Browse Tag: strength

WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF CARDIO?

the best cardio is not running, it's coredio

[NOT WHAT YOU’RE DOING]

Before we dive in, let’s clear up one misconception: one does not need to run to work on their cardio, they simply just need to elevate their heart rate. Doing that will lead to more difficult breathing (which is a good sign that you are training your cardiovascular system).

So with that knowledge, almost anything can become cardio (just tack on more reps and less rest). Tabata squats is just as much cardio as sprinting 200 meters is.

Depending on your goals and lifestyle, however, you will want to be picky of what you choose for cardio.

ENTER CORE-DIO

“Core-dio” is my brand of my fitness that contains 3 components:

  1. Ab contraction
  2. Strength
  3. Movement

This is for those that A) Want an awesome workout in way less time and B) Want to train their abs for bad-assery.

When we train outside, “Core-dio” is easy to implement: wheelbarrows, walking with sandbags in our arms, balancing weight over our head as we walk 100 meters, heavy KB walk/runs in the goblet position, etc.

When we train at home, however, our movement (and thus, options) is severely limited.

That is, until now.

How you may set this up:

[A1] Plank walk 1 min
– rest 1 min

[A2] Pike walk 1 min
– rest 1 min

=> Repeat 5 times

So if all you have is 20 minutes and you want to fry your abs while getting that much deserved endorphin fix as well — this will be the best type of cardio for you.

Give it a try.

 

[Note: I don’t think this needs to be said but you must find a way to make this hard.  Engage the strength component by adding weight or removing a limb if you feel like 1 minute is a breeze]

HOW TO WORKOUT WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME

extremely fast home workouts

“You may delay, but time will not.”
― Benjamin Franklin

I learned long ago that if I could shorten and condense my workouts, results would come that much faster (with a sweet bonus of having more time for other things).  And well, like you, I only have so much time to begin with. Forget spending 20 minutes driving to the gym, this workout needs to happen NOW!

This post is about the 3 insanely fast home workouts that have allowed me to abandon the gym entirely.

Each workout has a different focus and the great thing about them is that when you do have a surplus of time and energy, you can then combine them to create a super workout.

Consume it quickly, let it digest, than use it to fuel your action.

We’re busy, remember?

exhausted athlete How to Workout When You Dont Have Time

CONDITIONING / FAT LOSS  

{ 4 MINUTES }

Protocol: Tabata

I said it once, I said it twice, and I’ll say it once more: We do not need to run to be in shape. We just need to do things that make breathing tough. Tabata is the most efficient way we can do this.

The basics:

  1. Exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds.
  2. Do this 8 times.
  3. Try to accomplish between 8 – 14 reps per round.
  4. To achieve this number, pick an exercise and/or weight that allows you to max out around 20 – 30 reps.

In between rounds, write down your reps (at the end, you’ll have a number like “108″. Your goal for next workout is to beat this).

Tabata is best used to target slow twitch muscles like the legs. Squats, lunges, step ups, hip thrusts, and their variations all work equally well here as do many core exercises like planks. Upper body movements such as chinups and pushups, however, will be tough. If you go this route, make sure to pick 2 exercises and alternate them.

Rather then be distracted by a hand timer or even counting the time for this protocol, listen to special tabata music. I am so passionate about this that I made my own track here.

Modification: Don’t think you need to confine to the rules in order for this to be effective. If you are just starting out, try a half tabata (2 minutes). If you are more advanced, try a super tabata (30 seconds on / 10 seconds off). If you have flat gone off your rocker, try just doing something for 4 minutes total (flutter kicks from hell).

gymnast body How to Workout When You Dont Have Time

MUSCLE BUILDING

{ 10 – 20 MINUTES }

Protocol: EDT

Resistance training, by itself, doesn’t build muscle. No, we thank Progressive Overload for this. Coming back week-after-week and trying to do more volume (reps x sets x weight) is what sends the signal to our body to continually “tear down and build up“. Escalating Density Training, or EDT for short, is a program designed just for that. Termed “escalating” because each week you attempt to increase the amount of work you can do.

