Cardio doesn’t always look and feel like cardio

I’ll be straight up with you…I hate cardio.

There, I said it. Not that it was all that hard to admit. But I even used to be a long-distance runner back in high school. I had endurance for days!

Skinny me from my high school cross country days
Skinny me from my high school cross country days

And my body showed it. I was skinny – as you might expect a long-distance runner to be – and I had great tone to my body but very little size. It was ideal for long-distance running, and I was good.

More than a decade removed from high school, my goals for my physical fitness have drastically changed, and so has my idea of the type of cardio I want to do.

Physically, I am much different than I was in high school…thank goodness. I am stronger, having put on nearly 25 pounds of solid, lean muscle. Thanks to amazing genes and a ridiculous metabolism, I maintain a body fat percentage of less than 5 percent.

But since high school, cardio had become nearly irrelevant to me. Recently, my desire to do cardio work was renewed because of my desire to compete in my first mud run – Warrior Dash.

However, my cardio now consists less of 10-12-mile runs and more about incorporating quick-hitting, resistance-fueled bursts of cardio into my workout plans.

If you’re like me and want more from your cardio efforts, focus more on rapid-fire, explosive strength training exercises done in short bursts to hit every aspect of your body. Things like:

  • Burpees
  • Dips and pullups
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Short, intense sprints
  • Box jumps

You can check out the Total-Body Cardio workout on the Fit Dad Fitness website for my favorite cardio workout sure to get the blood pumping and keep the gains flowing.


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