Hail to the Dinosaurs! When I was a kid, all the coaches used cardio training as a form of punishment. They called it "running laps." When a coach was mad at you, you ran laps. If he was real mad, you ran many laps. The freshman football coach was the worst. If the team lost a game, he made all the players honorary members of the Thousand Yard Club. The Thousand Yard Club was twenty 50 yard sprints in full football gear, with hardly any rest between sprints. It was brutal. They needed to keep plenty of puke buckets handy on the day we did it. If you lost another game, the coach added two additional 50 yard sprints. The freshman team was TERRIBLE my year. We lost 8 games and tied one.
By the end of the season the Thousand Yard Club had morphed into the 1800 Yard Club.
The whole thing was self-defeating, because that many sprints just wore our legs out, and we were stiff and sore and tired and slow on game day.
It would have been a lot better to have made us run some sprints, and then stopped and called it a day. Our recovery would have been better, and we would have played better. And that's the problem with cardio training for Iron Heads. You need to do enough cardio -- but not too much. And you need to do the right kind of cardio. So here are some ideas: 1. Dumbbell swings, cleans and snatches, as described in Dinosaur Dumbbell Training. Sets of five will get your heart and lungs working big time. 2. Lugging and loading drills, as described in Gray Hair and Black Iron. These are great -- they're lots of fun, and they involve lugging, lifting, loading and carrying heavy stuff -- which is PERFECT for Dinos. Kudos to Dr. Ken for this idea. 3. Finishers, as described in Strength, Muscle and Power. These are like number two, but you go harder and heavier. 4. PHA training, where you combine five or six different exercises for different parts of the body and perform one set of each back to back with no rest. Let's you use basic barbell and dumbbell (or kettlebell or sandbag) exercises for a great cardio workout. See Gray Hair and Black Iron for details and for routines. 5. Bodyweight training where you do medium to high reps and focus on conditioning. Or -- one of my personal favorites -- supersetting two advanced bodyweight exercises for low to medium reps and doing five to ten sets of each. Builds strength, builds muscle and gives you a great cardio workout all in one. 6. Death sets, as described in Dinosaur Training. Those 20 rep sets of squats and deadlifts will work your heart and lungs like you won't believe. As with anything else, you start easy and build up gradually and more progressively to harder training. Do NOT go out and jump into full bore cardio training. (That's especially important for older trainees and for heavier trainees.) Or -- you culd go run laps or sign up for the Thousand Yard Club. But trust me, that's not nearly as much fun! As always, thanks for reading and have a great day. If you train today, make it a good one! Yours in strength, Brooks Kubik P.S. You can find the various books mentioned in this email right here at Dino Headquarters: a. Dinosaur Dumbbell Training: http://brookskubik.com/dinosaur_dumbbelltraining.html b. Gray Hair and Black Iron http://www.brookskubik.com/grayhair_blackiron.html c. Strength, Muscle and Power http://www.brookskubik.com/strength_muscle_power.html d. Dinosaur Bodyweight Training http://www.brookskubik.com/dinosaur_bodyweight.html P.S. 2. Fuel your workouts with the diet and nutrition tips in Knife, Fork, Muscle: http://brookskubik.com/dinosaur_nutrition.html P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "The air we breathe is life itself, and so is the iron we lift." -- Brooks Kubik