Thursday Cardio. Join In Everybody!

July 16 2015 – Cardio

Because life will chase you down and eat you…

2x section
20 squat jumps
20 belt kicks
20 swing kicks
20 vsnaps

2x section
20 Hit The Floor
10 2 line Suicides
20 switch kicks
20 double switch sit up

2x section
5x long jump run back – single double triple repeat
10 river jumps
5 3 line suicides fwd and back with pancake
4 long jump to burpee to every line and back

2x section – Plank cardio
10 runs
10 squat thrust
10 ski abs
10 pushup jacks

2x section
20 squat half turn
40 front jack side jack
10 jack MK switch 1+2
50 happy knees to elbow

Bonus
2X
20 jacks
10 jack plus tuck jump
10 jack plus tuck plus jump full turn
40 sprint MK AFAP (as fast as possible)

10.30 – Bootcamp Bodyweight And Reflecting On Cardio

The one question I get most often, or the comment I hear most often from people trying to lose weight is how much cardio should I do? Either that or I get people who rely on 15-45 minutes on the treadmill or worse, the elliptical to get the job done and wonder why they are not losing weight. Or, if they are losing weight, why they feel so weak and have no strength.

Let’s take a quick look at the model of maintaining a muscular physique. Why? Because that is the goal for everyone, whether they realize it or not, their goal is to be more lean and less fat. Taking that model to the extreme (drugs and other issues aside) the person you need to look at is the professional bodybuilder. I know, I know, nobody wants to look like that, women tell me all the time they “don’t want to get all bulky” blissfully ignorant of exactly how much blood sweat and tears goes in to building muscle tissue. But on the logic side, the bodybuilder is only an extreme version of what we all want, lower bodyfat, higher lean mass to prevent bone loss, encourage healthy hormone production and the ability to move around in the world with efficiency and reliability. Now before you all get up in arms about professional bodybuilders being restrictively inflexible or mobility challenged due to their mass, I agree, to a degree. We are only talking about modelling a behaviour to get the results you desire. Ask any professional bodybuilder what they think of cardio and they will tell you it’s a muscle killer. The reason that bodybuilders put on as much mass as possible during their off season is because they know the second they start to do cardio to pull the liquid out of their system and to lower their fat levels to dangerous levels they will start to burn muscle tissue. Ask them how much cardio they do during the off season and for the most part they will tell you very little. There is good reason for that, and without going into details here, I will refer you back to the posts I have written in the past regarding the dishonour of cardio and the dangers of stressing your body on the treadmill.

The short version is this, if you want to lose fat, increase your lean mass. You can do this by moving your body effectively and often, sometimes with added weight, but that is absolutely not necessary. Take a look at any gymnast’s body and you will see the effectiveness of bodyweight training. Also, ask any competitive gymnast how often they are on the treadmill… I think you can guess the answer. Long slow “fat burning” cardio sessions were popularized in the 80’s and the fallacy has continued to linger but the new research shows that effectiveness in training comes from intensity, not duration. That’s why programs like Insanity are so good, it’s high intensity interval training with bodyweight movements thrown on top.

Kettlebells – Don’t suffer on the treadmill
Forget what you believe, find out what you need to know
Sorry for the rant, I will get back to the regular program now, with a listing of the class from last evening.

D7 4.4.1 Bodyweight

Balance and coordination

10 regular pushups with shoulder touch
10 military pushups with hip touch
10 sphinx to plank step or drop
10 pushup side raise
10 pullups

20 in and out row
10 roll to boat hold 3 count
20 bicycle with leg extension
20 side crunch per side
10 pullups

10 SB pushup boing
10 SB Burpee lift ball
10 SB Plank to sphinx
10 per SB elbow plank side raise

Feet on SB

10 regular pushups with shoulder touch
10 military pushups with hip touch
10 sphinx to plank step or drop
10 pushup side raise
10 pullups

20 Crunchy Frog
20 vsnap
20 laying triple bicycles
20 full situps

Arms on SB 20 360’s
Arms on SB plank to sphinx
10x feet on SB walk out and back
20x feet on ball face down roll ball in to chest
20x laying hamstring pull
10 Hindu Pushup

10.24/25 – Rest and Bootcamp Cardio (That’s Not Too Complicated, Is It?)

