As 2013 comes to an end and many individuals find themselves making a pilgrimage to the gym for the first time, I’m preparing myself for the inevitable. Pretty soon the gym will be alive with the hum of ellipticals and the heavy heel striking of newcomers on the tricked out treadmills. I’m not bashing these people, instead I’d like to try and shed some light on one of the most common misconceptions that new gym-goers encounter -“cardio”.
Year after year, people come into the gym seeking to improve their health and change their bodies. One of the first things they often seek out is the “cardio area”. Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy running, jogging or hiking, more power to you; but if you’re looking to change your physique and truly improve performance, traditional cardio isn’t going to cut it. That’s right, the 30-60+ minute monotonous cardio sessions aren’t going to miraculously change your body, but there’s hope!
In order for the body to change, you have to present it with a catalyst that will facilitate adaptation. Or as I like to say, “Give your body a reason to change”. If your goal is to burn fat and improve body composition, then you’re going to have to present the body with an environment and a stimulus that will give it no other option than to adapt accordingly. Hill sprints, pushing a prowler/sled around, lifting weights – faster, a kettlebell circuit, and interval training are all great simple alternatives to “traditional cardio”. The point here is that there are other ways to elevate your heart rate and give you more “bang for your buck”. In the process, you’ll be adding lean muscle mass to your frame, which in turn will elevate your metabolism, and generally make you a more awesome person 🙂
So, if you’re looking for a great way to burn fat and improve your physique, do yourself a favor and give these alternatives a try! Besides, most of the cardio equipment is going to be occupied for the next few months anyway. In the meantime, PICK UP SOMETHING HEAVY!
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