Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

I’m stating the obvious when I say the vast majority don’t pay close enough attention to their cardiovascular health. Its importance gets lost in the pursuit of becoming bigger, leaner, and stronger.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but we need to appreciate that possessing a sufficient level of physical preparedness can yield a lot of benefits.

Being strong is one thing, but if walking up a flight of stairs leaves you panting, you have some work to do. You don’t want your conditioning to be the limiting factor.

To read the full article on STACKclick HERE.

>>The 4 Best Types of Cardio to Get in Shape Fast<<

1. Assault AirBike or AirDyne

 

What’s awesome about the Assault AirBike or AirDyne is that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you have. Sort of like a catch-22. If you don’t push yourself, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for. The faster you pedal, you’ll be in the corner wondering what did you get yourself into.

This piece of equipment is also low impact, so if you’re looking for a way to improve your conditioning without beating up your low back or knees. It’s virtually impossible to get injured doing a max-effort sprint on this.

Reverse Tabata Assault AirBike

  • 4 minute warm-up at moderate pace
  • 4 minute work (10sec max-effort sprint, 20sec active recovery)
  • 4 minute cool down

If you’re a masochist, I challenge you to switch up the work-to-rest ratio.

2. VersaClimber

 

The VersaClimber has quickly become my worst enemy. I still get nightmares after my first encounter with them.

Much like the Assault AirBike, it involves the whole body and is low impact. Although, it is a bit more demanding (in my opinion) due to the larger amplitude of movement that is required.  Trust me, it won’t take long before you start to question your sanity once you start climbing.

Simply set up by placing your hands on the handle bar and feet on the pedals. Start at a moderate pace. From there, drive your feet and arms as hard and as fast as you can. Shoot for 6-10 rounds of 30-40 seconds. Rest as needed.

Collapse at the end.

 

3. Sled Work

 

If I was only given a handful of equipment, no question the sled would be on that list. Despite the fact that I envision near death every time I come close to one, I’d be remiss not to praise it.

I’m a firm believer that every gym should be equipped with a sled or prowler. It’s extremely versatile in terms of training variability. In addition to the training effect you can induce for conditioning purposes, it’s also a viable tool to increase your strength. More pressingly, it doesn’t have a steep learning curve — it doesn’t require a ton of coordination and is relatively easy to learn.

Just load it up and get after it.

Push it, pull it, press it, or drag it. You can’t go wrong with either.

 

4. Walking

 

Obviously, walking doesn’t carry the badge of a hardcore workout, and it won’t prepare you for any marathons or sprint triathlons. Unlike the rest of the bunch, though, it doesn’t add a ton of training stress.

In this day and age, seemingly, everyone is under the impression that training has to be gritty. Make no mistake, walking does wonders for the body. Not only does it help with recovery, but it also helps in establishing a base level of aerobic capacity. It’s also underrated for improvements in body composition.

Reap the benefits by walking 30-40 minutes 3-5 times a week.

If you’ve been training for quite some time, you’ve hit that proverbial bump on the road on more than a few occasions — and you’re pretty familiar with it.

You dust off your shoulders, and keep on keepin’ on.

If you’re relatively new to the iron game, nothing is more frustrating than realizing you’ve hit a plateau because it feels like an eternity to get out of it.

Whether your goal is to become insanely strong, get lean, or a bit of both, it’s never a pleasant feeling when your progress comes to a halt.

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Plateaus are a natural occurrence, so don’t lose sleep over it when it happens. You apply the stress, then your body adapts. That’s how it works.

There are so many variables that can be at play here, but the number one way to get out of it is to…

Address Your Diet

 

Newsflash: It’s not your training program (to some extent).

I find it oddly amusing that when we presumably hit a plateau, our natural inclination is to pull the trigger on our training routine. Panic ensues and we immediately overhaul everything. Admittedly, I’ve made this mistake in the past a number of times, so I can totally relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve went program hopping only to find out years later that my nutrition game was horrible.

Having a well-designed training program makes a huge difference, but what is often overlooked as the possible cause is the diet.

Strength training by itself doesn’t work all that well. Yes — you can experience modest improvements, but exercise on it’s own without nutrition produces mediocre results.

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Whether you’re not getting enough protein, going over your allotted carb intake, or simply consuming too many calories, make the necessary adjustments rather than waving the white flag.

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One of the things I try to impress upon for folks who’s primary goal is fat loss is the importance of daily movement (and, of course, nutrition). It’s no question that what you do in the gym pales in comparison to what you do the other 23 hours of the day. 

It’s virtually impossible to quantify any result if you spend half, if not, most of your day sitting down.

Here’s the easiest exercise you can start doing today:

It’s really simple: Go for a walk

 

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Today, seemingly, everyone falls prey to the notion that exercise has to be gritty and hardcore. Granted, to a degree you have to strain your body if you want to make significant changes (you’re delusional if you think otherwise). And, while it may not be as impactful as lifting weights, make no mistake that walking every day does wonders for the body.

Many discount the value of walking because they feel the need to go 100% all the time. Being partial to one method or scheme doesn’t pan out well. You can gain a lot of benefits by working both sides of the training spectrum.

Of the many benefits, the biggest one I want to outline is improved nutrient partitioning. This basically means that your body becomes more efficient at utilizing the foods you eat — improved digestion, improved insulin sensitivity = fat loss machine.

Don’t complicate things. Aim for 30-40 minutes every day.

A simple way to put this into action is to walk 15-20 minutes after every meal.

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