Let’s get real for a minute.
I hate doing cardio. I despise cardio. Cardio is the MF’ing devil!! The only way I’m running a marathon is if a bear is chasing my butt down the street!
As unfortunate as it is, doing cardio is a must if you’re looking to get rid of that pesky holiday fat gain. If you hate doing cardio too, but need to lose fat, you’re in luck!
The good news is, you can perform “cardio” without running your life away on a hamster wheel and really feel like you’re doing cardio. I’m going to introduce you to a way to burn fat and gain/maintain muscle mass without stepping foot on a treadmill!
Cardio Plans for Cardio Haters!
There are a few plans I will outline. They are simple to perform, but also grueling at the same time.
Simply put, you are going to lunge your way to fat burning. Here’s how:
Perform this three times a week at the end of your workouts:
You’re goal here is to complete 200 total walking lunges and add dumbbell weight as you succeed 200 total steps.
- Week 1: Bodyweight lunges – 200 total steps
- Week 2: Add dumbbells (if the body weight lunges felt easy for 200 steps, I’d add 15lb dumbbells) – 200 total steps
- Week 3: Increase dumbbell weight – 200 total steps
- Week 4: Continue adding weight so that you are near maximal fatigue on your last ten reps, keep this moving forward as the weeks progress.
In my opinion, I like to use dumbbells for walking lunges because it also helps improve my grip strength. You could also use a weighted vest if you have access to one, but you will miss out on the grip strength benefits.
My female clients love to hate lunge cardio! This will tone muscles in your legs, glutes, and abs that you never knew you had…
Depending upon your training level, you may not be able to get to 200 total steps in a row. You can break these up into sets of 50 steps if you prefer. Also, if you’re limited on space, its as easy as walking lunge as far as you can and then turning around to lunge back to your starting point. Rinse and repeat until you’ve completed 200.
Simply put, you are going to squat your way to fat burning. Here’s how:
Perform this two times a week at the end of your workouts:
You’re goal here is to complete 15-20 reps per set, 60 seconds rest between sets, 100 total reps.
- Week 1: Begin with body weight squats – 5 sets of 20 reps, 60 sec rest between sets
- Week 2: Add in just the bar weight (45lb bar) – 5 sets of 20 reps, 60 sec rest between sets
- Week 3: Add weight to the bar, whatever you are comfortable with, but brings you to fatigue around 15 reps
- Week 4: Continue adding weight as you complete the prior weights, keep this moving forward as the weeks progress
Not only will you burn plenty of fat with this squat cardio, but you will probably end up adding some weight to your squat totals.
Remember, you want to complete 100 total reps, so the weight will have to be light enough to keep with one weight the whole time. Do not complete less than 15 reps, but no more than 20 in a given set.
If you need more reason why you should squat, you can read my article I wrote on Why Everyone Should Squat!
Easy enough… Perform 100 burpees at the end of your workouts. There isn’t anyone in the world that enjoys burpees! Buck Furpees!
Burpees work… And they work well!
So there you have it… Three ways to perform cardio without feeling like you’re performing cardio. Either of these three ideas will burn fat, maintain/build muscle, and leave you damn sore.
My favorite way to perform “non-cardio” is to combine the three into a week. Here’s how:
- Monday: Lunge Cardio
- Wednesday: Burpees
- Friday: Squat Cardio
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