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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cardio Training for Guys Who Would Rather Just Lift - By Jon Schultheis

Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on November 16, 2006

I have loved weightlifting, strength training, and physical culture for nearly as long as I can remember. Watching Steve Reeves play Hercules on TV, getting my first barbell from my mom’s brother, my Uncle Rich (God rest his soul), doing curls and presses with my dad in the family room (the only exercises we knew). These are events that contributed to making me who I am today.

As I grew older, wiser, and more sedentary in my lifestyle (no more hours of running the streets, playing pick-up games, etc.), I came to understand the necessity of training my cardiovascular system. I don’t want to simply “look big in the coffin.” There is only one catch…I vastly prefer lifting to “cardio” training. You could say I put my spandex bike shorts away years ago!

So how could I do what I love, yet get the c/v work needed? There are several solutions and I try to use them all.

First, I will confess…from time to time I will actually jump on a treadmill, stationary bike, or in the pool and do some laps. This is in addition to the 5 minutes warm-up I do on the stepper (like at WST).

However, much more to my liking is something I’ve learned since also taking up kettlebells. There is an exercise called the “swing” which was a favorite of the “old-tyme” strongmen and physical culturists. This consists of literally swinging a weight (kettlebell, dumbbell, rock, sandbag, medicine ball) back between your legs and up to various heights (waist, chest, head, overhead) repetitively. It’s a wonderful exercise that can be done one hand or two, and can be manipulated to develop power, endurance, or any combination of the two. It also fits the WST philosophy nicely in that it trains the posterior/pulling chain of muscles along the body.

A few technique suggestions for the Swing:

Keep your bodyweight on the heels · On the downward movement fold from the hips rather than bending at the waist · Throw the weight back between your legs like a football being snapped back to the punter (don’t release the weight here unless you have warned anyone in the vicinity!!!) · Bring the weight forward and up by snapping the hips forward · Use the arms as hooks (they do not do the lifting); the weight should become weightless at the top · Keep the head up and the shoulder blades back throughout the movement · Do not hyperextend the back at the top.

There many videos and articles available regarding this exercise.

Now, what can you do with this?

On days you wish to do cardio training, perform sets of swings for reps 10-50 (or more) with limited rest in between – or – perform sets of swings and do active recovery between sets (jumping jacks, jog, jump rope, other calisthenics, stationary bike). 2. If you are really an animal, you can do sets of swings between your strength training sets. It will not take long to begin seeing “visions” especially if you train each exercise “pedal to the metal." Try it, you’ll like it! You won’t feel like a gerbil either – always running but getting nowhere!

Physical Culture Books.com
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT