycle". It is different from a regular bike because it provides resistance from the fan like structure. The faster you go, the harder it gets.
This makes it perfect for high intensity intervals. Also, since it is a bike there is no pounding or joint stress and is a great alternative for anyone who can't or shouldn't be sprinting/running on pavement.
2. Sled Pushing
One of our favorite exercises. It is easy to learn, doesn't beat you up, and produce results QUICK. You can push the sled around and notice improvements in your conditioning in a week or two.
This is the original exercise:
Move an object from point a to point b.
You can load it up heavy and push it with a power walk for shorter distances, keep it lighter and sprint with it, drag it, the options are endless.
Most importantly, no matter which option you choose it will leave you gasping for air.
3. Battling Ropes
The great thing about battling ropes are similiar to the sled inthe endless amounts of ways you can use them.
They are used by your upper body, which gives your lower half a break. These are great for anyone recovering from knee surgery or who has a lot of issues with your lower body.
Or in a high intensity circuit with the bike and sled to give your legs a bit of a break. :)
Big slams, little waves, alternating, different grips, rope jacks, the list goes on!
BONUS: Walk More
Walking is the most basic, human form of exercise there is. Many people do not do enough of it. Walking will help improve your recovery inbetween weight training sessions and hard HIIT workouts.
Walking also gets you outside breathing in some fresh air and getting sunlight. Try and get 10,00 steps a day or at least plan on trying to do a 30-60 min walk on off days.
P.S. If you don't have access to a lot of these implements and/or are not sure how to use them then contact us at the gym or fill out an application and we would love to let you try out our program which has all these exercises worked into the workouts in a fun and motivating atmosphere.