The basics:

  1. Pick 2 exercises (preferably antagonistic).
  2. Do them back-to-back (i.e. a superset).
  3. Do 5 reps per set of both (of your 10 – 15  rep max).
  4. Do as many sets as you can in the designated time (either 10, 15, or 20 minutes).

So I set my time variable (15 minutes) and I have my exercises (chinups and pushups) of which I must do 5 reps each. I go back and forth, resting just enough so that I am able to complete the reps. When I start pooping out (and getting weaker), I’ll drop the reps to 4. Then 3.  Or I’ll modify them to be made a little easier. At the end of 15 minutes, I’ll have a number (like 24 total sets). When I do this workout next week, I must beat this if I want to progress. Pretty simple, right?

The best exercises for this tend to be isolated upper body movements. If you have a kettlebell lieing around or heck, even a milk jug, try using this to do curls, tricep extensions, straight arm pullovers, overhead press, rows, and a whole bunch of different pushes and pulls.

It should be said that this doesn’t have to be used for a muscle building program. In the end, it comes down to calories. If you are not eating enough (or purposely dieting), than there just won’t be enough materials left to build the house back up again.

Modification: No one said the rep numbers had to be uniform. Many times, for my push-pull workout, I’ll do 5 reps for chinup and 15 for pushup. It’s just how it works out (aka I am too lazy to make my pushup harder).

china lifter How to Workout When You Dont Have Time

STRENGTH

{ 10 – 20 MINUTES }

Protocol: Singles

Becoming stronger without a gym is tough. Unless you are a bonafide gymnast or have access to some tonnage at home like I do, it can be almost impossible to find enough resistance to get your Milo on.

  • So stop #1: Realize that you need some weight at home (ez bars and weights, kettelbells, and weighted vests all work well here and are easy to store).
  • Stop #2: Realize that strength is a skill. And skills, like juggling or the ability to moonwalk, are largely based on how well our brain neurons talk to each other. The faster they communicate, the faster (or skillful) we will be.

Doing singles (that’s 1 rep), this is the best way we work on this skill of strength. There is a misconception, however, that this 1 rep has to be a “bawlz out” effort. Not only can this be dangerous (at least to your kitchen floor), but it only has to be heavy enough…

The basics:

  1. Pick one big [hard] exercise.
  2. Use anywhere from 70 – 85% of your 1rm for weight.
  3. Complete 1 rep on the minute for 10 – 20 minutes.

So I have 165 lb on the bar for overhead press (max is 190+). I do one rep and I’ll rest about 45 seconds before I approach the bar again. Once I do, I’ll make sure I have the proper set up and I prepare myself to do another press (FYI: The aim here is “perfect practice” ). Boom! I set it back down and I either do a full rest or I choose to do a little mobility work in-between. 10, 15, or 20 reps later and I am done.

This is a deceptively easy way to get strong. Through this method, I can credit most of my strength gains. Overhead pressing, for certain, has benefitted the most (youtube clip).

Best exercises for this include full body movements: Overhead or bench press, front squat, deadlift, ab rollout (srsly), chinups, pushups, and variations.

Women wanting to do a real pushup and pullup for the first time will want to try this out (don’t worry, the volume is so low that “getting bulky” is not an issue) as will men wishing to take these exercises to the next level (muscles ups and handstand pushups).

Modification: I don’t really have one here. Find something that is hard and do it.

super workout3 How to Workout When You Dont Have Time

THE SUPER WORKOUT

Putting this all together

First, the principles:

  • Always start with stimulating activities (in our case, the strength workout).
  • Always end with draining activities (conditioning).
  • If you have more time and energy, throw some volume in the middle (the muscle building workout).

Next, putting them into practice for a home workout:

  1. A) Ab Rollout 15 x 1 reps
    >> rest 2 -3 minutes
    B1) Pushup x 10 (EDT)
    B2) Chinup x 5
    >> rest 2 – 3 minutes
    C) Squats ( Tabata)

Note: Based off the protocols I listed above, this workout should not take longer than 50 minutes (including warmup and coffee consumption).

Now, this is when I often hear: “Hey, I can’t do that stuff!”.  Sure you can. If you do not have a ab roller, do hand walk-outs like this. If the regular pushup is too hard, try this. And if you do not have a chinup bar, go to the park and do them like this.

When there is a will, there is a WAG.