The best cardio workout without question is wrestling. If you’ve never been on a wrestling team, think about if you’ve ever been in a fight or were even just horsing around. You’re usually sucking wind within two minutes. Wrestling not only taxes your cardiovascular prowess but puts every single muscle in your body to the test.
Unless you actually live in River City, where you can pick a fight with everyone on the street:
RIVER CITY IS TOUGH PLACE
And you don’t feel like joining the local wrestling team, you’re not going to be able to recreate this workout. But alas, there is a way to come close…
TOP THREE BEST CARDIO DEVICES:
I’ve never actually tried these ropes up until about two weeks ago. Wow. The first time I used them I was gasping for that ‘oh so precious element that we often take for granted’ within a few minutes. They’re taxing on your legs, abs, arms, back, traps, EVERYTHING. Ten minutes of intervals with the ropes seemed like 30 minutes of traditional cardio and then some.
My favorite exercise thus far would be the double rope slam. You start by holding both ends of the rope with your feet shoulder width apart. Raising your arms as high in the air as you can, you slam the ropes into the ground as hard as possible while lowering your butt to the ground in a squatting position. Then you do it again. And again. And again.
To get started, try:
30 sec slams
45 sec rest
Once you get good, there are other slam variations you can try.
Without a shadow of a doubt the best cardio machine I’ve ever seen. It is not only a challenging cardiovascular exercise but it targets your shoulders, arms, legs, and glutes like no other.
You can use it by holding onto the sides or by using your hands on the ladder rungs. I recommend the latter on the ladder (bah dum!). Make sure you keep your chest up and push off your heels the entire time to keep as much focus on your glutes as possible.
To get started, try:
1 minute on ladder
1 minute breather
Once you can do five minutes straight through it’s only going to snowball. When you get up to ten minutes straight, that’s an entire cardio workout right there.
And there ya have it. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the stair stepper in this article. It’s one of my favorite cardio machines who’s aim is to target your booty and legs with Robin Hood like precision. I’m going to leave it out of this blog only because it excludes your upper body, BUT, we will discuss it more down the line.
So work hard, have fun, and when you’re done, stay clean.
I hate jumping rope. I usually hate anything that is really good for me but really challenging. So, much to my chagrin, I must acknowledge that jumping rope is one of the best forms of cardio in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.
Jumping rope involves almost every muscle in your body (especially your shoulders, abdominals, and calves), burns an incredibly high amount of calories (over 1000 per hour), and also improves explosiveness, stamina, and coordination – all of which will transfer over to greater results in the gym and your physique.
I was terrible at jumping rope. Now I’m much improved, although I still hate it Here’s what I did.
Perform this program 2-3x per week on non-consecutive days.
10 Forward Jump Rope
10 Reverse Jump Rope
10 Forward Jump Rope Left Leg Only
10 Forward Jump Rope Right Leg Only
10 Reverse Jump Rope Left Leg Only
10 Reverse Jump Rope Right Leg Only
20 Forward Jump Rope
20 Forward Jump Rope
20 Reverse Jump Rope
20 Forward Jump Rope Left Leg Only
20 Forward Jump Rope Right Leg Only
20 Reverse Jump Rope Left Leg Only
20 Reverse Jump Rope Right Leg Only
40 Forward Jump Rope
…….. Week 5:
50 Forward Jump Rope
50 Reverse Jump Rope
50 Forward Jump Rope Left Leg Only
50 Forward Jump Rope Right Leg Only
50 Reverse Jump Rope Left Leg Only
50 Reverse Jump Rope Right Leg Only
100 Forward Jump Rope
My Boot Camp class and I went all the way to Week 8. By the time we hit that point my jump roping skills were much improved. Now I use jump roping interspersed with the stair stepper and battle ropes for cardio. I’m still working on my jump roping prowess but if you stick the above program out, and you begin to feel and see the difference in your body, it’s something that you’ll continue to work at as well. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving kicks off the upcoming holiday season, soon to be followed by Christmas, and not to be out-done by New Years. It’s a joyous time, filled with family, good-will, and good food. But the deep belly laughs you share this holiday season don’t have to turn your belt into a jingle-jangle noose around your waistline and even Santa’s sleigh has a weight limit, so let’s reign it in before everyone’s attention is on your ever-expanding tummy and not your big red nose.
I understand everyone isn’t a competitive bodybuilder or figure competitor and you’re most likely going to enjoy some stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner, brown sugar ‘Stay Puft Marshmallow Man’ sweet potatoes, and what mashed potato volcano would be complete without hot gravy lava? Here are a few nutrition tips to lessen the damage:
One more thing that should not be neglected is your weight lifting and cardio. This one is a tricky subject. If you’re consistent with your workouts and nutrition you should be seeing the results you’re looking for already and this holiday season will be a breeze. Look at Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, and New Year’s dinner as your cheat meal for the week. A nice little ‘refeed’ to boost your leptin levels and you just keep on going your merry way.
