Taking My First PUBLISHED Piece in Muscle & Fitness Magazine about a HIIT Cardio Routine Using Weights and Modifying it to Make it BETTER!
Iron Cardio became a cult favorite online for those that hate cardio. As I have found, cardio has its benefits and I actually achieved GREAT results from adding the StepMill to my routine as my glutes got more shredded than that breakfast cereal. Heck, just keeping StepMill in during my bulk even has my glutes in and I am OFFSEASON! But, I also remembered how I did NOTHING but Iron Cardio 2-3 times per week and stayed at under 5% bodyfat for over a year while eating somewhat “free”. I also experienced my greatest shoulder and trap improvements at that time than I had ever seen. But this contest prep, Derek had me doing either interval setting on the elliptical or HIIT on the elliptical followed by HIIT for my cardio and my results were stellar. Thus, I was thinking, hot can we combine the two? Then, it HIIT me (pun intended)….
Just Combine Them!
When getting ready for a competition, I want to do everything that I can to have the most ripped, disgusting, shredded and grainy glutes and hamstrings on stage. This is where I combined the new “twisted” steady state cardio designed by “Da Guru” Derek Charlebois and my epic, age-old, Muscle & Fitness published hit known as Iron Cardio. We kept in the iron, added in some glutes, and came up with “Iron Glute Cardio”. Upon giving this a try, my traps were slammed and sore for a couple of days after from the high reps and my glutes were on fire. I even noticed, after just one session, a more “grainy” appearance in my hamstring and glute area. I fell in love.
To refresh you on Iron Cardio aka Clean Cardio, here is an excerpt from the piece…
Beach season is right around the corner. This year, you’re gonna do it right. Go to the beach, take off the shirt, and stand proud as all of the beautiful women gawk at your Greek-Godlike body.
Off to the gym you go. Diet’s in check, did a kick ass training session the day before. Ahh, it’s cardio day! You walk over to the treadmills and low and behold, everyone’s fat! This isn’t the place for you. You glance to your right and there it is, the squat-rack—empty because everyone is waiting on a bench press. You think to yourself, “I wish I could do my cardio in there….that’s my home!”
That’s where Clean Cardio comes in. Gone are the days of slaving over the treadmill! The benefits of Clean Cardio include:
Full Body Burn: When you walk, cycle, or stair-climb, you’re only using your lower body muscles. Hanging Cleans involve the entire body. The more muscle cells at work, the more fat burned!
And the burn keeps going and going….: Post training, you will burn more fat. A recent study showed that whole body weightlifting (as done in Clean Cardio), elevated users metabolic rate significantly for two days after the workout—with most calories coming from fat.
Hormonal Harmony: High rep training dramatically increases the amount of GH released into the bloodstream. This can help build muscle and burn fat—much more than that leisurely stroll with your Grandma!
Prevent Catabolic Catastrophes: Long periods of low-intensity exercise (like walking), tend to convince some fast-twitch fibers to convert to slow-twitch fibers. Clean Cardio prevents this from occurring, preserving your muscle growth potential.
Power to Clean Even the Toughest Fat: Hanging Cleans allow for fast execution of reps. This will help build speed and power.
The Ability to Move Furniture: Due to all of the muscle groups required to perform a hanging clean, you train your muscles in a functional manner. This will help prevent injury and will also help you lift couches.
Breathe Dammit!: High-intensity cardiovascular exercise increases oxygen expenditure and forces the body to adapt by becoming more efficient at oxygen transport (increase in VO2 max). That means healthy benefits for your heart, lungs and other components of your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.
Here is the program. For cardio, the preferred piece is the StepMill. You can also use a bike, elliptical, or treadmill on a HIGH incline. But as most with shredded glutes will confirm, the StepMill owns all.
15 minutes of Cardio at low intensity. I am not talking the standard bodybuilding snail’s pace. Push yourself and go as fast as you can while maintaining the ability to speak.
Hangin g Cleans! Described below. We will do the Descending Sets Protocol…
Descending Sets Protocol
One of the drawbacks to using weights for cardio is dealing with the inevitable fatigue that’ll limit your reps and ultimately the duration of your cardio workout. Hence, the workout here is based on decreasing the number of reps you do per set as you fatigue. Keep the rest periods between sets to under 60 seconds and work on decreasing that rest interval over time. Start with a light weight that you can get 20 reps with and increase the weight when the workout becomes too easy.
Descending Sets Routine
1 set 15 reps (warm-up with bar)
2 sets 15 reps
2 sets 12 reps
2 sets 10 reps
2 sets 8 reps
2 sets 6 reps
2 sets 5 reps
2 sets 4 reps
15 minutes on Cardio at low intensity.
Iron Cardio Again!
15 minutes on Cardio at low intensity.
There you have it! Now, here is how you rock a Hanging Clean!
Mastering the Hanging Clean
The Hanging Clean is a complex move but once you get it, it becomes second nature.
The Pull (Clean): Start by holding the bar across your thighs just above your knees with palms facing toward your body (hanging!). Push through your feet to lift the barbell as you explode upward with powerful leg and hip extension coupled with an upright row, using your shoulders, trap and back muscles. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times.
The Catch: Squat under the bar as you catch it on your shoulders and whip your arms around so that your elbows are pointing forward, not down. Next, extend at the hips and knees so that you’re standing straight up with a slight bend in your knees and the bar resting on your upper chest.
That is IT! This program should be incorporated on OFF days assuming a four to five day per week training split. I would never recommend doing this more than once or twice per week. If more cardio is needed, I recommend adding in Da’ Guru’s “Twisted Cardio” on off days, which is basically the interval setting on the elliptical, or LOW INTENSITY on the StepMill.
So stop writing us complaining about NOT liking cardio. If you like to lift and like to get lean, strong and SEXY, this is the program for you! So grab the barbell, suck it up, and get them shredded glutes!
Marc Lobliner is the President of Scivation, Inc. He is a Certified Personal Trainer with over ten years of experience in the Health and Fitness Industry--including over four years with Weider Publications and was a co-founder of INSTONE, LLC. In addition, Marc is a National Level NPC Bodybuilder and a former world-class powerlifter.
Marc's education is in Marketing having attended college at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA. as a Marketing Communications major and also graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Marketing.
Marc is currently prepping to compete for his IFBB PRO CARD at the 2011 Nationals.
To contact Marc, please email email@example.com