Last night was warm again, I suppose its a little redundant since summer in Toronto has seen weeks over 30 degrees in the past. It was 34 in the shade yesterday, that’s about 93 degrees for those from the 70s. It was cardio, and although we have been avoiding doing real cardio classes due to the heat and rather doing abs workouts I decided today was a return to the core cardio we love. You would be amazed at how challenging the people still find the stability ball work, it’s a little freakish actually.

This is what we did:

D6 4.3.2 Cardio

Enough Abs, time for cardio hell

STABILITY BALL
5 SB burpee with ball
20 SB plank run
5 SB pushup boing
20 SB elbow plank run
10 SB plank jacks

10 SB burpee with ball
40 SB plank run
10 SB pushup boing
40 SB elbow plank run
20 SB plank jacks

10 hit the floor
5 Suicides
2 lengths knees up no cross
10 in and out abs

20 hit the floor
10 Suicides
4 lengths knees up no cross
20 in and out abs

4x burpee with jump half half
10 frog jump
8 horse stance jacks with pulse (4+8)
10 vsnaps

8x burpee with jump half half
20 frog jump
12 horse stance jacks with pulse (4+8)
20 vsnaps

3 suicide lines (1,2,3)
3 suicide lines with pancake
3 suicide lines with pancake tuck jump
10 ski abs

3 suicide lines with backwards (1,2,3)
3 suicide lines with backwards with pancake
3 suicide lines with backwards with pancake tuck jump
10 ski abs

2x section
10 frog jumps
10 frog jump half
10 tuck jump
10 tuck jump half
20 plank jacks
10 plank jacks with in and out

Bonus leg burners

10 squats
8 squat 2 tuck -repeated due to non compliance
6 squat 4 tuck
4 squat 6 tuck
2 squat 8 tuck
10 tuck jumps

R9D55 – Bootcamp 2.12.2 Cardio. Last Day Of Session 2!

Sadly today was the last day of session two and we are losing at least one participant for the next 12 weeks. Having said that, we are hopefully going to gain a few more for the summer session that will start sometime mid June.

D24 – 2.12.2 Cardio

2x section
20 squat jumps
20 belt kicks
20 swing kicks
20 vsnaps

2x section
20 Hit The Floor
10 2 line Suicides
20 switch kicks
20 double switch sit up

2x section
5x long jump run back – single double triple repeat
10 river jumps
10 2 line suicides with burpee
10 ski abs

2x section
20 squat half turn
10 switch split 180 3+1
20 jack MK switch 1+1
50 happy knees to elbow

2x section
10 depth charge from knees SJ TJ
10 side to side suicide shufle
10 side to side suicide front and back
4 side knees up full line
10 roll and hold

Bonus
2X
20 jacks
10 airborne X
5 Diamond Jacks

R9D50 – Bootcamp 2.11.1 Maybe I’m Imagining Things (3 things)

So part way during the bootcamp class I became aware that I was struggling a little more than I think I should be. In my exhausted state I figured it was because of my lax approach the last few weeks (I only managed 3 workouts last week) and that my conditioning was starting to suffer. Then I realized that in my hurry I had grabbed a can of Red Bull on my way out of the house and what I was feeling was the rush of adrenaline and caffeine from the (sugar free) energy drink. Now I am not a big fan of energy drinks other than to keep you alert while driving. I have a tendency to zone out a little when we go on long car trips so I often will consume a Red Bull or 5 hour energy before to make sure I’m up for the mind-numbing trip. But when it comes to exercising I have long believed that the stimulation that you get from energy drinks is not doing you any good. So I decided to look into it.

