Cardio That Works in 2016

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“What’s the best form of cardio?” It’s a question asked by many and there are numerous answers. The right answer is different for everyone because it’s based on each person’s individual needs. This question grabbed my attention and I immediately went to work on it. It brought up other questions like, “What cardio works for weight lifters? They have specific goals they want to achieve without an aerobic overload. What cardio works best for the elderly?” 

Cardio can be summed up as any cardiovascular exercise such as running or biking over an extended period of time. It’s very important for our overall health and plays a key role in weight loss. Without this form of exercise the human body could not function. Not to mention you would be incredibly sedentary. But who has time to spend on the treadmill, riding a bike or swimming? Nowadays people really focus on short and effective workouts that produce the best results.

Cardio For Weight Loss
   
Being out of shape is never fun. It’s actually the opposite of fun, and that’s why we decide to lace up the shoes to go out and do something about it. For most people that means buying a pair of $200 Asics and going overboard with jogging everyday, and quiting a few weeks later because of injury or boredom. Instead of doing this I would recommend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Usually HIIT only takes twenty minutes of your time to get a full body workout. This is done with no equipment and only bodyweight exercises from the comfort of your home or while on the road. Not only are these exercises more enjoyable and people LIKE doing HIIT, but they are proven to get results fast.  

 

No matter what your ability level or health, there’s always a HIIT program for you. HIIT programs have proven to be successful for the very old, the obese, and very sick at whatever intensity is considered “all-out” for them. For example, instead of going out for 1 hour of continuous walking try interval walking/jogging. Interval walking should consist of alternating every 3 minutes with low-intensity walking and high-intensity walking (fast pace). The results will be significant reductions in fat mass, visceral fat, and fasting glucose. These are all precursors to weight loss and not achievable with continuous walking alone. 


Cardio Option for Weight Lifting:

As another option, I recommend a different form of interval training called HITC (High Intensity Continuous Training). This differs from HIIT training because it stimulates fast twitch muscle fibers and doesn’t cut into possible muscular growth. Before we get into the benefit of HICT lets talk about the benefits of weight lifting. The main goal for any weight lifting program is to gain size and strength. Although weight lifting does burn fat stores, it will never melt away fat entirely to reveal six pack abs or ripped arms. The reason for that is almost all weight lifting programs lack a key component to fat loss: cardio exercise. Until now, traditional cardio was the only method to achieve fat loss and a lean appearance. 

Since there’s a way to bypass traditional cardio, more people are starting HICT. After adding this to your routine you will get more out of your workouts than you ever thought possible. If you’re a weight lifter or if you’re looking for a “jacked physique” this is going to be a godsend. 

Traditional Cardio isn’t for Everyone

 

Cardio has always been sort of taboo because it allows for a catabolic state of muscle wasting. Once you go beyond your aerobic limits you actually start to lose muscle. That’s exactly the reason many weight lifters avoid cardio like the plague! Luckily for you, there is a middle ground that will allow you to get the best of both worlds…

HITC is designed to enhance your aerobic development in explosive movements over an extended period of time. Workouts will last anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minuted based in your physical preparedness. Depending on your specific aerobic needs the workout can be shorter or longer, with 5 minute breaks in between 20 minute bouts. During the workout your heart rate shouldn’t exceed 150bpm. Each exercise consists of an eccentric and a concentric movement lasting 2-3 seconds. Rest 3-5 seconds in between reps then continue. 

Take a look at this example of a weighted step up HICT workout—> 

Ideally you would use a weight vest weighing 20-40 lb. and hold 10-15 lb. DB’s in each hand. Using a weight vest will help balance the load without placing too much weight in your hands. I set up a box so that my thigh is around parallel to the floor or slightly higher, and set a metronome app on my phone (or stand in front of a clock) to ensure that I perform one rep every 2-3 seconds. You can use whatever method you’d like to ensure than you perform a repetition every 2-3 seconds. I typically switch legs every 15-30 seconds to avoid fatigue.

Chris Creveling performs weighted step up

High Intesnsity Continuous Training (HICT) is the best form of cardio to aid in muscle building. This includes exercises like weight-vest step ups, sled pulls with heavy weight and stationary bike with high resistance. These exercises are explosive and powerful, but at a much slower pace than normal. The key is to enhance the muscle fiber’s endurance so it can handle heavier loads for longer durations. This is all done without exhausting the muscles completely. For best results I recommend implementing this at the end of a hypertrophy workout.

