My Weekly Cardio Routine
This week on snap chat I gave you guys a choice of three different blogs and those of you that follow me voted ‘My Weekly Cardio Routine’ as your most preferred. So here it is…
Cardio (for those of you that don’t know) is the shortened word for Cardiovascular training. The cardiovascular system refers to the heart and lungs and blood vessels. However, it’s obviously also plays a role in the health of the circulatory system - which encompasses blood, blood vessels, lymph, lymph vessels as well as the heart.
Therefore cardiovascular training is about strengthening the heart, lungs and in general, circulatory system.
In addition to all this, cardio can help with weight loss, depression and anxiety. It can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
As you can see, cardio is not just about trying to fit into that Agent Provocateur bikini you like so much, it will benefit your LIFE.
The truth is, I have NEVER enjoyed cardio (until now). I had to find MY way of enjoying it or I just wasn’t going to do it. From a ‘staying lean’ perspective, that’s actually ok, because you don’t have to do excessive loads of cardio to be lean. However if you want to be healthy and badass, you do have to do some cardiovascular training. And let’s face it; we’re all here because we want to be healthy and badass right?
The benefits of cardio are far and wide but I believe the only thing that ever works is the thing that you enjoy. These rules for my cardio routine helped me to enjoy it more. This is basically how I got little cupid to shoot me and cardio with his arrow;
- No steady state cardio unless it’s outdoors. I can’t do 45 minutes on a cross trainer, I just can’t. I watched my step dad (who suffered with a sever motoneuron disease) spend the last years of his life strapped to a bed inside the off pink walls of a sydney nursing home. If he were still alive today he would be horrified to see that I wasted 45 minutes of my life indoors on a machine that was literally made to go no where. For him, I refuse to do that kind of cardio. Steady state is AMAZING, but I highly recommend taking it to the streets, or the park, or the beach (for my fellow aussie readers).
- But first, coffee - I don’t abuse coffee to help me get through a day of meetings, I use it purely for exercise. It’s much better that way. Here’s a study to show that excessive coffee drinking throughout the day, will negate it’s effect as a pre workout. Those of you that follow me on snapchat will know that I make a special cafe every morning. It includes some collagen protein powder and some MCT oil - this is not for taste (although I personally love the taste). It’s for performance and health.
- Go in with a plan and track that like a boss - So I’m about to show you my plan, but using sweat as a motivating factor for me to do cardio just doesn’t cut it. I can go to the beach and sweat, why would I put up with burning lungs and tired legs? The ONLY way I can enjoy cardio is if I plan and track. What am I tracking? My speed, my distance or my general feelings of endurance. Each week I try to either run/ride faster or for longer and I track my progression in the same way I track the weights I’ve lifted - this to me is so much more motivating than trying to find good lighting to see if my abs are showing yet … aesthetics are of course AWESOME and I love abs and lean bodies as much as the next guy/girl - looking good alone does not get me through how much I hate lung burn. It really doesn’t.
So here is the plan:
Monday - Weights
Tuesday - Weights
Wednesday - Cardio (Treadmill)
Thursday - Steady state (basically just walking outdoors for at least 45 minutes - 1 hour)
Friday - Weights
Saturday - Weights
Sunday - Cardio (Vertue Method)
Skill Mill or Curve Treadmill (Both self powered manual treadmills)
Movement Prep: Mini Glute activation workout - see my videos here
Warm Up: 3 minute walk, 1 minute run, 1 minute walk
Sprint: 30 second sprint* : 60 second walk x 10 sets
*To me a sprint is an all out, ‘balls to wall’ kind of movement. Not a run or jog. However, it’s definitely something you should work up to.
Cool Down: Walk for 5 minutes.
Tracking: To be honest, just getting through this is enough. However, I track this by measuring the speed at which I have been sprinting. I try to hit over 20km at every sprint interval, for at least 15 seconds. This is hard (well for me anyway). Each week I am working towards increasing that speed.
Vertue Method Circuit:
This involves a circuit of bodyweight exercises that I repeat over and over for a 10 minute period after a good warm up and booty activation routine. It takes roughly 20 minutes in total and looks a little something like this:
Warm Up: Movement Prep involves dynamic yoga movements as well as some activation to prepare the body for an intense workout. It ensures that the correct muscles fire throughout the entire routine.
HIIT (High intensity interval training):
A1. Jump squats x 10
A2. Barbell overhead press x 10
A3. Alternating Lunge Jumps x 20
A4. Pull Ups x 10
A5. Kettle Bell swings x 20
Repeated for 10 minutes in an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) format.
Toes to Bar x 15
Reverse Crunch (on a bench) x 15
Repeat x 3 rounds
3 yoga vinyasas and 20 breaths in savasana or meditation.
Tracking: I track this workout based on how many rounds I can complete, as well as the weight I use during it. It's not a strength workout so I'm not trying to hit any PB's in weight here, I simply want to work towards fast execution, however when it starts to get a little too easy, I will add in a heavier barbell overhead press.
There you have it peeps!
Of course, everyone is different and it’s important that you see/get approval from a physician before attempting any workout.
Let me know how it goes below.