Cardio isn’t fun but its importance is undeniable. Let’s talk about something different and show you a better and more effective way of burning calories through two weight training cardio alternatives.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a walk, jogging or even using the treadmill at the gym, they are all great methods for improving cardiovascular health and the body’s condition which should be done on a regular basis, all that said, there's a better alternative in the form of weight training cardio than will definitely interest you.
There’s a distinct group of bodybuilding oriented individuals who don’t like cardio and think of the treadmill as a waste of time. Cardio is important and should be practiced by everyone, including bodybuilders and strength athletes, that’s why our weight training cardio article was created. If you’re tired of stationary machines give these weight training cardio movements a try, not only will you enhance your strength and performance but you will also be out of breath a lot more than you would like to be.
Probably the most difficult weight training movement to perform, the deadlift, is without a doubt the epitome of strength. There is no other exercise that requires strength, mobility and clean form to the level of the deadlift, one little mistake and you can be injured and out of the game for a long time but do it right and your physique will reach new levels of greatness. If you’re looking to skip the treadmill and go into a difficult but productive session of cardio that will make you want to stop halfway in, a deadlift party is what you’re looking for.
A deadlift is a workout within itself and the perfect example of weight training cardio; it takes strength, stamina, endurance and good conditioning. You can approach a deadlift party two ways, the first one is by doing a preset amount of sets with deadlifts with a stationary weight. The second method is by doing a long pyramid set in which you add and then decrease weight, here’s an example.
Weight: 50% of your one rep max.
Repetitions per set: 20
Start Weight: Something that you can do twenty repetitions with.
End Weight: One rep max.
Sets: Space out your weight between five sets, your first set will be the lightest and your fifth set will be the heaviest (one rep max).
Repetitions per set: The first set will be 20 reps, second 10 reps, third 5 reps, fourth 2 reps, fifth one rep.
Pyramid: This is a pyramid workout meaning that after you do the previous indications you will do the same workout but in the opposite direction, starting with your one rep max and taking weight off until you do twenty reps with the light weight you started with. By the time you finish you will have performed ten total sets. As far as rest go take no more than a minute before starting a new set.
High Intensity Training (HIT)
There are many ways that you can practice weight training cardio but since we don’t want this article to be long and painful to read we are going to discuss one of the most important ways in which you can do cardio and bodybuilding movements at the same time. High Intensity Training was invented by Nautilus creator Arthur Jones and practiced by legendary bodybuilders such as Dorian Yates, Mike Mentzer and Casey Viator.
High Intensity Training is an art within itself and even though it’s not a form of weight training cardio, it will definitely take your workouts to new heights. If you are familiar with bodybuilding training you should have no difficulty understanding how HIT works, it’s fairly simple but it takes a while getting used to it. The main idea behind this type of training is activating every single muscle fiber within the area you are trying to grow. Unlike normal training that only targets either slow or fast twitch muscle fibers; High Intensity Training works both at the same time.
You’re probably still wondering how this type of training relates to cardio so let’s get to it. HIT requires you to perform a rep in a very controlled matter, the positive part of a repetition will take usually a second to complete but the fun part begins at the negative. If you are doing a bench press the part where you push the weight is called the positive, when you are lowering the weight is known as the negative and the middle point in which the bar is touching your chest but not moving is called an isometric hold.
An HIT bench press would look like this: one second positive, four second negative, 2 second isometric hold. This means that you will push the bar in a fast pace but lower it while counting to four in a slow manner only to hold the weight at your chest for two seconds and then repeating the movement. A set that would normally take you ten to fifteen seconds to complete can take you up to two minutes with HIT; sets should be performed with minimal rest in-between. HIT isn’t for everybody due to its difficult nature but if you feel like skipping cardio and going all out give it a try.