What Exactly is a Cardio Workout?

I had an interesting discussion yesterday with a certified professional training about what is a cardio workout and do you really need cardiovascular training to get in great shape.  Most fitness buffs and weekend warriors consider it a fact that you need cardio exercises to get in shape, lose body fat, and develop lung capacity.  You may be surprised to know that some of the leanest and meanest people never do any type of traditional cardiovascular training.

5Tips_250x250 What exactly is cardiovascular training?  Most people consider a cardio workout to be pumping away mindlessly on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, or working an elliptical machine while watching the TV screen at their state of the art gym.  This is what I call the traditional workout.  No wonder the majority of people get bored with their workouts and give up after a couple months without seeing results.

But if you look closer, cardio exercise can be considered any type of exercise of activity that strengthens the cardiovascular system.  If it increases your heart rate and get you huffin and puffin, then it is a cardio exercise.  It does not matter if you are holding dumbbells, barbells, or any other type of weight that is traditionally used in a training exercise; it is still conditioning your heart.

Take a barbell clean and press, for example, that involves lifting a barbell from the floor up to your shoulders and then pressing it overhead.  It does not matter if you are not lifting 200 pounds or 45 pounds.  All that matters is that the weight you are lifting is challenging to you.  If the weight is challenging, then you are still conditioning your heart and will still receive the same benefit.

At first glance, most people thing of the barbell clean and press (C&P) only as weight training or strength training exercises.  However, if you do a hard set of 10 to 15 C&P repetitions with a challenging weight then you will find that your heart rate is probably up to about 80 to 90 percent of your recommended maximum and you are huffin and puffin like your just ran a 100-meter sprint.

Try the same thing for a set of 20 reps of one-arm snatches with a dumbbell and then try to convince me that your legs are not burning, heart racing, and you are gasping for breath.  Try to do this for five minutes straight.  Next try, without any weights, doing five minutes of body weight squats, lunges, and pushups with very little rest.  Is your heart pounding, sweat pouring, and your chest heaving for breath?

Conventional thinking says that these are weight training or strength training exercises.  But are you not conditioning your heart as well?  These exercises will elevate your heart rate in addition to challenging your muscles and, therefore, fulfilling your cardiovascular workout needs while saving you time.

Not only do you save time, but also you strengthen and condition almost every muscle in your entire body with these full body exercises.  The key is to do these exercises with proper technique and a challenging weight.

I challenge you to give the traditional cardiovascular training a rest for a month or two and start training using these exercises and other similar exercises explained in the high acclaimed Truth about Six Pack Abs Program and see how much learner and defined you get your body.  Watch that stubborn stomach fat deposits melt away.

Go to the Truth About Size Pack Abs to learn more.

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May 18. 2010 14:21


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May 19. 2010 00:52

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September 4. 2010 01:12

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I am guilty of that. I thought when you say cardio training, it would just be working it out on the treadmill.

Thank you for sharing this. Smile Now I know better. Smile

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October 8. 2010 13:18

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