No one ever said that it was supposed to be fun, but cardio has become a ‘must’ if you intend on staying healthy and in top shape year round. If you perform it before, after or in the place of weight training, there’s no way out of it. So make the best of a “very difficult situation” (said in your best Tony Soprano impression).
Don’t pigeonhole yourself into favoring one piece of cardio equipment in the gym because there are going to be times when it is either occupied or out of order. So be sure to have a few different apparatuses that get the job done for you.
As a matter of fact, a track, grass field or any surface can actually be a base for your cardio training. Killian Greenwood is proof of that all the way from ‘across the pond.’
“I’ll go for a run in London’s Hyde Park,” the men’s physique division competitor says. “Sometimes I’ll perform interval sprints, where I’ll sprint a short distance at maximum speed and walk back to the start to recover and then repeat. This doesn’t need to be performed on a track, although I prefer that. But all you need is a flat surface and appropriate footwear.”
Greenwood regularly performs High Intensity Interval Training, or H.I.I.T., for his cardio sessions in the gym and they last on the average of 25 minutes. “The treadmill is my favorite machine to use, but I also use a stationary bike and cross trainer,” the 19-year-old explains. “I have found this to be very effective in burning fat, as it speeds up my metabolic process. I feel it also helps maintain muscle mass on my legs because it includes explosive intervals, which can help build my legs.”
And last but not least, the question that has been asked a number of times but is worthy of asking again: should you do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach?
“Yes, in order to stay lean all year,” Greenwood concludes, “to maximize fat burning because your glycogen levels are at their lowest. Your body will use fat as a fuel, which lowers fat levels in the body.”
Here’s an example of Greenwood’s weekly cardio routine:
MONDAY: Running on treadmill, 25 minutes (HIIT)
WEDNESDAY: Cross Trainer, 25 minutes (HIIT)
FRIDAY: Stationary bike, 25 minutes (HIIT)
SUNDAY: Continuous run outside with interval sprints, 30 minutes
Photo by Simon Howard/Courtesy of Killian Greenwood
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