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The Cardio Workout You’ve Never Done

The Cardio Workout You’ve Never Done

Treadmills are crap. They’re boring. They gradually destroy your knees. They turn your gluteal muscles into weak, lazy bastards. And all for what? To burn a few calories.

That’s a pretty poor return on investment if you ask us.

You’re not getting stronger, you’re not building any muscle, you’re not improving your posture. You’re just plodding and sweating.

A good cardio workout should improve multiple factors, not just one, and as we’ve established, the treadmill doesn’t fit the bill. So what does?

Loaded Carries

Let’s go back over that check list of things running on a treadmill doesn’t achieve. It doesn’t increase strength. It doesn’t build muscle. It doesn’t improve posture.

How to incorporate carries to all of the above, while also achieving everything you want from a cardio workout i.e. improve work capacity and burn a shedload of calories?

They’re also about as basic and fundamental as it gets. You literally pick up a weight, carry it over a set distance, rest, and repeat for reps. The farmer’s walk is the best known version, but there are many variations, which we’ll detail later.

How To Incorporating Loaded Carries

These are best included at the end of a weights workout as a finisher or mini cardio workout. Carries are quite fatiguing on the grip, core and upper back.

You don’t need to spend too long here either. 20 minutes is more than enough.

Here are a few of our favourite variations…

Farmer’s Walk

Can’t go wrong with a classic. Pick up two heavy dumbells and carry them over a distance of around 30 to 50 metres. For convenience sake, walk the length of your gym and back. You’re looking for about 30 to 40 seconds of time under tension.

Cardio Workout

Overhead Carry

Same as above except, you guessed it, you hold the weight overhead. This lengthening of the lever arm will help improve shoulder stability and strength around the scapula (shoulder blades).

Cardio Workout

Racked Carry

Holding the weight on top of the chest and maintaining solid posture, this version is a nice middle ground between the standard farmer’s walk and the overhead carry. The weight on the chest is also a respiratory challenge, and you’ll find yourself gasping by the end.

Cardio Workout

And If You Really Want To Ruin Yourself…

Do all three. Walk your distance with the weights overhead, then reset them into a racked position and walk again, and finish off with farmer’s walk over the same distance. This is a full body smasher and you only need a couple of dumbells.

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