I found a few things that give balanced reviews of not only the drink themselves but also the idea behind the marketing and so on, but since it was the specific health aspect I was interested in I read on to discover that what I was feeling was probably a caffeine overload. Since most energy drinks contain caffeine and also Guaranine (which has an active ingredient of… you guessed it, caffeine) then the amount of caffeine you are taking in during a very short time can be upwards of 3 cup equivalents. In short, after reading up on the subject I found a startling conclusion that was reached by almost everyone who has studied the effects of these kinds of drinks:

  •  Energy drinks should not be consumed before or during exercise or manual labor.
  • Energy drinks are not a substitute for water or sports drinks for hydration.
  • Monitor your kids. Children or adolescents should not consume energy drinks.
  • Do not mix energy drinks with alcohol. Period.
  • Do not drink energy drinks if you have hypertension, have an underlying medical condition, or are taking any kind of prescription medication.
  • Do not drink energy drinks if you’re pregnant.
  • Do not exceed the recommended daily allowance (usually one can per day).
  • Know the signs of too much caffeine (jitters, restlessness, fidgeting, anxiety, excitement, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irritability, irregular or rapid heart beat)

The point that was made over and over was the distinction between “energy drinks” and “sports drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade etc. Although for some people the distinction is not clear, sports drinks are designed for SPORTS and to be consumed during or after sports or both. Energy drinks, as far as I can tell are designed to place your body into an alert, high performing state which can emulate intense exercise. Having and energy drink and exercising is like pouring gasoline on a barbecue, it’s just not a good idea and the intensity of the result may cause heart attack, stroke, seizures and yes, definitely death. They must be thinking of Angel Wings when they say “Red Bull give you wings…”. I guess I will be taking my old standby water bottle from now on!

The second thing is sleep. I am guilty of not getting enough sleep and although I have been operating on 5 hours a night for many m any years I can’t deny that I feel better after 7 or 8 IF I CAN DO IT! Most often I can’t, my body just wants out after 5 hours. I ran into a good infographic today which tell sof the health risks of getting what I would call chronic lack of sleep:

Lack of Sleep Infographic
As for bootcamp, it was intense and enjoyable, and a repeat of a class from a few weeks back. I like it because it has plenty of backwards running, something that increases agility, focus and works the legs in a new and painful way! We also welcomed back a visitor to the class and like I have said on previous occasions I love having new victims to torture especially if they try to make both classes in a week. The second class is almost always a new height in pain and suffering for them. But kudos to her for coming back and partying with us a second (and hopefully third) time!

D21 – 2.11.1 Cardio and abs

2x section
20 Hit The Floor
10 2 line Suicides
20 switch kicks
20 in and out abs

2x section
4x 8Jump rope with 4jump half turn
10x 8 sprint 4 switch lunge
10 stance jacks (foot touch)
10 vsnaps

2x section
5x long jump run back – single double triple repeat
20 side to side hopjump with squat foot touch
10 2 line forward and back suicides with pancake
10 ski abs

2x section
5 burpee
5 burpee with 4 run
5 burpee with 4 run and 4 in and out
20 plank jacks
10 plank jacks with in and out

1x section
2 foot tap circles
4x 1 foot tap circles with med ball carry 3 lengths
4x 20 foot taps, 5 burpee holding ball
each line ball place and return (place ball on line return to wall)
10 full situp with med ball
10 side crunch each side

 

R9D39/40 – X2 Shoulders + Arms Plus Bootcamp 2.8.1 (Cardio)

This was my second time doing the shoulders and arms workout and I have to admit I am disappointed that the arms workout doesn’t include any dips. For myself, I find dips to be second only to close grip bench for building massive tricep strength. The fixation that Tony has with tricep extensions is annoying for me. So I usually replace the ineffective tricep extensions with dips on my home made dip station which wobbles like crazy and in doing so creates all sorts of minor muscle fatigue that you just can’t beat. I think it cost me about $20 to build and I love it! Other than the frustration with the triceps and the fact that this workout is basically P90X shoulders and arms standing on one leg, I quite enjoy it.

