Cardio is not at all bad. What has actually earned it a bad name are certain workout programs. These workouts narrow down to 4 wildly stupid ones – the elliptical machine, distance running, stair climber and stationary cycling. Countless people spend endless hours on these machines but still, hardly see any results. Here, let me tell you why you should divorce these dumb workouts.
1) Distance Running/Slow Jogging
Understand this for once and for all, you don’t need to run/jog long distances unless you are marathoner or a tri-athlete. Running long distances will ruin your knees and make you skinny fat at best. If you want to lose weight with an aim to eventually look muscular, running isn’t the answer. Choice is yours—do you want to look skinny like a marathoner or jacked like a sprinter?
Do This Instead – High Intensity Interval Sprinting (Treadmill)
0.50 km Warm-Up@ speed of 10-11 km/h
Sprint – 0.20 km @ speed of 17-18 km/h
Rest – 0.15 km @ speed 4-5 km/h
Repeat the drill to total 5 km or 30 minutes.
2) The Elliptical
Blame it on today’s dysfunctional fitness culture, the Elliptical has risen as the messiah of the ignorant. It’s unchallenging and, despite being a workout, is basically lazy. So, slogging on it for hours on end might make you think that you did some hard work but actually, you didn’t.
Do This Instead – HIIT
Pick 3 bodyweight workouts, for example, squats, push-ups and pull-ups. Do 10 sets X 10 reps at max effort. Take a minute’s break after every 2 sets.
3) Stair Climber
The fact is that climbing stairs is one of the best exercises for the lower body but not when the stairs move on their own and you can hold on to a grill and lethargically move at a comfortable pace. Also, jacking up the speed of the stair mill doesn’t enhance your effort level.
Do This Instead – Incline Walk
Just walk on an incline surface or switch on the incline mode on your treadmill.
4) Stationary Cycling Or Spinning
Only if hours of stationary cycling weren’t dumb enough, the so-called ‘spinning workout’ out is blowing up. Spin classes are nothing but cycling the hardest you can till you literally can’t paddle any more. Plus, some trainers are adding strength movements to it making it even more damaging for your back and cardiovascular system.
Do This Instead – High-Intensity Interval Cycling
You can do this on a stationary bike but I strongly advise you to use a motion bicycle.
Paddle at max effort – 1-2 minutes
Rest Paddling – 45 seconds
Repeat the above till you hit a 5-kilometers distance mark.