As your online fitness coach I aim to create a fitness plan that matches your unique needs. Working out without a detailed plan and expecting to reach your goal is useless. There has to be a vision that aligns with what you want to achieve. To get a fitness+nutrition plan designed specifically for you, visit the Crevfit website and schedule a free consultation. 

Time to do work

You may be thinking, “Is it hard to write when you’re busy training?” my answer would be no. I actually need some time to reflect on what I’m doing and take a step back. When it’s off-time for most people the plan is to go crazy. I don’t have that luxury because off-time for me means recharging the batteries. It’s difficult to be a short track speed skater and make time to just relax. Thankfully I’ve found some free time to get reacquainted with my notepad.

For most of my life I have been inline SpeedSkating. A lot of people recognize me from the short track national team, but previously I was on the inline world team. I raced with multiple sponsors like K2 skates, Luigino racing, MPC wheels and others. But the important thing I learned during that time was how to train myself. I had a team while i was racing. However, I wasn’t with them all year round. We had training camps and races together but they were three days long. After all the traveling to races I had to figure out my own training methods. I would skate with my local teammates as much as possible. We would find the best roads for our workouts and plan the training schedule. In most cases we would meet up somewhere with the best roads for intervals, sprints or marathons. For the other workouts I had to reach out and find opportunities in the community. Luckily I had a weight room to work in and access to sponsors to help me with my racing equipment.

Before I started competing internationally there were a couple coaches i worked with. Their families raced in our local club and it was a good place for me to start. After I made the world team I had to learn how to coach myself. I couldn’t get away with missing training sessions anymore, so it turned into a full- time job. That meant going out everyday and doing a specific workout on the bike, skating indoors, on the road, weight training and dry land. That being said, everyone needs a coach to improve. A coach can get you through the beginning of your career, but it comes down to you “the skater” to do it yourself. That is hard grasp at first, because everyone needs a team to get better. Sooner or later the coach can’t push any harder and you will be able to take care of everything yourself.

The competitive spirit is the most powerful weapon in any skater’s arsenal. Being with a team is constantly pushing the limits. Being with this team for the past year has taught me a lot about international racing, training techniques, and how to work harder as a team. But the farther along I get in my training, the more I realize the importance of my early years. I started off training myself to get better, stronger, faster. After getting more attention from coaches and skating with great skaters I picked up a lot of things. So now comes the hard part: putting it all together. I’m really relying on my past training to get me to that next level. All of those days I spent skating outdoors, rain or shine. I would even skate to practice, change my wheels and then skate indoors at the roller rink. My teammates and I went on road trips from one practice to the next. Skating by myself on the hills in Pennsylvania in my high school days. All of that has really gotten me through the labyrinth of trials I’ve encountered.

As for my ice skating career, the last 2 months have been very exciting. When we got together for our first training the energy was high. This would be a little different than normal, except we are just 6 months out from Olympic trials. Everyone that showed up wanted to make this their best year. The main focuses for early season are skating laps and making gains in my training off the ice. The group of people I have been working with have been great. We have been killing it on the ice, in the weight room and in our fitness testing. I have a feeling that all of us will be skating faster than ever before. That’s a good thing because this is the Olympic year and we need to be at our best by the Olympic trials. We have been planning this year of training since the last Olympic Games in Vancouver and have put in three years of hard work.

There have been a lot of improvements this season. Not only with the team but the community and willingness to help out. When we had special requests, the Energy Solutions Arena helped us with our training needs. the University of Utah made a commitment to helping us reach our goals. Also the staff at the Utah Olympic Oval have done their part to help us with all of our training needs. The local foods stores are helping with our nutritional needs. I hope that all the support keeps progressing through the year. It makes our jobs much easier. Within the team we have found a common ground with everyone involved in the sport. We will do whatever it takes to help each other and its a great feeling to have everyone working together. As we get closer to the World Cup trials some skaters may want to do their own thing. Not every skater needs the same training, which is understandable. But for now we all are vested in this program and work well together.

On another note, our team had the opportunity to visit Liberty Heights Fresh. This local-first produce distributor has teamed up with USS to help feed athletes. We went there as a team to check out the spread of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and pasta. The people we met, including the owner Steve, were very helpful, friendly and committed to the cause. Like us, they’re promoters of helping the community learn and eat better. Local farms have even invited us to come visit their farm to pick up food. Here are a few pictures from our visit.

To find out more about this SLC food supplier visit liberty heights fresh- Steven’s Blog

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The best part about writing my blog is getting feedback from you guys. Just saying some words of encouragement it plenty. So feel free to ask about what else I’m doing or general questions you have for me. As always, please share.

