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…]

4 lessons from 2011

4 things I have taken away from fitness in 2011


Increasing Strength:

Now I’ve used bands in the past and have to admit that I’ve always notice an improvement in my performance in the gym but just chalked it up that hell if I do ANYTHING different I’ll notice improvement. Well always in a continued effort to find better ways to garnish better results I really started diving deep into band training, even obtaining a Resistance Band Coaching Cert, but through continued education and implication I was shocked at the amount of improvement that not only I received but my clients received in their strength training. I’m not talking only about attaching the band to free weights for speed work (i.e. speed bench press, squats, etc…) but just using the band by itself without and dumbbell or barbell attachment.

The misconception that has been adopted by a lot of the gym culture is that band training is only an afterthought, its for fine tuning and rehab work. Some bands do fit that nich but I do have bands that are over 200lb in resistance, trust me do presses and squats with that and that will demolish your body and you’ll still an amazing return on your strength training back under the iron. Truly in my opinion one of the most UNDERRATED gym tools for garnishing INCREASE FAT LOSS, INCREASE MUSCLAR GROWTH AND TONE AND INCREASED REAL WORLD STRENGTH.

I’ll dedicate a blog in the future to band training because trust me this little post doesn’t even starch the surface of all the positive benefits I’ve seen my clients get with band training.


Fat Loss:

We all know that nutrition is king with fat loss, so this is more about what can be done in the gym for fat loss. I’ll touch on nutrition in a bit.

My big take away this year is PROPER (and I stress the word “proper”) HIIT workouts or High Intensity Interval Training. If you have been in the gym culture for any length of time I’m confident that you have heard of this and maybe even implemented it in your training regimen. The mistake that I’ve seen over the years is the abuse of this concept, in fact I can think of a number of popular work out trends that abuse this principle more than anything else but I won’t go there lol.

The whole point of HIIT is quick bouts of exercise followed by a short rest done back to back for a specified time frame, this is suppose to take fat loss up to another world compared to long steady cardio workouts. Just look at why a sprinter is so much leaner than a marathon runner even though the marathon runner does SO much more volume of work compared to a sprinter. Now if done right I’ve seen bodyfat levels drop almost daily, but so many people don’t really understand how this system really works.

It’s too easy to over train yourself or a client over taxing the nervous system with this concept and lose that fat loss benefit; in addition most people don’t understand how hard they really need to work to hit those required intensities.

Not to leave you empty handed if you need a workout that gives you an idea refer back to this blog post last week and look at #7 <—- take a look!

Over the coming months I’ll do more blogs about how to correctly implement this and see amazing improvements in fat loss.


Muscle Building:

Ahhhhh, fat loss and muscle building combinations… the holy grail of most gym rats everywhere. I’ve played around with different theories and principles for years trying to not only find what works best for me but my clients as well. The big take away this year is a principle called undulating density. What this is in laymen terms is the constant change in rep ranges for muscle hypertrophy (building).

Muscle hypertrophy is mostly a result of work in rep ranges of 8-12 (there is a lot of variably of rep ranges with everyone here, I know, but for today let’s keep it basic). I’m sure that most of you are saying to yourself Ok Travis, I know this. Just about every gym rat knows this; what’s so special here? Well if it was that simple as in just working out in the 8-12 rep rang you would have the growth you want, wouldn’t you? Of course it’s not always that simple.

Undulating density

Without getting too detailed and an information overload look at it this way…

Week 1: Rep range of 6

Week 2: Rep Range of 15

Week 3: Rep Range of 10

Week 4: Active Recovery

Looks simple but if you just skim over this post and don’t check back up later for the full detailed program then you’re going to miss what really makes this tick. The point is that you need to vary your rep ranges on a weekly basis and in the following month BEAT your number (that’s where this thing becomes a beast). I’m sure this may not seem overly exciting but how many people or you stick with the same rep range and wonder why after only a few workouts you stop seeing results… I’ve been guilty of it over time.

Trust me on this, give it a shot for a few months and I PROMISE you still a difference. One last thing: you need to WORK AND BUST YOUR BUTT this doesn’t happen unless you really pushed it.

Key points to take away:

  • Keep a training journal and track your weights (this alone will make your life much easier)
  • Change the exercise ONLY after you’ve peaked at the results for that time frame. Other words if you stopped seeing change and noticed you’re not getting stronger then MOVE ON!