Monday brought more pain in the form of Cardio Bootcamp. I had taken Sunday off knowing that I will be working out probably 5 or 6 days this week and so I was ready to fire on all cylinders when Monday evening rolled around. I had added and modified the workout a little and had planned for this to be the toughest bootcamp so far. When I think back to how we started I am so proud of the participants in my group. We came from a small room doing 21 movements to working out on a full floor with Olympic weights and stability balls and medicine balls and cranking out 52 movements in the same hour long class. This was by far the toughest cardio workout we have done, and it looked like this:

Bootcamp 2.8.1 – Cardio

2x section
10 SB burpee lift ball
20 SB plank run
10 SB pushup boing
20 SB elbow plank run
10 SB plank jacks

2x section
20 hit the floor
10 Suicides
16 log jump 4x one direction
20 in and out abs

2x section
8x burpee with jump half half
16 log jump 8x one direction
5 horse stance jacks with pulse (4+8)
10 vsnaps

2x section
3 suicide lines with run back (1,2,3)
3 suicide lines with run back with pancake
3 suicide lines with run back with pancake tuck jump
10 ski abs to finish

2x section
10 frog jumps
10 frog jump half
10 tuck jump
10 tuck jump half
20 plank jacks
10 plank jacks with in and out

Bonus leg burners

10 squats
8 squat 2 tuck
6 squat 4 tuck
4 squat 6 tuck
2 squat 8 tuck
10 tuck jumps

R9D27 – Bootcamp 2.5.1 Cardio

<— That’s how a cardio workout should end, not stepping off the treadmill with your magazine and your bottle of water with a slight glow to your face…

Today’s bootcamp was gruelling. Sometimes I think of things that sound like fun without really realizing just how difficlut it is goin got be especially when combined with the rest of the workout. I realized after 3 of the sections today that this was a killer workout. It’s exactly what I want and what I want for them but man it was tough. I have also come to realize that the movements that exist in P90X2 are in version 2 for a reason, because they are tough. Seeing my group struggle to complete stability ball work is a real eye opener, and I realize now that you need an enormous amount of strength or coordination or both to make the stability ball workouts work for you. Fortunately I can simplify it for them but I am amazed at how hard they found the balance portion at the end of the night.

D8 – 2.5.1 Cardio and abs

Bike warmup 30×5 with 10 rest or row 1000m

2x section
20 alt toe touch suicide
10 Suicides
20 switch kicks
20 in and out abs

2x section
4x 8Jump rope with 4jump half turn
10x 8 sprint 4 switch lunge
10 stance jacks (foot touch)
10 vsnaps

2x section
5x long jump run back – single double triple repeat
20 side to side hopjump with squat foot touch
10 2 line forward and back suicides with pancake
10 ski abs

2x section
5 burpee
5 burpee with 4 run
5 burpee with 4 run and 4 in and out
20 plank jacks
10 plank jacks with in and out

1x section
10 SB burpee
10 SB run around
10 SB pushup boing
10 SB face around
10 SB sphinx to plank rollup
10 SB Mountain climber
10 SB Shoulder hamstring roll in

Bootcamp 2 W2D1&2 – Cardio & Bodyweight Upper

I’ve been so wrapped up in the P90X2 reviews that I neglected to list the workout from Monday’s bootcamp. It’s now Wednesday night and we just completed Bodyweight Upper day so I will add that here too.

