Weightlifting Cardio

Question

I hate cardio and prefer not to do it. I like lifting heavy things, so anything above 5 reps is cardio to me ha ha. However I just turned 40 and my Doctor says I need to do something. You seem pretty well versed in alternative approaches to things.

If you were me, what would you do?

Answer

The first thing I’d do is get a complete understanding of WHY your Dr. said what he said. Typically, things are pretty far gone when a Dr. has to get after you to exercise.

Because I don’t know you though, I’ll have to make some assumptions.

Most males still lifting heavy at age 40 bring their other habits with them for the ride into middle age. And more than a few have done no cardio at all. This is the boat I was in when I turned around 30.

Always told myself I’d start then. But 30 came and went, and I still hadn’t done any cardio. Then I started reading Westside’s stuff about GPP.

In particular, there was an article written by Dave Tate who related the story of visiting a university I think, where he was about to lecture.

To get to the lecture hall, he had to climb a big hill with his mentor, Louie Simmons. They got to the top and Dave couldn’t go any farther – he was out of breath after climbing one hill.

Louis OTOH was just fine.

General Physical Preparedness (GPP)

The difference? GPP, or what the Russian call General Physical Preparedness.

So I bought a sled, used it and saw the difference it made. I suggest you do the same, as not only does it speed recovery but gives the heart and lungs a great workout.

If I were to pick just one exercise though for lifters to use, it would be DB step ups.

Stepping up onto a bench, step or platform while holding a lot of weight builds not just great legs, glutes, hams and quads, it builds tremendous grip strength and traps as well!

And if all that wasn’t enough, your heart and lungs will be challenged beyond words. I’m not kidding here, this is worse than pushing and pulling the Prowler IMO, at least when you use substantial weight.

I hold 75lbs DB’s and perform 10 reps per leg, with just 1 minute of rest in between sets.

Once I can complete all 5 sets for 10 reps, I jump the weight 10lbs. Which is really 20lbs, because you’re holding 2 DB’s.

Building up to this (and more) is a tremendous accomplishment. Even better, there’s no equipment to buy (assuming you already have DB’s) and anyone can find a step somewhere.

Bottom Line

Heavy step ups were a Russian staple. They build not only enormous strength, but stimulate tons of muscle growth and get you in better cardiovascular shape – fast.

Give that a shot, I know you’ll be most pleased.

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Coach Rob Regish

Coach Rob Regish

Rob Regish is an internationally recognized name in the field of health and fitness. He's been a weekly contributor to Superhumanradio.net for almost a decade, answering listener questions from around the world.

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