Let's talk about cardio...

April 19, 2015


Let's talk about that dreaded word... cardio. I believe the way most people perform cardio is a total waste of time. Let's take somebody who runs on a treadmill for 30mins every weekday morning/evening:
They aren't getting stronger.
They aren't building muscle mass.
They aren't "toning". 
They aren't losing fat (unless their daily calorie intake is in deficit but that's caused by diet, not exercise)


By running on a treadmill for 30mins all somebody is doing is getting better at running on a treadmill for 30mins, and given the slow jog most people it's a pretty pathetic ability they're improving. Instead of repetitive, boring and useless cardio why not try some beneficial conditioning instead?


What is conditioning? I define conditioning as cardiovascular exercise, often in combination with weight resistance exercise, and tailored to the goals of the individual. So let's say the formula is: Conditioning = (cardio + weights) + purpose


There's a wide variety of conditioning exercises but let's look at a BNB favourite, the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell swing works your posterior chain, core & grip, improves your balance & stability, has great carryover benefits to your squat & deadlift and increases your cardiovascular conditioning. That's a massive 8 benefits from 1 simple yet effective exercise.


Forget useless 8kg swings that you could do all day. Instead grab something with decent weight, probably 16-32kg for females and 24-48kg for males depending upon strength, experience etc. Now swing that bad boy until you feel pretty gassed or form breaks down, probably around 10-30 reps depending on how heavy/light your choice was. Now rest 60-120sec and repeat a few more times. With the right weights, reps, rest and sets this conditioning exercise will leave you absolutely destroyed after 5-15mins.


Example? Check out the video of BNB member Big Ben performing kettlebell swings with the gym's 48kg kettlebell. In just 40 secs, or 21 reps, he is totally gassed and gasping for breath. Now compare that to a half-assed 30min jog on a treadmill and tell me which is better...





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