Let's face it. Most forms of cardio training are boring. When was the last time you got excited about getting on a stair master or a treadmill? I get bored just thinking about using one of those machines. Sure, 30 minutes on a treadmill will burn some fat and it is better than being a couch potato who considers flipping channels with the remote control a form of exercise. Nevertheless, I have always felt that there has got to be a better way to maximize the benefits of cardiovascular exercise and that there must be a way to make it more efficient and enjoyable. Fortunately, I was right. Enter the world of High Octane Cardio (HOC) and get ready to burn fat and increase endurance like nothing that you have ever tried before.
HOC is based on a form of training that boxer's use called "Roadwork." Legendary boxers such as Muhammad Ali used to do "Roadwork" frequently in order to get in great shape. "Roadwork" is still a staple in the arsenal of today's fighting elite. Here is how it works, go out for a jog and every 50 yards or so, drop down and do some bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Crank out 25 reps and then get up immediately and start jogging again.
After another 50 yards or so, drop down again and crank out some more bodyweight drills. This is an efficient way to build up cardio and muscular endurance that will carry over to the ring. It is also an extremely effective method for burning fat. Regardless, there is a way to increase the benefits of "Roadwork" tremendously by combining aerobic training with weight training.
No, no no. I am not talking about circuit training or running from one machine to another in the gym like it is an obstacle course. That is a good way to not only lose your membership, but to be carried away by the guys in white suits to the funny farm. HOC involves taking forms of aerobic exercise such as jogging and jump roping and combining them with ballistic weight training exercises such as: dumbbell swings, dumbbell snatches, and dumbbell clean and jerks. These ballistic exercises work several large muscle groups at one time. This results in two major benefits. One, you will burn much more fat. Two, if you are an athlete or want to be in shape like one, these exercises will teach you how to use your body as one unit and increase coordination. Moreover, if you are a combat athlete, the speed and power that you build from ballistic exercises will carry over to your striking. All right, enough small talk, let's get into some examples of HOC that you can take advantage off today.
Beginner HOC Training
The novice HOC program combines jogging with ballistic dumbbell exercises. Grab two dumbbells and got to a local track field. Place a dumbbell on opposing sides of the track field. Start jogging and as you come to one of the strategically placed dumbbells, stop jogging and do a ballistic exercise with the dumbbell. For example, do ten dumbbell swings to chest level with each arm. Once you have completed the dumbbell swings, start jogging again and when you get to the next dumbbell, stop and do ten dumbbell clean and jerks with each arm.
Again, once you have completed the reps, start jogging again. In the beginning, try to do four laps. This will amount to a one-mile jog and eight sets of ballistic dumbbell drills. The entire workout will take 10-to-15 minutes depending on how fast you jog and how fast your do the ballistic weight training exercises. Once you can do four laps, work on getting up to eight laps. On the way to eight laps, you are going to get in great shape and you will not believe how fast the fat melts off.
Print The Beginner HOC Training Routine, Click Here!
Advanced HOC Training
After you have used the beginner HOC program for a minimum of one month, try graduating to advanced HOC training for a new challenge and to expedite fat loss. Here is how it works. Take four dumbbells to a track field and place them at four different points on the track field. By doing so, you are doubling the intensity and difficulty of the beginner HOC program. Start jogging and every time you come to a dumbbell station, stop and do a ballistic exercise.
If you make it to four laps, you are a serious athlete. After all, four laps equals one mile of jogging and a mind boggling sixteen sets of ballistic exercises. Once you can do four laps, work on getting up to eight laps, which equals two miles of jogging and an incredible 32 sets of ballistic training. Now if you find the beginner HOC program to easy, but are not quite ready for the advanced HOC program, here is a way to gradually break into it. For the first few laps, try to hit every dumbbell station. Once fatigue kicks in and you are huffing and puffing, skip a station. Now you are down to three stations.
Once that becomes difficult, skip another station and now you are down to two stations. Finally, if that becomes super difficult, drop it down to one station. As your conditioning improves, gradually add back in dumbbell stations until you can complete a minimum of four laps. Then use the same strategy to work up to eight laps on the advanced HOC program.
Print The Advanced HOC Training Routine, Click Here!
Other Forms Of HOC Training
I am well aware that not everyone can jog and of course not everyone wants to. I guarantee you that jogging with HOC will be much more intense than traditional jogging and thus much more effective and enjoyable. Regardless, if you have some knee problems or just hate to jog, here are some other options.
Option 1: The HOC-Jump Rope Cocktail
The HOC-Jump rope cocktail is a great combination for combat athletes or really any athlete for that matter. In addition, studies show that jump roping is much easier on the knees than jogging and much more effective for building up cardio and muscular endurance. Also, jump roping can be done just about anywhere making it more time friendly that going to a track field. Here is the program:
As a beginner, start off with five to ten rounds of each. One round is one set of jump roping and one set of a ballistic dumbbell exercise. Once you can do ten rounds, increase the jump roping periods to two minutes. For more information on some really cool jump rope programs, check out jump rope master Buddy Lee's website at www.jumpropeinstitute.com.
Print The HOC Training Routine - Option 1, Click Here!
Option Two: The Heavy Bag HOC Combo
I love this form of HOC. What a great way to get all of your aggression out and burn fat like crazy. Moreover, this combination will get you in shape faster than any other form of HOC. If you are a boxer, then stick to punching the bag. However, if you have a martial arts background, then feel free to through in some kicks and knees for a full body workout. Here is how the program works:
- One minute round on the heavy bag
- Ten dumbbell snatches
- One minute round on the heavy bag
- Ten dumbbell swings
- One minute round on the heavy bag
- Ten dumbbell Clean and jerks
Have a goal of five to ten rounds as a beginner. As you get more proficient, increase the heavy bag rounds to two minutes and do ten sets. For some great boxing workouts, check out Bas Rutten's "Mixed Martial Arts Workout." Bas is a former UFC heavyweight champion and a former King of Pancrase. If that means nothing to you, then let me be blunt, Bas is a serious bad ass! The MMA workout consists of outstanding videotape in which Bas goes over proper punching technique and several boxing workouts.
The program also includes several audiotapes with various programs. Just pop one of the tapes into your stereo and Bas will take you through a great boxing workout. Gaithersburg, Maryland, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructor calls Bas' program "Tae-bo on steroids" and you will to after you give it a shot. You can get the program online at www.sherdog.com.
Print The HOC Training Routine - Option 2, Click Here!
Tips For Successful HOC Training:
- If your main goal is fat loss, do three HOC workouts per week and one regular weight-training workout per week.
- If your goal is strength and size, but you want to cut up a little bit, then do one HOC workout per week.
- Make sure to do HOC workouts on an empty stomach.
- Have a water bottle at each dumbbell station or close by to stay hydrated.
- Clear HOC with your doctor before starting. Especially if you have any heart problems or high blood pressure.
- Make sure to drink a protein/carb drink immediately after each workout to enhance recovery.
- Get a cryocup (call 1-800-ICE-5722) and ice your legs down after each workout.
- Get a sports massage once a week or at least twice a month to enhance recovery.
- Have fun with HOC and come up with your own routines. The possibilities are endless.
Well there you have it. No more excuses, just the workout of your life. Give HOC a shot for four weeks and feel free to send your praise and hate mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Author
Mike Mahler is strength and conditioning coach based in Santa Monica, CA. Mike has been a strength athlete for over ten years and is a senior level certified kettlebell instructor. Mike is also the founder of "Mahler's Aggressive Strength." For more information on Mike's workshops and products, visit Mike's website at www.mikemahler.com.
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