18 Ways to Make Cardio Un-Suck

18 Ways to Make Cardio Un-Suck | Fitness Revolution RowlettWe have all heard this before, “cardio sucks”.

The traditional form of walking on a treadmill at the beginning or end of the workout, works, but is BORING.

I’m not hating it by any means, there are some that love this and others this is all they can do, for those of you that fit in those previous categories don’t bother reading this and keep doing what your doing. I still respect the hell out of anyone that gets up and does something, so this is NOT a cardio treadmill bashing session.

This blog is for those that WANT to avoid to the monotony of high incline walks for an hour, or those that want to do something else beside a treadmill, elliptical or bike.

I want to get you to think that cardio doesn’t always have to be on the treadmill; in fact some of the best, and most effective for fat loss, cardio workouts I’ve ever done were NOT on a treadmill. They were a combination of bodyweight, weights, sprints and even just as simple as having a kick butt playlist on my iPhone.

What I have below are some of the cardio ideas that we do here at Fitness Revolution Rowlett. These won’t work for everyone but I can bet that you’ll find SOME idea that I have listed that will help make cardio not seem so bad to you.
 
 

Weight Room Ideas

 

1. Take less rest between you weight lifting sets – It’s tempting to take several minutes between sets and maybe even some programs to dicitat that for performance reasons. If you are NOT on a program that has a long rest protocol then I suggest cutting your rest down to under 60sec between sets and begin working your way to 30 secs or even 15. Now you’ll have to drop the weight a bit BUT your heart rate sure won’t drop. [Read more…]

My personal experience with skipping breakfast (pics included)

Breakfast sucks

I’ve said it once and I’ll continue to beat this in the ground that for fat loss eating upon waking up does not work for you trying to lose body fat.

I’ve even argued that eating every 3-4 hours isn’t necessary for fat loss either.

I know that this may go against a lot of main stream fitness media but hey if all that really worked we would see alot more lean gym rats than bloated puff balls with muscle.

This blog is really just to document my personal experience with skipping breakfast and just taking a break from eating on occasion.

 

Breakfast sucks

Month 1

Here is my back before I started this journey. Why am I taking progress pics of my back? Well to be honest my back is where I will see any progress first so this would be best and quickest way to asses this new style of eating.

In this pic was eating a typical bodybuilder style of eating at this point consuming 5-6 meals a day or eating every two to three hours working out 5 days a week with only two days of cardio. You can see that I do have some foundation there but not really any clean details or lines.

This was especially frustrating to me at this point in time because I lived by my meals and the clock, so it was ALWAYS on my mind. I’m sure some of you can relate to this.

In fact it’s the frustration that led me to take this step into this new style of eating.

[Read more…]

4 Parts to a Successful Fat Loss Program

Part 1:  NUTRITIONAbs are made in the kitchen - Fitness Revolution Rowlett

 

Nutrition – No matter how many times I say this sometimes it still doesn’t through to peoples head,

You can NOT out train a bad diet” Believe me I’ve tried, so your nutrition should be FIRST in your program.

Side Note: For more info on nutrition check out the Gluten Blog, Intermittent Fasting Part 1 and Part 2 [Read more…]

Top 10 questions I get as a trainer

10 of the most common questions I get asked as a personal trainer

After doing this blog post I feel that over the coming months I’ll need to dedicate a blog or two to each question, what you see below is just scratching the surface. If you have any others that you have leave a comment below!

1. Can you just give me a routine?

Me: (Now I have mixed feelings about this). My usual answer to this is “no”, and its really for the big reason that I don’t know anything about that person. I don’t know their movement patterns, background and health history, their comfort level with exercise, do they even know what exercise I’m talking about and even if I do show them will they continue to perform it correctly? Here is what I usually tell this person: I do wish it was as easy as writing a program for you but I don’t know enough about you and a program HAS to evolve with your needs over a period of time. Not all programs are created equal and not all fit everyone BUT I never leave anyone emptied handed so here is one below that I feel is a good starter for most beginners looking to add some muscle (or tone for the ladies) and lose bodyfat.

2. I need to work my core, what’s the best exercise?

Me: Do you want to get it stronger for something in particular or do you want to have abs showing?