As I say in each one of these points each lesson really deserves its own article or big blog post so check back up later on to see the full detailed plan.



This field is constantly changing and improving year after year, in some cases you can see changes with recommendations of nutrients almost monthly coming from research journals.

My big take away this year was really getting a better understanding of food intolerances. What really blew my mind was how many of my clients had a food intolerance but never even knew! The last statics I read about this was that about 60% of Americans have a food intolerance and don’t even know.

When most people think of food intolerance they instantly think of lactose or gluten intolerance among others. Now a food intolerance doesn’t have to be just milk, bread or nuts but it can consist of other surprisingly healthy foods as well.

If you are unsure if you have a food intolerance symptoms to look for can range from IBS, feeling puffy or bloated after a meal, acne, mood swings, achy joints, puffy cheeks, lethargy… honestly the list can go on. So here is what I want you to do. Just look back over the course of the past few weeks and see if you had eaten ANYTHING and not too long afterwards you felt “off” or noticed any of the above symptoms (this can take up to a few hours till you notice anything).

If you say eat pasta and notice about an hour later you feel pregnant then that’s your body’s way of telling you that SOMETHING in that food it did not like! So what happens is that your body has to take care of this low level allergy reaction and can’t dedicate it time to processing the food and burning fat like we want.

You’re not supposed to feel bad after eating food; so if you notice that after you eat a certain food you get puffy then STOP! Promise you notice that you’ll lose fat pretty quickly after that.



I can see that I’ll need to do several blog post over each topic above so check back but if you want more updates please add your e-mail to our news letter HERE <—– Click on the link



In Health and Fitness,




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

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Last min holiday gifts for those fitness buffs

Hey, sometimes we don’t know what to get people and we need some last min ideas. Here is what I personally recommend… in fact I hope to get some of these this holiday season (wink wink) 🙂


1. Resistance Bands – Any of my clients that have worked with me know that I’m a HUGH believer in resistance  band training. Why? Bands just put stress on the body in ways that gravity or free weights can’t, helps reduce injury time, helps prevent injury, more versatile than free weights (come on I have bands that go up to 200lbs, beats the hell out of carrying a 200lb weight were ever I go), the list can go on. Get a pair and I promise you can’t go wrong. Resistance Band Training <—- Click on the link





2. Foam Roller – If you haven’t found out about this secret to proper warm up and tissue quality then my friend you are missing something that will change your life in training… I’m not exaggerating about that claim either. Just trust me on this, it is the best investment that you can do.        Perform Better Foam Rollers



3. TRX System – Want to bring the workouts to another level? Suspension training is an amazing way to maximize bodyweight training in angles that can’t be done anywhere else. If you don’t believe me on this look at a gymnast and you’ll see what I’m talking about 😉  



4. Prograde Supplements – I won’t tell you how important proper supplementation is to training because I’m sure that you’ve heard it and frankly I could rant all day. One of the best supplement companies I’ve used and I highly recommend it. Feel free to e-mail me if you want my personal recommendation on what you should start with.          Prograde Supplements






5. Personal Training – I’m a trainer you knew that I was going to plug this in the list lol! On a serious note a few sessions with a good trainer can make the world of difference when it comes to someone’s workout. We can tailor workouts and exercises to fit that person’s needs and really cut the learning curve down exponentially which can save
you sooooooooo much frustration. For more info send an e-mail to Travis@fitnessrevolutionrowlett.com









6. Food – Yes you read that correctly, I said food. Not just any food of course but healthy food for those healthy nutrition buffs. Sometimes the biggest hassle with that is the preparation of course but I have been using a company for the past few months and these people have it down! I’ll have more articles about this on down the road but they will have you a month’s supply of prepared, healthy, good tasting (I’m serious about that too) food to you the next day! As a fitness buff this just awesome! Click On this Link!!!!







7. Massage – Recovery is just as important part of an exercise regime as the gym work, in a lot of cases proper recovery is even MORE important. How do I figure that? If you’re not recovering properly then all your doing is just continuing to tear down your body and never let it show the results of the work you put into the gym. A good set of hands is hard to find I know but e-mail me and I’ll personally send you the contact info on who I use… she is amazing! Email me at Travis@fitnessrevolutionrowlett.com








In Health and Fitness,




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

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.