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Pre-season visits to LA and Co. Springs

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Last month I had the privilege to be part of the NBC Olympic promo shoot in Los Angeles, California. The whole trip lasted about 5 days which gave me plenty of time to check out Beverly Hills and Hollywood. My mom also lived in the area so we had the chance to spend time together in Santa Monica.

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While I was in LA there was also filming of short track skating. We managed to spend over four hours on the ice which turned out to be a lot of fun. We did some filming using the sled camera that followed us down the straight-away. That camera shoots over 1,000 frames per second to get every little detail of skating. The film crew focused on the the start and ice chips flying through the air! We also used helmet mounted Go-Pro cameras to capture passing and pack skating on short track. I’m really excited to see how these clips will come out when they air on NBC this fall.

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The studio was packed with other winter Olympic athletes. I had the chance to meet bobsledders, lugers and skiers who were also invited to the event. The “event” was very fast paced and energized. What was cool about it was meeting the producers and newscasters from NBC who will be putting the footage together. They were extremely helpful in getting me prepped for the interviews and made everything go smoothly. I had no problems with being filmed alongside JR, Eddy, Jeff and the other athletes.

After I returned from LA. it was time to get back to training. The racing season is still months away, but we are getting a head start on the Olympic year. The atmosphere is quite different since the competition will be really fierce to capture a spot on the world team, and ultimately the Olympic team.

The next stop in my summer training was the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. We departed SLC with great expectations for the training camp. The flight was a little rough, but we made it to the ground safely. Flying in a prop plane isn’t ever an enjoyable experience. Every small wind sheer would shake the plane, which made for an interesting flight with lots of turbulence. We also saw this sign when we headed down to baggage claim.

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It was great to be around other athletes in the training center. Don’t get me wrong, spending time with Travis Jayner, Johnathan Garcia, and the other speed skating athletes is very entertaining. We had a great time training together and getting ready for the tough year ahead. Not to mention the ping pong, and foosball games we had in the athlete lounge.. The athletes who live in the OTC all share that same energy for their sport and the dedication it takes to win. The staff and trainers are a big part of the push to get us ready for competing. I am very grateful to have them on my team as I prepare for the 2014 season.

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There was an event going on at the OTC called The Warrior Games. More than 200 wounded service members competed in seven sports (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball). Athletes were from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Sec Ops as well as the British armed forces. We were honored to be greeted by Prince Harry as he was the keynote speaker for the event. The event did mean a lot to me since I have family members in the marines. Being in the presence of the soldiers was really inspiring.

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Spending time with the long track team and staff—> tons of fun. The coaches are fun when we re on the ice. But spending time with the off the ice, we had a lot of laughs and good times together. We had team activities planned like dry land sessions, weight training, hiking and running the incline. It brought back memories from my inline racing days when I stayed at the OTC for residency. But this time, being with the short track team was excellent. We also had fencing bouts, basketball and dodgeball games to boost team building.

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Pre- World Cup

Hello everyone, it’s my pleasure to bring you my next update on the world cup season.This was the week of preparation for world cups 5 & 6. It’s also the week of world sprint championships for long track. Here is a look at the oval.

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As you can see they have made a few changes to host the world sprint championships. I’m a little bummed that we won’t be able to watch the events since we are leaving for Sochi, Russia. But I will try to keep you all informed on what’s happening.
Here is a link for the usspeedskating post
short track team assists in world sprint championships prep

The best way to train is with the fastest skaters. now that we are all together it’s a perfect training environment. We have all been working extremely hard and it has paid off. I skated my fastest lap time at practice (8.28 sec.) and made some great improvements. It’s really exciting to be leaving for Sochi and feeling physically ready and healthy.
I am very pleased that we have great coaches and staff to help us athletes. Guy Thiubault, now our short track head coach, has been a great addition to our team. Steve Gough is also back with us- I don’t know where I would be without him as a coach. We are blessed to have a fantastic group.

When we were finishing up an ice session one day, there was a crowd gathered in the lobby. Jr. Celski was placing his world record on the wall at the oval. I was witness to his sub- 39second 500meter and it was a great experience. We were posted up on the pads cheering for him like crazy. When will we ever see another 39sec 500? Perhaps at one if the next world cups.

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Our team is now off to Russia, where we will race at the olympic venue. It’s going to be an amazing experience and eye opening as well. After the Sochi World Cup we will fly to Dresden, Germany for World Cup 6.

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