Ask any ten bodybuilders out there what their least favorite part of the entire training process is and my bet is that nine of them will quickly answer “cardio”! Cardiovascular training, while mundane and boring, is a necessary evil in the recipe for success. It has to be performed on a consistent basis, sometimes at multiple times a day to achieve the greatest degree of conditioning possible but also for general health.
The cardio options at your gym are most likely plentiful and comprised of the most sophisticated equipment available to you. But flashy, option filled machines only hold their glitz and glamor for so long before you realize the only way to perform effective cardio is by putting in the work and paying less attention to the television comfortably positioned in front of you while you step your way to glory on the stepmill.
If you are looking for a fresh and exciting new way to conduct your cardio training, try the following three methods and revive your drive for cardiovascular work.
In my opinion if you can get outside to perform your cardio work then do so. There’s nothing like breathing in clean fresh air when you’re pushing your body to its limits.
One of my personal favorites for performing cardio outside is hill work. All you have to do is simply pick an area that offers you a fairly good incline with a reasonable distance in which you have to travel and get to work by running up and down the hill in an explosive pace going up and controlled manner coming back down. With every climb, try to go harder and faster and keep that control as you descend the hill.
The benefits of hill work not only include improved cardiovascular conditioning and increased fat loss but also hypertrophy as well. Your quads, hams, calves and glutes will benefit greatly from this approach to cardio training.
Another one of my go-to methods of cardio outside is stair work. The climbing and subsequent descent back down just ramps up my heart rate like crazy, and the constant “pumping” of the arms and legs only adds to the whole experience in itself.
You can have a lot of fun while doing stair work by giving yourself little challenges throughout the duration of the workout. For example, you can say to yourself, ok this time I’ll take every stair up and down for the first 5 rotations. After that, take two stairs at a time going up and one stair at a time coming down and then keep challenging yourself with how many stairs you can take at a time. You can further that by throwing in different combinations of multiple stair steps, you can utilize side steps and you can even back pedal on the stairs.
The options are really endless for this form of cardio so keep things fresh by switching things up with each session.
If you have access to an outdoor track or indoor track in your area, you can make great use of this space and add quality variety to your training. If running is your thing and you’re tired of running on a treadmill, then hit the track.
You can incorporate steady state cardio, high-intensity interval training, sprints or a simple, fast paced walk. You can incorporate timed intervals, multi-paced runs; relay runs with training partners, parachute runs for added resistance and a whole host of other running methods with the sole purpose of getting in an effective but fun cardio experience.
Most people just look at the track as a giant circle that you run around, but that’s not the case at all. With a little innovation on your part you can have some of your most enjoyable, gains inducing cardio sessions ever by simply heading to the track.
By utilizing the three methods of cardio, you will have successfully added variety to your training which should keep things fresh enough, so you’ll stick with your cardiovascular training plan.
To add to this, and to minimize the time you actually have to perform your cardio AND to maximize each cardio session, I highly suggest you utilize Max-OT Cardio. It can easily be incorporated into any of the methods of cardio and will set your training apart from everyone else and put you on the running path to success in no time flat!