Posts Tagged ‘cardio’

MORNING CARDIO vs NON-MORNING CARDIO

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

What’s the proper way of doing cardio training, especially for a weightlifter not wanting to shed too much weight or lose muscle? The best time to jump on that elliptical trainer, treadmill, bike, step-mill, or hitting the pavement to do an outdoor jog is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This makes sense because you’re doing cardio without any insulin fluctuation or spike, your glycogen stores are empty from fasting over the last eight hours in the rack, and ultimately this means that your body will be drawing a high percentage of its energy from fat stores. All of this is bound to set the stage for optimum fat burning potential!

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not one of those guys who enjoy getting up first thing in the morning to put myself through a grueling cardio session without a morsel of food in my gut. But for those of you who can, I give you all the credit in the world. I’m not saying that I couldn’t train first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I’m just saying that I’d prefer not to.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt better eating a decent sized meal about 45 minutes before training with weights (not cardio). This might not be in alignment with conventional thinking, but it feels right for me on a personal level. I feel like I can lift more weight, achieve a great pump and have enough energy to make it through my workout without losing steam. But let’s get back to the subject at hand – cardio. I’ve said my piece in regards to early morning training on an empty stomach, and in contrast I also wouldn’t be against cycling on and off a training program of morning cardio to maximize my fat burning potential. (more…)

KICK UP THE INTENSITY

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I was on the road for work, and as usual, I decided to hit a nearby gym for a workout. Fortunately it wasn’t one of those super posh gyms with plasma TV’s on every wall, chrome weights starting at 1.5 lbs. and a smoothie bar stock full of sugary blends. No, this place was pretty basic, with enough equipment to get the job done, and then some. It had plenty of cardio equipment, an area for core and abdominal work, Hammer Strength and cable machines and plenty of free weights.
It was nearing the end of my workout as I powered through the eleventh rep of lying triceps extensions and thought, “One more rep, c’mon just one more!”  It was a killer set and my triceps felt like they were about to explode. The burn shot from under my arms to my elbows. I dropped the weight after squeezing out the twelfth rep, then laughed to myself because it burned so freakin’ much. As the world came back into focus, I notice that this guy was trying to say something to me. “What’s that?” I asked.
I saw him in the gym when I first walked in, bull crappin’ with his buddies, grabbing a drink of water, and doing a set here and there. I could barely catch my breath. The lactic acid flushed from my arms as I grabbed my towel to wipe the sweat dripping down into my eyes.
He said, “Sorry to bug you, but what do you think I should do to gain more size?” I wanted to lay into this guy and tell him what I really thought, but I took a deep breath and said, “You gotta change what you’re doing.” With that he looks at me and says, “Well, right now I’m doing four exercises for chest, three for shoulders…”
I stopped him right there, “I’m not talking about what exercises you’re doing, or how many sets you’re doing. I’m talking about everything else you’re doing in the gym other than working out! You wanna gain size, you gotta kick up the intensity!”
He says, “I train pretty hard.” At that point all I could do was smile and shake my head. I was standing there sweating my butt off and trying to catch my breath – time for my next set. (more…)

GRASS GROWS

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

“Waiting for the fish to bite, or waiting for the wind to fly a kite.
Or waiting around for Friday night.
Or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a better break.
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants, or a wig with curls, or another chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”
– Dr. Seuss

When it comes to making a change for your own physical wellbeing, most people prefer to wait for the perfect time to get started. They’re waiting for that special moment when all the stars are aligned and they can finally dedicate themselves to the gym and a healthy diet.

Let me tell you something – whether you’re sitting on the couch chowing twinkies, or at the office buried in paperwork…grass is still growin’, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Mow the lawn and you’ll be out there again in a week to do it all over again. It’s just the nature of the beast. So while we might not be able to stop this big blue marble from spinning, we can embrace every moment and make the best of it.

Dr. Seuss is right – what are we waiting for? Forget New Years resolutions, don’t wait till Monday, never mind the first of next month – if you’ve been thinking about making a change (and I know you have), now is the time to map out a plan and get started. (more…)