  • If you want have your abs showing then do cardio and eat cleaner
  • If you want to have a strong core, do the ab wheel
  • If you want both… well do both of the above 😛

3. Do I have to drink those protein drinks?

Me: Well I do recommend it to most people for the sole reason is that you need protein to not only build muscle, but to help with fat loss (yes protein helps you lose fat), it helps with nervous system function, just to name a few things. Whey protein is the most common after workout protein there is and it gets into the blood stream to the muscles MUCH faster than anything else. Now you can skip a workout shake but I have had clients that I have made consume them right after our workouts and I can say every one of them notices a big difference in the way they look and feel. In my opinion, if you don’t your missing out on a key part of you getting the results that you want. Not all are nasty there are some quite good ones out there 🙂

Here are the ones I personally use:

4. Is there a pill, like a fat burner, that I can take to help lose weight?

Me: The best fat burners only give you about a 6-7% edge in your fat loss and they all say that this MUST be done with a proper workout and diet plan. So if you don’t work out you may lose a pound or two but then put it back on next week. If you are doing everything right then you may notice a slight increase in your fat loss ability, but keep in mind what got you to lose those pounds in the first place was clean eating and busting your butt in the gym not a magic pill.

5. Can’t I just workout 20 or 30min three times a week?

Me: If it was that easy you would have done it already then. This answer is a double edge sword but yes and no you can work out 20min three times a week and reach your goals (your particular goal is a big factor in my answer on this one). SOME people can and it totally depends on their understanding of their own body, do they have movement disorders, have they worked out before, do they have good neural recruitment patterns, etc… If they are in tune with their body then yes they can, but if you have never worked out before then probably not. I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU WON’T SEE RESULTS because you will, but you may not look like that bowflex model.  An example that I used recently was is that lets say your back in school and you’ve been assigned to write a 5 page paper. Now if you were in 5th grade this may take you a week, but if you’re in college you may knock this out in an hour; your experience is a big factor. The same principle applies to working out.

6. Do I need to cut our carbs before bed?

Me: Depends on your bed time and depends on the type of carbs. To keep this simple I would recommend to stop eating complex carbs in your last meal and instead have vegetables, yes they are a carb but they won’t spike the insulin like some grains and other carbs would. Understand without specific goals and variables answers can vary. So whatever your last meal would be just have an extra serving of veggies, this will fill you up and help with fat loss.

7. How much cardio do I need to do?

Me: Just like anything else the answers can vary from person to person and goal to goal. My general recommendation for starters is 4 days a week, two days of steady state cardio and two days in higher intensity interval cardio. If we were to have a scale of 1-10 in intensity (10 being the highest) you would want your steady state to be at a 5 or 6 on that 1-10 scale. You know you’re working out but you can keep going for a bit of time. I would generally recommend this for 30min. On the other two days I would want two days of interval training. Do a warm up of 10min at your typical steady state then immediately after that alternate between 8 and 5 (on our 1-10 scale) for 30sec a piece. So do 30sec at an intensity level of 8 then 30sec at an intensity level of 5. Do this back and forth for 7-10 min. You’ll notice a big difference.

8. If I lift heavy weight won’t I get “bulky”? (This is mostly from the women)

Me: 99% of women don’t produce enough testosterone to garnish the same muscle growth as men, and don’t even think that you’re the 1% who does because you would have been diagnosed and on medications at an early age. For me to get a female “bulky” we would need some pharmaceutical help AKA anabolic steroids and lots of time. The women that you see with masculine figures trained themselves like that, it didn’t happen by accident. Other words they didn’t go to bed with 28% body fat then wake up the next morning looking the way they do. Have no worries ladies it won’t happen. From my experience the harder and heavier I train a female client the more shapely and tone they get.

9. What’s the best exercise to get rid of this inner thigh fat and bring my butt off the back of my legs? (Another common one I get from the ladies… but guys should pay attention)

Me: Fat distribution patterns are different per person, some carry it around their legs, some their hips, others lower abs and back. Unfortunately that is genetic and something that we can’t change, but to get rid of the inner thigh fat you need to lose body fat and build your legs. I would recommend looking at my sexy leg video series for my recommendation on the best leg exercises, increase you cardio and if not already begin eating very clean. If you do that you will notice a visible difference in how your legs look in a matter of weeks.

A sample exercise routine would look like:

10. If I stop working out won’t all my muscle turn to fat?

Me: It is biochemically impossible for muscle to turn to fat, they are two completely separate substances. It would be the equivalent of turning silver into gold, can’t be done. What you may think is that if you go for a long period of time (3+ weeks) without working out, the muscle just loses it’s tone, and eventually the muscle will leave all together. You don’t use it you’ll lose it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Health and Fitness,

 

 

 

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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