Posts Tagged ‘Cardio’

I can tell you from firsthand experience, it’s not easy packing on pounds of lean muscle mass.

As someone who has struggled mightily in the past, I know a thing or two about a thing or two.

In an effort to save you years of frustration, here are some guidelines you oughta follow.

No fluff, no quackery, no-nonsense.

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1. Consistency trumps intensity

 

If you’re a complete newbie, provided you stay consistent, those gains will come quick.

Once your body has become fully aware of the physical demands you’re putting it through, that’s where things start to become increasingly difficult — you have less room for error.

If there’s only one thing you can takeaway from this, it’s that you have to remain consistent. 

You need to train hard, and you need to do it often for a long time.

As much as it has to do with exercise selection or whatever program you’re following, showing up 3-4 days, 52 weeks out of the year is what’s going to make a difference.

As long there’s a level of progression, good things will happen.

2. Learn to love the basics

 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with variety or wanting to change things up. I’ve done it numerous times in the past, and still do so from time to time.

However, the perception that you HAVE to constantly “switch it up” is complete horse sh*t.

The body is amazingly adaptive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a new exercise to do every time you hit the gym.

Get strong at the basics, and learn to love them because they work. You’re not going to change your body doing curls or squats on a BOSU ball.

3.  Cardio is important, but prioritize lifting

 

Everybody will have their own opinion on how much cardio should one do. It’s a never ending debate.

Fact is, I’m not anti-cardio. There are a host of benefits by regularly training in an aerobic environment, and I think it’s a big mistake by not doing any cardio whatsoever.

However, if done in excess, that’s when it starts to interfere with strength and muscle gain.

Most people struggling to gain lean muscle mass, seemingly, fall into the trap of doing too much cardio.

I know I’ve been guilty of it.

For instance, if you’re always starting your workout with a one mile run, it’s going to have a negative impact because you’re expending most of your energy on the activity that’s not going to give you the biggest return.

If you want to optimize strength and muscular development, prioritize resistance training. Keep the cardio to a minimum. Don’t take things out of context, though. If you’re goal is primarily fat loss, don’t even think about skipping cardio.

Other Tidbits:

 

– Subpar nutrition can and will neutralize the best training. Don’t blame the program, blame the incessant need to stuff yourself with cupcakes, donuts and copious amounts of your favorite cocktail/alcoholic beverage.

– You don’t need to train borderline crazy to get quality results. Don’t overdo it. Your training is only as good as your ability to recover.

– Getting to bed on time, drinking more water, and eating your veggies are all the detoxification you need — and it sure does make a huge difference.

– If you’re truly pressed for time, always remember it’s better to get in something than nothing. Don’t play devil’s advocate and come up with reasons why you can’t do it. Make it a priority to get it done.

 

If you’re looking for a training resource that’s revolved around getting the most out of your workouts without wasting your time, I’ll be launching my new digital product on the 28th.

Check it out by clicking the link below.

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>>Assault<<

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.

Another year older, another year wiser.

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Honolulu, Hawaii

In this post I want to shed some light on a few observations I’ve made that I hope you can find value in — spark change and reinforce positivity.

1. Can’t help everyone

 

In the past, I worked with anybody who came knocking on my door. Now that I’m much more educated with a ton of experience under my belt, I’m more selective with who I choose to work with… for good reason.

There’s a world of difference between someone who says they need help, and someone who actually wants help.  Perhaps it was my optimistic nature, but that premise never really stuck with me up until last year.

Wanting to help everyone that crosses your path is well-intended… but, it’s wishful thinking.  With personal training, or any type of professional instruction for that matter, it’s a two-way street.

The person in front of you or on the other side of the phone has got to meet you half way.  No amount of pizza and ice cream facts spitting or knowledge bombs are going to help someone who doesn’t really want to be helped.

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2. Best job in the world, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

 

Making a living empowering people, and educating them to be more self-sufficient with their training is a reward in and of itself. Saying I love what I do would be a huge understatement. But I’ll tell you what, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

You know how many trainers I’ve seen come n’ go since I started back in 2013?

Too many to frickin’ count.

It’s a harsh reality for folks who want to be revered in this industry, which they haven’t got a clue about.

Granted, any gym rat can become a trainer with a weekend course/certification, but to immerse yourself into the grind you need to put in — most aren’t willing to do that, and I’ve seen it up-close.

As a frame of reference, when I was still getting my feet wet, I woke up at 4:30am almost every day for my morning clients. When I had a break in between, I would read books on business or strength training. Did I mention I taught after school P.E.? Yup, that was every afternoon.

If there was enough time, I’d try to squeeze in a 30min nap before I headed back to the gym for my next wave of clients. Towards the evening I would continue to read or watch informative and applicable information on YouTube until I fell asleep.

What I’m trying to convey is that if this whole thingamajig is a hobby, you’re not going to get very far. You got to love what you do for what it’s about, not what it could potentially provide.

3. Training borderline crazy all the time doesn’t end well

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It’s no surprise that the vast majority of lifters and athletes glorify ball-busting hardcore training.  Even a lot of the everyday folks I work and correspond with love it. Don’t get it twisted. I’m a big believer in going ham or batshit crazy from time to time.

In fact, I think a lot of people out there need to suck it up and train their ass off. It builds mental toughness and resiliency.

Unfortunately, though, we have no disregard for our tolerance limit.

Even under the right circumstances where every nuance is proper — sleep, recovery, nutrition, supplementation — you can’t go all-out all the time. Knowing when to back off or dumbing it down is a tactic not many individuals take a liking to.

Trust me, I can totally relate.  I want to hulk smash every chance I get. But, being able to know when to put your chips in rather than going all in every turn is a skill you should consider — especially if you intend on playing long.

Not every training session has to be a Battle Royale. Train smarter, not harder.

4. We’re always looking for shortcuts

 

As much as I want to be able to deadlift 450+lbs while still being jacked, I have to be realistic in terms of the rate of progress.

It’s not how much you can do in a single workout, it’s about how much you can do for a long period of time.

Yes — there are individuals who have a predisposition to gaining muscle much faster than others (lucky Sumbitch), but remember, they’re the exception, not the norm.

Those of us mere mortals have to take a more calculated approach — and refrain from getting caught up with how slow progress is.

Besides, adversity is an overlooked advantage. It allows us to continually work no matter what.

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