I sort of hate cardio.
I don’t hate many things (except for ketchup and people blowing their noses at the table), so to sort of hate cardio is saying a lot.
But you guys know this already. Lifting heavy stuff is my thang. To be honest, I prefer lifting to cardio because I simply get BORED out of my mind if I have to do any one thing for more than a few minutes. (Not so coincidentally, this same attention deficit is why I don’t blog as often as I’d like.) In fact, you will rarely see me perform more than 5 reps of a lift and never see more than 10.
Unfortunately, if I want to get–and stay–super lean, and be able to hang with my 6 year old when he wants to play tag (somehow I am always “it”), I have to get metabolic sometimes. I mean, there is no possible way I would have been able to get this lean if I wasn’t doing some form of conditioning exercise:
But I hate cardio, remember? Enter the FINISHER.
A metabolic finisher is something you do at the end of a lifting session that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat like a mother. It usually involves an interval format and can be in the form of a complex or circuit. The great thing about finishers is that they only take 5-10 minutes (12-15 if you’re feeling crazy) and they are super effective.
Well, the answer is simple:
1. You work harder, not longer. So you get a lot of intense work done in a short period of time. Great for people like me who run several business and have kiddos to feed.
2. This whole “EPOC” thing. Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or after burn, is a fancy science term that basically means you will continue to burn calories–and in some cases even subcutaneous fat–for several hours after you’re done exercising. Studies have shown that EPOC is highest after anaerobic exercise (lifting) and high intensity intervals.
Finishers are my primary form of “cardio” and what have helped me juggle work, school, writing, and mommy-hood while still getting in a good workout. Since I have kettlebells at home, I can even do them when I don’t have time to get to the gym.
|My home gym|
You can get really creative and do all sorts of different circuits and complexes with implements or even just your bodyweight. One of my absolute favorite finishers is this kettlebell squat and clean ladder:
What I did there was perform 1 clean followed by 1 squat, then 2, 3, 4, 5. This ladder is a killer. I can usually only do it for 3-5 sets before my legs are jelly and my lungs are burning. Ladders like this one are incredibly effective and yet I only spend about 10 minutes doing them. I’ll do a workout similar to this after a lifting session or even on its own if I want to get some extra metabolic work in (aka if I ate too much Ben and Jerry’s Oatmeal Cookie Chunk).
I often get asked what kettlebell workouts I do and how I structure my “cardio” sessions, and the answer is always different. I usually create circuits and finishers on the fly out of my own creativity and it comes from years of experience as a coach. But what can you do if you don’t have experience designing workouts and really don’t want to spend the energy figuring out? Wouldn’t you rather spend that energy burning fat?
That’s where Jason Ferruggia comes in. One of the world’s most influential strength coaches and a fellow member of the Schwarzanegger.com Fitness Advisory board, Jason is a dude who really knows what he’s talking about. His no nonsense approach to training has helped thousands of people get lasting results and enviable physiques. His most recent eBook, Renegade Cardio, is a ridiculous compilation of 52 metabolic finishers (including kettlebell circuits!) that will get you burning fat and in some cases, even building muscle.
I read the eBook this week and did one of the kettlebell workouts, and was seriously impressed. Jason has done the work for you with bike intervals, multi-implement circuits, battling and jump rope workouts and more. All you have to do is follow the workouts; no thinking about what to do next or how long to rest or even how many reps to perform. It’s all listed in the eBook and gives you one less excuse not to get metabolic.
There are even barbell complexes, which, if you follow me on Facebook you know are my absolute favorite. I just got down with some barbell complexes last night and was in and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes–that includes pull-ups and a full dynamic warmup.
If you like the workouts I post here then you will LOVE Renegade Cardio. You need to get metabolic if you want to see those abs and truly embody fitness, and Renegade Cardio helps you do just that minus the boredom of 45 minutes on a treadmill. You guys know me; I don’t eff around and I can tell you that I am seriously pumped about this eBook. I’ll be using it to help me prepare for a huge video shoot I have next month, that I can’t wait to tell you all about. Click below to pick up your copy NOW and start your journey to the body you deserve TODAY.