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How To Use Bodyweight Calisthenics Instead Of Boring Cardio

Jan 22, 2008
Everybody knows bodyweight calisthenics are an excellent way to get a full body workout, or at least they should know. However, I want to explore another way you can use bodyweight exercise to improve fitness, physique and fat loss. Try using bodyweight calisthenics instead of other "cardio" like jogging, biking, rowing, etc.

Think about your workout program. Normally you'll do some form of resistance training and then follow it up with some cardio work. Most people do the "cardio" to improve endurance and burn fat. But let me ask you a question. What do you think is better for helping you meet your fitness, fat loss and physique goals: 20 minutes on the treadmill jogging at an easy pace, or a full body, fast paced calisthenics attack for 10-15 minutes after your resistance training?

I think the answer is obvious, but first let's talk about cardiorespiratory endurance.

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the level of ability your body has to gather, process, deliver and sustain oxygen to produce energy needed for the successful completion of activity. Your respiratory system gathers and starts to process oxygen, your cardiovascular system continues to process and distributes oxygen and cardiorespiratory endurance is your respiratory and cardiovascular systems ability to work together to sustain oxygen for activity.

Cardiorespiratory endurance is characterized by healthy, effective and efficient heart and lung function needed to gather oxygen for the production and distribution of energy to the body during activity.

Having improved heart and lung function allows you to...

- Do more, longer... greatly improving performance abilities in a wide variety of sport, work and life activities.

- Perform other physical abilities better... without being winded and exhausted you will be able to produce and distribute the energy needed to perform better for a longer period of time.

- Reduce the risk of injury... Fatigue leads to poor form and potentially dangerous movements that greatly increase the risk of injury.

- Be healthier... Healthy heart and lung function can greatly reduce the risk of disease and sickness.

- Live better... cardiorespiratory endurance carries over to every aspect of life greatly improving your quality of life.

Cardiorespiratory conditioning allows you to simultaneously keep the doctor away and improve your ability to live life to the fullest.

But did you know, improving cardiorespiratory endurance is more than just steady state aerobic activity?

Many people are brainwashed into believing the only way to positively improve cardiorespiratory conditioning is to do steady-state aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes in your "target heart rate zone". But what if you used bodyweight calisthenics for cardiorespiratory conditioning by performing a 10-30 minute workout made up of bodyweight exercises without rest?

- The bodyweight exercises (anaerobic in nature) increase your muscular endurance while bringing the heart and respiratory rates up.

- The calisthenics exercises (aerobic in nature) lower the intensity some-what, forcing the body to lower the heart and breathing rates while still under stress... greatly improving cardiorespiratory endurance.

- Therefore, using bodyweight calisthenics for cardiorespiratory conditioning in this fashion simultaneously improves strength endurance, heart and lung power and your body's ability to function as one complete unit... with the added bonus of burning calories and fat even after the workout is completed!

Don't you agree? Doing bodyweight calisthenics instead of steady state cardio does more to build the strong, lean, athletic body you deserve. So, give it a try, but be forewarned. This type of muscle blasting, heart pounding, breath taking, fat burning workout is intense, and you should work up to it progressively. You'll find it is much more demanding than the easy cardio workouts you are used to doing while watching TV or reading a magazine, and this is what makes it so much more effective.

If you are currently bored with your "cardio" training, or don't feel you are getting the most out of your cardiorespiratory conditioning, try using bodyweight calisthenics for cardiorespiratory conditioning... and see what you've been missing!
About the Author
Coach Eddie Lomax's Workout Without Weights teaches you how to use bodyweight calisthenics to build strong, lean, well conditioned bodies that perform great and look great.
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