Cardio Sucks! Make It Fun
By: Jason Bennett
Everyone knows that the bodybuilder who is going to win his class is the one that is in the best shape, ripped, cut, shredded and packed full of muscle, and everyone also knows that to get that way, lots and lots of high quality cardio needs to be done very, very often. All bodybuilders, to those of you I have never heard of to Ronnie Coleman, do cardio pre-contest to shed that fat, look ripped and bring out hard, dense, vascular appearance.
It is the one constant in the bodybuilding world. Ronnie did two, two-hour sessions of treadmill cardio per day before his Olympia showings, and it worked out awesome for him, good enough to beat everyone else in the world. I read in one of Mike Matarazo’s articles that at his best he did three sessions of cardio per day and said he was cut like a diamond!
You pick up any magazine that will have my picture on it in the future and all the articles talk about pre-contest diets, training and cardio routines. “30 minutes on the Treadmill 3x per week and twice on the stair master.” “Hit your cardio in the morning on an empty stomach for 30 minutes, grab some BCAAs then hit another 30 minutes after training.”
All these ways are great for burning fat. The treadmill, stair master, elliptical thing (I can’t figure that f…ker out), and bike seem to be popular. But, if you are anything like me, cardio sucks ass and it’s the last thing you want to do, ever. I mean I have tried all ways to get it done.
In the morning, before my workout, after my workout, in the evening, even in my sleep and I still can’t get my ass on a treadmill or stair master for more than 15 minutes at a time. I just can’t do that, it kills me, I am so impatient! Standing in one spot for that long, not going anywhere seems like a waste of time to me, even though it is not.
I even tried jumping on the track and run my ass in circles, that action lasted about a week.
Make Cardio Fun
Anyway, back to my point of how much cardio sucks, especially when you are doing it just to stay lean and not for a contest. I have to do things to make it fun. If it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth doing! A lot of times after my workout I’ll grab some racquetball gear and start slamming the ball on the wall. You ever tried chasing that little blue ball around that big ass court after doing squats?
It will almost bring you to tears, especially when there is a hole in your racquet (this is a joke saying that I miss the ball every time)! But seriously, playing racquetball by yourself or with a partner is a great form of cardio, especially if you play just for the cardio of it, just trying to keep the ball moving and not stopping for point counts.
30 minutes of chasing after the ball and trying to hit it, in a row, is some tough work and guaranteed to get your heart pumping like no other!
When the racquetball courts are full, sometimes I’ll grab a basketball and head into the gym and shoot around for a while, always chasing my bricks or airballs, that makes for a long day too. Trying to nail a jump shot from 3-point range is tough, because it makes your rebound go so much farther away. Or sometimes I’ll just run the court doing lay-ups.
Just running back and forth, back and forth. It is sort of like a jog, but you have a ball, you’re dribbling and then shooting when you get down there. I always wanted to play basketball in high school, so being alone on the court, with no defense, and making everything I shoot is like a dream come true.
I can hear the crowd chanting my name and seeing everyone wearing my jersey wanting to be me. But seriously, running up and down the court just shooting lay-ups for 30-45 minutes is a great cardiovascular exercise, add in the jumping and you might even build a calf muscle or two!
Another good fun adventure is to see how fast you can pick up all the weights in the gym and put them back onto the trees, or re-organize the DBs. Done with a quick enough pace and you can burn quite a bit in 20 minutes or so. Not only will you burn some calories but you’ll be helping out everyone, including yourself.
And when you are done you can go the manager and tell him he owes you some money for working for him. At my gym it seems that no one can figure out that all the 45lb plates go on the bottom, together, the 35lbers on top of those, then the 25, 10 and 5′s on the other side, again all on the same spoke. You see that was scientifically designed to hold those weights exactly like that.
You know, so that they are easier to take off. Our Dumbbell racks even have the weight amount stenciled on so that you know where to put them back, when you are done. However, no one can read and we have the 100s where the 15s go, 50s where the 55s go, its crazy. So taking the time to put things where they belong quickly is quite a workout, especially for the traps and forearms.
These are all ways that you can get your cardio done without stepping onto a treadmill or stair master, which we all know sucks. Sometimes the motivation just isn’t there to hang out next to a fat lady in tights for a half hour, but it has to be done.
The best way to avoid cardio all together is to eat a perfect clean diet. Rice and Chicken, oatmeal and egg whites. But for those of us that sometimes a cookie or cheesecake is too good to pass up, get your ass on the treadmill and chill for a while!