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How to do PROPER Cardio

Cardio has gotten a bad rep.

Blame Jane Fonda, no actually, leave Jane Fonda alone!!!

Blame Mr Motivator

Or that psycho “Mad Lizzie” woman!

But is that really cardio?

Well it could be, but so could a great many other things that don’t involve brightly colored lycra and pseudo dance mooves.

Like actual dancing. Seriously, dancing is superb, you learn skills, develop mobility and coordination and get in plenty of cardio. And no one is screaming at you over a PA system!

No. Just, No.

But lets get to the point.

If you cannot hold a coherent conversation, then you are working at a level beyond where you need to be.

For the heart rate trackers, you’ll be somewhere close to 130BPM, some people a little higher, some a little lower.

And you need to go for time.

That’s it, that’s cardio.

So you can walk, run, cycle, hike, swing a mace, shadow box, skip, row, even lift weights.

Bu in doing so, you maintain an average heart rate in around the 130BPM mark, lets say 120 to 150BPM, but that’s being generous.

How else an we keep our pace right?

Try nasal breathing.

Even hold a table spoon of water in your mouth for the duration (I add a small amount of salt to mine) This will force nose breathing, and will seriously limit the pace at which you can work.

Be aware, at first this can be very uncomfortable, but it will pass. It can also be messy, keep a box of tissues handy!

And that is as complex as it needs be.

Here’s a cardio set I like to play with in the gym, Stick on a Spotify play list, grab a spoonful of water. Circuit through:

Hindu Squats Mace 10 to 2’s Light punch bag Indian Club Swings Easy Kettlebell Swings

Change exercise every time a new song comes on, and don’t swallow or spit out that water. Usually I’ll do this for about 30 minutes, you can do more or less.

I also nasal breath during my 6 mile cycle commute between home and Wild Geese.

If this seems a little easy, that’s kind of the point. Cardio training is about cardio vascular efficiency, ie getting the oxygen from the air to the working muscles smoothly and also stimulating the production of mitochondria in the muscles, which leads to greater energy availability and faster recovery when you do hit the gas during more intense training.

Now, get to it


Dave Hedges

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