Week 2 Day 1 – Cardio

Wide leg squat to toes
Weighted Mary Katherines
2 foot slalom jump – 4 lengths
Long jump/straight jump – 2 lines

Air squats
Weighted Walking Lunge
Super Skater Kicks
Step up, jump down + Straight jumps over box

Burpee tuck jump
Hopping slalom 2 lines
1 leg squat with knee lift
jump 1/2 turns

Weighted shelf stack with abductor lift
Toe tap 360
Flying kick with back kick / scissor leap with needle
8 knees, 4 pushups, 2 plyo pushups, tuck jump

Bonus Round (x2)

20 jump ropes
10 block jumps
10 up and over the block
10 clear jumps

Week 2 Day 2 – Bodyweight Upper

Holding Stability Ball warmup

5 – 10 reps as needed

Pushup
Military
Plyo
Plank to Sphinx
Pushup Balance

plank knee to elbow
plank knee to both elbows
plank x crunch – superman to elbow/knee touch

Stability pushup bounce
Stability pushup clap
Stability plank to elbow no step
Stability elbow balance Stability shoulder support leg raise
Stability shoulder support bicycles
Stability ab roll in
Stability leg hold leg raise
Stability ball passover

Medicine ball twists 4 in 4 out
Medicine ball around the world
Medicine ball leg lift
Medicine ball pushup switch
Medicine ball single military
Medicine ball single leg pushup
Medicine ball pushup balance
Medicine ball plank to floor plank to sphinx

Bonus – NOT COMPLETED

Stability elbow roller crabs
Stability pullups?
The impossible possible – feet on Stability hands on Medicine pushup

This was a tough workout, it’s hard to get across the value of balance work when the participants are so used to working hard on moves that increase the heart rate. I think this workout was very valuable, we will have to see if they agree long term.

You Need To Know This – Health and Fitness 101, The Basics

I guess I should expect it given where I came from…

I get asked with great regularity about my exercise, diet and motivation. I consider it a privilege to share my knowledge and in that spirit I have put together a basic list of the things that have influenced how I think. Some are my original thoughts, some are not, but it’s all part and parcel of what made me who I am today.

First, let’s get the diet out of the way.

Most of you already know my diet is paleo. It’s what I do and it is what I recommend. Even for kids I don’t see the value in eating grains that are processed and have very little in the way of nutritional value. Eat whole foods, drink water.

Eat like a predator, not prey
What are my reasons for eating paleo? (Other than losing 65lbs?)
Why I eat paleo (By Fitbomb)
Refined Carbs are Just Plain Bad  – including the part about exorphins, or why your body craves carbs like an addict craves coke
Its Carbs not fat that are the problem
Why Paleo isn’t low carb

Now you know how to eat and why let’s quickly address the darling of the weight loss myth – Cardio.

Kettlebells Vs Cardio – The dishonour of cardio
Forget what you think you know – Why cardio is killing you (especially this: 10 reasons I don’t do aerobics)
Why do HIIT – A special nod to my gym girls

The mental game. Why it’s critical to develop mental focus, strength and have a healthy work ethic. Fear and motivation are two topics that come up a lot with my gym girls, and it’s also something I see in the faces of my bootcamp participants. Fear is good, fear is healthy, fear is there to tell you that you are about to become better.

For the kids – Some things you should know…
Fear – Face it, defeat it. Over the years I have had kids who were afraid. Most aren’t any more because they know better.
A big enough WHY? Find your reason, without it you are lost.
Stop listening to yourself – long but well worth the read. PROTECT THIS HOUSE!

So there you have it for now. Some stuff I have written, some links to very good information out there on the web and some stuff I admit I stole because I think it will help you. It’s all important, come back again and again to take what you need and as you do, learn how to coach yourself through life and be the best that you can be for you, your family and those with whom you can share the knowledge.

Cardio and Kettlebells. Don’t Suffer On The Treadmill.

Pavel Tsatsouline calls kettlebell workouts “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”. I would extend that to the dishonour of running on a treadmill or even worse, the pathetic excuse for a machine that is the elliptical.

My favourite quote of his is still: “If you don’t have good judgement, why don’t you stay on the machines you big sissy?”

I had a short conversation last night about cardio and why it’s better to build muscle than waste away on a treadmill but predictably the response was tinged with doubt. I have written about the cardio issue before, as have so many others but I thought I would just do a little recap for the sake of assisting those who still hold on to archaic and scientifically disproven methodologies.

