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Weight Training Should Replace Traditional Cardiovascular Activity

Photo showing the heart rate in zones for high intensity interval training based cardiovascular activity.
Zone Conditioning

When most people think about cardiovascular activity they think of the boring (walking on the treadmill, riding the bike, stair master, elliptical) activities. Yes, these are cardiovascular  activities but if you spend thirty to sixty minutes per day on these devices; there is no amount of music, Netflix or podcasts that will make it less boring for you.

At Formal Fitness Training our programs are designed around making cardio quick, efficient, and effective. A typical week for one of our clients will include three strength training days and two (low intensity or HIIT) cardio days.

*If you sit at a desk all day you will still need to take walks to achieve a minimum of seven thousand steps per day*

Not a single client is required more than three – five workouts per week. Many of them get their heart rate so high during strength training days that many don’t even need specific cardio days; clients love this! Wouldn’t that be cool to get your workouts combined for maximum results in as little as three days per week?

Heart rate during HIIT cardiovascular activity.
Heart rate during HIIT cardiovascular activity.

Let me explain how this works. When you exercise there are agonist and antagonist muscle groups (biceps & triceps, chest and back, front deltoid & rear deltoid, tibialis anterior & gastrocnemius, quadriceps & hamstrings, & abdominals and lower back). That creates six unique pairing opportunities for optimal supersets among muscle groups so you can increase your heart rate efficiently and also get more work done in half the time. For these methods to be effective they must be programmed properly!  You must also have a three to six month baseline level of strength and conditioning before implementing this.

For example on a chest and back day; you could perform a bench press immediately followed by a barbell bent over row (15 repetitions each); then you would rest for 1-3 minutes depending on your goal and then you would repeat for three sets. This induces a beautiful muscular pump and a heart rate boost. There is no time to waste; get things done in minimal time requirement and then get on with your day.

Photo showing the heart rate in zones for weight training activity.
Zone Training
Photo showing the heart rate during strength training
Heart rate during strength training

Things which waste time:

  1. Too much talking (its great to have gym friends but I suggest keeping a stopwatch going on your phone that way you can point to the stop watch mid-conversation and keep your workouts flowing; believe me they wont be offended if they realize you truly want results!)
  2. Too much texting (again; it’s cool if it’s between sets but you shouldn’t be writing a poem to your long lost lover in the middle of the gym floor).
  3. Terrible form; this is the biggest mistake I see that prevents results. If you aren’t engaging the muscles you are intending to work optimally; your results will suffer.
  4. Too much resting or too little (either of these will destroy your chances of making gains in the gym; too much rest keeps you in the gym for hours; too little rest doesn’t give your body enough time to recover before the next set.)

Don’t continue going to the gym without a plan and purpose. The better optimized your plan, the less time you will need to spend grinding away wondering why you aren’t getting the results you desire. Three to five days per week programmed correctly is all you truly need. It is also important to mention that fat loss and muscle building happens primarily during the time you spend outside of the gym. Muscles need time to recover and the metabolism needs time to ignite. Sleep and managing stress are very important as well. The one hour in the gym is very important but what you do the other twenty-three hours will create a champion or an average person. The choice is yours!

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