THE GYM DOES NOT NEGATE A BAD DIET. I see and TRAIN many individuals who are absolute butt-kickers in the gym. They work hard as hell. They get stronger, have more endurance, and look… pretty much the same. They just refuse to get their nutrition on track. This one’s for you.
Calories in DO NOT equal calories out. The idea you can eat 2000 calories of Thanksgiving dinner and go to the gym and burn off 2000 calories and look the exact same is absurd. Use some common sense. Someone eating 2000 calories of chicken breasts looks a lot different than someone eating 2000 calories of pizza even if they’re both burning the same calories from exercise.
When you eat garbage and then do extra “Penance Cardio” in the gym it doesn’t merely cancel out. Eating excessive high fat, high sugar and high carb foods will lead to looking puffier, retaining water, and a lethargic feeling.
If you fall into this category, and you think you’re going to breeze through the holiday season adding more garbage nutrition choices to your naughty list and are just going to “burn off the extra calories on cardio”, you’re going to be really disappointed when you’re making another New Year’s Resolution 10lbs heavier than you were in November.
Love thy neighbor but more importantly love thyself. Take care of yourself this holiday season. Don’t fall off track and when January comes storming in, you’re already going to be on a solid path to a stronger you.
I haven’t updated this blog since I got back from vacation and a lot of negativity has happened in my life since then. The worst of it was my Nonna (Italian for grandmother) passed away. I love my Nonna with the most pure and unconditional love that I reserve for only a few people in my life. I’ve been numb since it happened and I still feel like I’m walking through a nightmare.
It feels like I’m just coasting along. I’m working just as hard, training just as hard, and keeping my nutrition just as solid as always, even though my heart isn’t really into it. I know though, my heart will be into it again someday, and I’ll be glad I stuck with everything in the meantime.
You’re always going to have stress in your life and times of negativity. Don’t let it throw you off course. I think ‘stress eating’ is so silly, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. What a disservice to yourself. Let’s look at the logic:
I eat because I’m stressed
I become more stressed when I’m not happy with my appearance
I eat because I’m stressed
As terrible as I’m feeling right now, if I start putting shitty foods in my body, become depressed, stop exercising and experience all the physical, psychological, and physiological consequences of those actions, I’m only going to feel worse and dig a deeper hole for myself.
Take control of yourself. Take control of your life. Your heart might not be into it this moment but rest assured it will be again. And when it is, you’ll thank yourself that you stuck with it and you’re that much more ahead of the game (http://www.chrisrombolatraining.com/?p=719)
I just got back from vacation in Rhode Island. It was a ton of fun!
Vacation to me doesn’t mean a vacation from working out and my nutrition. However, it does mean being a little lax but not falling apart.
Before I even left I located a gym close to the house we rented. I lifted weights Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday I went for an early morning jog on the beach. No workout took any longer than 30 minutes. I felt great. The psychological effects of working out are amazing. The rest of my crew looked tired and weary every day while me and my first mate were alive and ready to go.
Nutrition on vacation is tricky, especially when spending days on the beach. First thing we did after settling into the house was go shopping. We were right on the ocean which meant the last week was seafood heaven. I would pack two Tupperware meals for the beach (usually salmon/peas/rice) and bring a shake just in case. I’m good for about seven/eight hours off three packed meals.
Packing your meals isn’t a necessity though because Rhode Island has the most insanely delicious yet bank account draining food I have ever eaten available at roadside shacks. Lobster rolls. Typically a lobster roll is about 6oz of fresh lobster meat served on a toasted hot dog roll drizzled in butter. I’d substitute the butter for a little mayo and I was throwing those bad boys down two at a time. Amazing chunk of delicious lean protein. At a minimum of $15 a pop, they add up quick. Especially the monster 12oz lobster roll on Block Island for $26 – yeesh!
On beach days I would purposely low carb my meals in an attempt to even out drinks on the beach. Mai Tai’s are a new favorite of mine. I also had the displeasure of sharing a pitcher of a ‘no name’ beach drink that makes Long Island Ice teas look like lightweights on the alcohol front.
My favorite thing we did was the Newport Cliff Walk. It’s a 3.5 mile walk along the New England shoreline. The ocean is to your left and barbed wire fenced in Mansions are to your right. Most of it is unpaved so it’s a lot of rock hopping that led to some absolutely breathtaking views.
So vacation was a blast and rejuvenating. I didn’t make any progress physique wise but I also didn’t digress at all. It was exactly what my body needed. A rest.