Are you using dumbbells for your cardio workout? I thought not. You’re about to learn why dumbbell cardio is better than boring aerobic exercise for improving heart and lung power, burning fat and building a high performance, athletic body.
Workout programs traditionally are split into resistance training (like weight lifting) and cardio (like jogging, rowing or biking). Or these two types of workouts are done on separate days. And more often than not exercisers head for the treadmill, exercise bike or row machine for the cardio session. I don’t see people picking up dumbbells when it comes time to do their cardio workout.
What a shame!
Recently, trainers like myself are moving away from aerobic exercise and toward more high intensity exercise. Anaerobic exercise is high intensity exercise for short periods of time, repeated. Think of sprint intervals.
Evidence shows that anaerobic activity is better than aerobic activity for improving endurance, strengthening the heart and lungs and even burning fat. Not to mention it helps you become more athletic and preserves hard earned muscle. Unfortunately, not a lot of exercisers have made the switch because they have been programmed to do an aerobic workout in their “target heart rate zone”.
So, it comes as no surprise that the jump to dumbbell cardio workouts have not caught on. A dumbbell cardio workout is when you do a series of dumbbell exercises in a circuit with as little rest as possible between exercises. I also use the term “dumbbell intervals” because you alternate between periods of high intensity exercise and rest.
Dumbbell cardio is better than the normal aerobic workout most exercisers do for multiple reasons…
First, and the most simple reason, is you don’t need an expensive equipment like exercise bikes, row machines or treadmills. All you need is a set of dumbbells and you’re ready to go. This also is great if you work out in a crowded gym (yuk!), where the cardio machines are in constant use.
Second, dumbbell cardio gets your heart and breathing going using the ENTIRE body, not just part of the body like the legs. Your heart has to pump blood to the muscles of the legs, the core and the upper body. This prepares the heart for more real world activities than say just jogging.
Third, aerobic exercise goes against your physique building. Yes, it does burn fat while you are doing it… but it also sends a signal to your body that it wants to be lighter. This lead to the body sacrificing muscle as well as fat in the quest to become lighter. On the other hand, using dumbbell cardio sends the signal to get rid of fat, but in a way that preserves the muscles of your entire body because they are needed for the completion of the workouts.
So, the next time you are looking for a great cardio workout that actually helps you build a high-performance, lean, athletic body walk past the cardio machines and pick up a pair of dumbbells instead. Plus, you might just realize how effective dumbbells are as a complete workout tool. Give dumbbell cardio workouts a try instead of boring aerobic exercise.
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