Thursday, February 16, 2006

High Octane Cardio

Train like a man, not a rodent!
by Mike Mahler

No More Hamster Cardio!

I gotta' tell you, I hate doing cardio. There's nothing more boring to me than sitting on an exercise bike, going up and down on a Stairmaster, or running on a treadmill. I sometimes drive by a gym in Santa Monica and see dozens of people on the latest and greatest cardio machines, staring at the television and looking like caged hamsters running on treadmills. In addition to wondering how they can bear it, I always wonder why people in Santa Monica would choose to do cardio in a gym when they could run on the beach or in the woods and take advantage of the beautiful weather!

Fortunately, there are other options for those who are bored with traditional cardio routines and want more intensity and satisfaction out of their workouts. The alternative is what I call High Octane Cardio (HOC).

Hit the Road!

A lot of boxers and mixed martial arts fighters still use this tried and true form of conditioning to prepare for fighting. It works several different energy systems in the same workout and it's not for the faint of heart!

Roadwork is basically a combination of jogging and calisthenics. Here's how it works: jog for about 100 yards and then drop and do fifty pushups. Get back up and run another 100 to 200 yards and then stop and do 100 bodyweight squats. Again, run another 100 to 200 yards and then drop and do 50 sit-ups. Believe me, this workout is a lot harder than it sounds and even if you're an experienced runner, you'll find it challenging.

Regardless, I found an even more effective way to maximize the benefits of roadwork. Take two dumbbells to a running track and place one dumbbell on each side of the track. Each time you jog past a dumbbell, stop and do an exercise. For example, you could stop and do ten one-arm dumbbell swings with each arm and then continue to run. When you get to the next dumbbell, stop and do ten clean and push presses. Then when you get to the next dumbbell, do ten dumbbell squats.

Once you've done four full laps you'll be exhausted. If you're not, then get a heavier dumbbell or run four more laps! In addition to building an incredible level of muscular endurance and mental toughness, you'll burn fat like crazy.

In fact, if you need to burn fat as fast as possible, try doing roadwork three times a week for five weeks. You'll be amazed.

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