Ever had the urge to break away from the monotony of those heavy, relatively isolative movements such as bench press, lat pull downs, Arnold press and bicep curls to name a few? If the answer is yes and you want to incorporate some cardio into your gym session just by doing resistance work…then include these:
#1 Deadlifts – Arguably the truest test of brute strength out there, deadlifts are thought to be one of the most challenging of all exercise for several reasons 1.) You are lifting a static weight from ‘dead’, hence the name, meaning momentum does not play a part like it might during squats 2.) They are a heavy compound move meaning it is multi-jointed and you recruit several muscle groups 3.) Because several muscle groups are included you become more metabolically active, this means you burn more calories intra and post workout, in fact you keep burning calories for up to 72 hours after deadlifts! 4.) The more/larger the muscle you work, the greater the need for oxygen , consequently you will be breathing deep and frequently to deliver all the energy your muscles need!
Tip: As you reach the top of the movement, give a little shrug too for maximal muscle exertion.
#2 Clean & Jerk – This exercise consists of two moves, unsurprisingly the ‘clean’ and ‘jerk’. The clean movement itself is one of the most dynamic elements of ay exercise out there. It entails lifting the weighted bar from the floor up to the front shoulders so that the bar is effectively wracked under your chin. From here the movement progresses into a should press, only in this case you are advised to bend the knees and thrust up in order to propel the bar above the head in turn completing the movement. As the weight increases the lifter will probably perform a split lunge which increase thrust and balance.
#3 Thrusters (Squat, push, press)
Not dissimilar to clean and jerks, the only difference is that the deadlift movement is only performed once at the beginning. The point of this exercise is to keep intensity at a max, therefore the load is never put down and repetition is key, so try reducing the weight compared to the clean and jerk and rep it out (try 10-12 reps to start). The time between squat and press is far less compared to the clean and jerk, so this should get you breathing HEAVILY!
All bells and no whistles! Kettlebells were invented with cardio, strength and flexibility in mind, and they certainly live up to that. A rep range of 4-5 is optimal for kettle bells, so pick a weight that allows you to perform approx 15-20 reps (volume is key here) and maintain proper form throughout the movement.
1.) Single or double handed Kettlebell swing
2.) Two arm kettle bell row
3.) Kettle bell lunge press
#5 Burpees (Star Jump to Squat Thrust)
The old rule of thumb says…’don’t be lifting weights until you have a command over your own body weight’! If you want to get the heart rate up and strip fat then few exercises get your heart and lungs squeezing like star jumps and squat thrusts. High reps are needed here, a good idea is a time challenge…set yourself the goal of completing 30 in a minute and progress upon completion, 3 sets of this should do the trick!
And one more thing…DON’T FORGET SQUATS ON LEG DAY! Squats are a muscle building, fat burning powerhouse that must NOT be overlooked!