Posts Tagged ‘resistance training’

Being a few days since my last blog post, as I was away in Orlando, Florida for a few days at a fitness business event. Bryan made the trip over from Ireland and I flew in from Los Angeles. Fun times… and 2 visits to Hooters. Well it was the closest place to the hotel and we only had an hour for lunch. It had nothing to do with the

Before I left for Orlando I had an email from someone asking me if she should perform weights and cardio training on the same day, so I thought I’d address this one today as I know many people want to know the answer to this one.

First thing… I wish people would do is to stop thinking cardio and resistance training as totally separate entities. Stop thinking that resistance training is solely addressing the musculoskeletal system and ‘CARDIO’ is exclusively addressing the cardiovascular system.

Start thinking about yourself ‘TRAINING’ (not working out) and conditioning your entite body and all bodily systems.

CARDIO IS NOT… running, biking, eliptical, stepmill, etc. These are simply means by which you can perform a cardiovascular routine.  Cardiovascular exercise is anything that elevates heart rate and respiration level… and that pretty much means everything.

Most of my best ‘CARDIO’ sessions are performed via resistance training methods using metabolic resistance training, athletic body circuits, bodyweight intervals and athletic workout finishers.

The PROBLEM With ‘Traditional Cardio’

Traditional cardio routines that require a person to run, bike, etc at a set steady pace for a prolonged period of time (30 minutes plus) is that you become better at performing the routine. This is GREAT… if you are an endiurance athlete, but not if you want to burn bodyfat.

Low intensity cardio has a built in intensity ceiling and the more of it you do, the more metabolically effiecient you become. Your body basically becomes more efficient and you expend less energy to perform the task, meaning you don’t use up as much fuel (calories).

Another problem with low intensity cardio is that you will have minimal afterburn effect. When you exercise you elevate your metabolism and your metabolism stays elevated post exercise too. How high the elevation is and lasts, will depend on the exercise you performed.

Low intensity exercise will result in a low level of elevation and the afterburn effect won’t last long. NOW, don’t see this as a reason to go hard and kill yourself in the gym every day. You have to get the balance right and some days using some extremely ow intensity exercise as a means of recovery is needed and very useful.

So… When Shouls I Do My Intervals or High Intensity Cardio???

OKAY, you’re probably wondering when you should do your higher intensity cardio training and interval based work? Let me explain what I do and if it makes sense to you, you can follow what I do and see if you get the same effects I do. I’m confident you will.

On my resistance training days were the focus is on strength training I will dedicate 10 minutes at the end to performing what I call an athletic workout finisher. These are miniture metabolic based circuits that utilize anywhere from 2-4 exercises. The idea of these workout finishers is to sneak in some fat loss and conditioning work on my strength training days and to get it done.

I might do 4 x 2:30 minute rounds, where each round I have to get in 10 push ups, followed immediately by 10 inverted rows, followed immediately by 20 alternating split squat jumsp (ASS Jumps is what I call these) and then finish off with 10 burpees.

Using the 2:30 minute window means I have 2:30 minutes to perform the work and whatever time is left, once I complete all 4 exercises, becomes my recovery or rest period. Over time I will reduce the timing window down to 2:00 minutes per round and add in a 5th round, thereby increasing my work capacity… getting more work done in the same amount of time.

Then I will have days were I do traditional interval type work using the upright bike or athletics track. I personally don’t like treadmills as I was a track athlete for years and find threadmills don’t allow me to run freely, plus there is almost no work being performed by the glutes and hammies on a threadmill.

On non training days I may go for a walk and do some light stretching and mobility work. The problem with many people is that they see running (going for a long ass run) as being useful on off days. It’s not useful and it can be counter-productive like I said.  TRAIN SMARTER, Not harder!

Here’s My Top Suggestions For Those Seeking Fat Loss!!!

  1. On your resistance training days incorporate short duration metabolic circuit type work at the end of your session, making sure it takes 10 minutes or less to perform. Bodyweight intervals and miniature circuits, such as workout finishers, are the best options for this.
  2. Then have seperate days were you perform traditional interval based work. I usually perform 2 different interval protocols on these days. One protocol requires me to use an upright bike to perform a mixyure of interval bursts lasting between 10 and 30 seconds in duration. After this interval I will take  a 5 minute break and then perform a series of 1 minute intervals.
  3. On your off days feel free to go for a walk and perform some stretching and mobility work.
  4. Feel free to challenge yourself every month or two by going for a traditional run or bike ride and time yourself over a certain distance. You may be surprised to see how you can improve your general endurance without the need to perform excessive endurance work via running, biking, etc.








Ian Graham, ABS Co-Author and BEST Body Award Winner
Sculpt Your WHOLE Life, Not Just Your BODY