The Kettlebell piece is easy. Study some swings and lifts then get to work, it will blow your mind:

Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max. Heart rate was substantially higher than Vo2 during kettlebell swings. Kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes.

Simply put, it’s as beneficial as traditional “cardio” but without the joint pain and insufferable boredom.

The Cardio takes a little more convincing for some:

What is aerobic exercise? Any steady state locomotion elevating the heart rate into the zone for twenty minutes or more.The zone is determined by formulas based on age and resting heart rate.

Now, ten reasons why it not only doesn’t work but is a poor use of exercise time:

  1. Oxidative Stress
    Which causes a breakdown of tissues. It also predisposes one to cancer and heart attack.
  2. Elevated cortisol production
    Which causes a breakdown of muscle tissue and increases fat storage or depot fat. People do aerobics to alleviate stress yet end up creating more stress.
  3. Lowered testosterone and HGH levels
    For men, aerobics are a form of chemical castration. Low T-levels are associated with lowered libido, depression, anxiety, increased body fat and decreased muscle tissue. This contributes to muscle-wasting and lowers the basal metabolic rate.
  4. Increased appetite and a tendency toward binge eating patterns
    Aerobic exercise makes people hungry!
  5. Excessive Muscular Fatigue
    Making it difficult to do other more productive forms of activity. Aerobics creates muscular weakness.
  6. Conversion of fast-twitch muscle fibers to slow-twitch
    The loss of fast-twitch muscle fibers contributes to aging and the loss of explosive power and speed. People become slower and slower.
  7. Burns a relatively small amount of calories vs. the time spent
    One large meal completely offsets the pitiful amount of calories burned in an hour aerobics session.
  8. Overuse injuries to the feet, ankles, and knees from excessive, continual force transmitted throughout the body
    This is exacerbated by over-engineered running shoes which cushion the feet in such a way to create a neural amnesia.
  9. Shortening i.e., deformation, of the muscle tissue from repetitive mid-range (partial range) movements
    This creates inflexibility, immobility, and muscle imbalances. Besides being tight, the bodies postural alignment becomes compromised. Aerobics create tight, inflexible bodies that are in chronic pain.
  10. Adrenal burnout
    A consequence of the “feel good” neurotransmitters which also stimulate the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is thefight or flight hormone. Excessive adrenaline creates an addictive response and people going routinely for the so called “high” of running end up with adrenal burnout, e.g., chronic fatigue and depression.

 

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the father of aerobic exercise (and the person who coined the term) completely recanted his assertions regarding aerobic exercise. After observing a disproportionate number of his aerobic-enthusiast friends die of cancer and heart disease, he reversed his ideas on the benefits of excessive aerobic exercise. He now claims anything in excess of 20 minutes has greatly diminishing returns. In fact, he’s now an advocate of scientific weight training.

Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple was once (as we all were) a cardio junkie and states the following:

The stress of high intensity training was also leaving me soaking in my own internal cortisol (stress hormone) bath. It wasn’t so clear to me at the time exactly what was happening “ in fact it was quite confusing, since I was doing so much of this so-called ‘healthy’ aerobic exercise but I had no choice but to give up racing, unable to train at anywhere near the intensity required to stay at an elite level.

The costs of chronic (repetitious) mid- and high-level aerobic work
– requires large amounts of dietary carbohydrates (SUGAR)
– decreases efficient fat metabolism
– increases stress hormone cortisol
– increases systemic inflammation
– increases oxidative damage (free radical production)
– boring!

Facts are that cardio training is more harmful than anyone ever imagined. The correct use of your time is in resistance training, more specifically high intensity resistance training mixed with off days of whatever you fancy. Literally, you should be out in the world challenging yourself to climb rocks, jump over tree stumps, climb in a kids playground to test your new found fitness.

Nobody should be subjected to running on a treadmill for hours at a time, you’re not a hamster in a wheel for heaven’s sake!