Do you even cardio?
So you’re a lifting bro or bro-ette (bro-ina?) and after putting on some solid slabs of muscle you decided it’s time you lost some of that access fat you’ve built during that period. First thing you do is adjust your diet, cutting out carbs and sugars as much as you’re willing to because let’s face it, you enjoy eating food and there’s only so much you’re willing to sacrifice before it’s not fun anymore and you secretly start wishing the apocalypse would come and be your convenient escape.
When you’ve exhausted all of your alternatives and still want to lose some more weight you find yourself staring the devil himself in the face. I’m talking about that six-lettered, two-syllabled word that goes by the name of CARDIO. And if you’re anything like me, you have the aerobic conditioning of an overripe banana and you avoid cardio the way Donald Trump’s hair avoids gravity. But much like Trump’s hair, you can only avoid it for so long before you find its ugly head staring you in the face.
Disclaimer: Mathematicians have informed me that I am the exact opposite of a cardio expert (a –cardio expert), but being a firm believer in broscience I am convinced that this shouldn’t stop me from giving people unsolicited advice anyway. So here are my thoughts on some of the ways people do cardio.
Though most people love jogging it’s usually a no-go for me from the very start, primarily because my knees are made of the same stuff they make stroopwafels with. Jogging on concrete sidewalks or the treadmill usually gives me throbbing bone issues the following morning, and not in the sexy way. Still, jogging is generally a good way to get the heartrate going and burning some fat, and some people even find it a very good way to unwind.
Pro tip: If possible, try jogging on a sandy beach. It’s great exercise because it adds quite a bit of resistance to your training, but the reduced vertical impact of sand also makes it much kinder on the joints.
Whether it’s on a stationary bike in the gym or a normal bike outdoors, biking is a great option when it comes to cardio, not in the least because you actually get to burn fat while still being in a seated position. Sometimes you don’t have to choose between laziness or exercise.
Pro tip: If your gym has Wi-Fi you can always kill time by watching Netflix or YouTube on your phone. Since the stationary bike puts you in a seated position this is usually easy to do, and it’s a great way of taking your mind off the fact that you’re basically a hamster on a wheel.
Crosstrainer/ski-like exercise thing (. . . you know, the thing that trains the butt)
Both are good ways to burn insane amounts of calories, involve the calf muscles (#PrayForCalves), hamstrings and glutes, and have reduced impact on the knees when compared to jogging. But for some reason guys seem to avoid this machine, most likely because they think it is a machine more suitable for bro-ettes (bro-tresses?). All I have to add to that is that for bros who grunt when lifting, wear shirts tighter than a Botox smile and inadvertently dangle when spotting on decline bench, you sure chose a strange place to start feeling shame.
Pro tip: Extensive scientific data obtained from longitudinal studies have revealed that these machines have no effect on a bro’s manlihood. So go on, do it.
Another great way to do cardio because (A) the seated thing, and (B), it’s a cardio machine where you actually get to work the upper body, especially the back. So wait, I can technically do cardio while at the same time inch closer to my lifegoal of attaining the muscular physique of a flying squirrel? Where do I sign?
The gym is like that show The Bachelor. Every time you step into the gym you find yourself faced with an endless set of options, each exercise is a candidate, and the only way to find out which ones are good for you is by screwing around a little. You quickly realized that any cardio exercise is that one candidate who has the sex appeal of a roll of sandpaper, is mind-numbingly boring, but who’s also a dependable and stable choice. And you know that there’ll come a time when you’ll probably have to do it, and perhaps the best way to do it with Cardio is by pulling a metaphorical paper bag over its ugly head. Group courses or sports are ways of disguising cardio and make you think you’re doing something else. Think of TRX, Zumba, spinning, boot camp trainings, soccer, basketball, etc. And perhaps the best thing about these alternatives is that they’re often done in company, which is a good way of challenging yourself while at the same time having a little fun.
I can’t decide whether this article will actually convince anyone to do cardio or if it will succeed in doing the exact opposite. But in the end, isn’t endless hesitation what cardio’s really about?
– Kevin Tromp