Don’t forget your Heart!

Don’t neglect the most important muscle in your body; YOUR HEART!  Without that, well, we all should pretty much know what happens without that.  When putting together a good exercise program, people of all training levels should include a combination of strength/resistance training and cardio (and don’t forget to stretch!).

Strength and resistance training is very important because it not only helps you create and sculpt the physique you desire, but it also makes you stronger, improves posture, aids in helping the body balance and stabilize, keeps bones from deteriorating, and the list goes on and on.

With cardio, its main purpose and function is to work on your heart—and also your lungs.  People that have been doing cardio for a long time usually have lower resting heart rates because their cardiovascular system does not have to work as hard anymore to keep the blood pumping to and from the body.  They also have a faster recovery heart rate (While exercising, your heart rate goes up.  The amount of time it takes for it to come back down is your recovery heart rate).  That cardio pays off!  My husband has always skipped over cardio in his training.  His involvement in Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu has not only required him to improve his cardio, but the Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu itself has worked wonders.  He also increased his cardio by simply running to catch his train after work and riding his bike home at the end of the day.  Just that little, tiny addition to his cardio helped his stamina in those sports.

When you think of cardio, most people think of running…and not everyone likes doing it.  But, there are many different things you can do for a cardio workout:

* Jogging          * Sprints (in your alley?)      * Run Hills       *Run Stairs (you can even do this in your home)       *Jumprope (in your basement?  your garage?  your frontroom?)                 *Biking                  *Swimming

*Plyo-workouts              * Aerobics               *Step-Aerobics            *Dance (Zumba!)           *Fast-paced/Low-rest Circuits           *Yoga (even some forms of yoga have been said to be a form of cardio)             *Boxing

*Do-Your-Own-Aerobics-Routine! (put on some music and do your own routine…in college I would do this in my dorm room…play good music and jump around for 15-20 minutes)

Another good thing to know is that the faster you perform your cardio, the harder you work your body, and the results will continue to grow greatly.  There’s nothing wrong with steady state cardio.  But, if you can make one of your cardio training sessions a week a high-intensity one, you will see the benefits increase even faster (and it does a pretty little number on the look of your physique) than with only steady state cardio.  High-intensity training has also been shown to increase HGH.

If you are just starting out with a high-intensity form of cardio, don’t overdo it at first because you will probably end up pretty sore and exhausted and this will deter you from trying it again.  Warm-up for at least 5 minutes (steady state cardio) and do some dynamic stretches.  Once you’re ready, go ahead and get started!

(Your first couple of sets should be around 50% max to help you gauge your speed and feel it out.  Once you are feeling good, start pushing yourself.  Get up to 90% of your maximum effort.  Overtime, your old 90% will be your new 70% and so-on because your body is adapting and your cardio is improving!).

Some High-Intensity Cardio workouts:

I perform 10×100 yard sprints.  My rest is a speed walk or light jog another 100 yards.  I sprint a 100 yard lap followed by a very fast walk or jog 100 yards.

 

Don’t forget the Crazy 8 BodyWeight 300

 

30 seconds on & 30 seconds off and repeat 3 times:

Mountain Climber

Burpees

Jumping Jacks

Walking Lunges

High Knees

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sheila tibstra
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 03:12:23

    awesome website Sam!!! THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW ABOUT IT. I WANT TO FORWARD YOUR LINK TO FOLLOW FITNESS FRIENDS,,,IS THAT OK?? I would like to share it with my college class too…what do you think?
    GREAT IDEAS AND LOVE THE RESOURCES WITH PICTURES AND VIDEOS. THIS WILL HELP ME STAY MOTIVATED:O) sheila

    Reply

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