Clean Cardio!

Beach season is right around the corner. This year, you're gonna do it right. Go to the beach, take off the shirt, and stand proud as all of the beautiful women gawk at your Greek-Godlike body. That's where Clean Cardio comes in.

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Beach season is right around the corner. This year, you're gonna do it right. Go to the beach, take off the shirt, and stand proud as all of the beautiful women gawk at your Greek-Godlike body.

Off to the gym you go. Diet's in check, did a kick ass training session the day before. Ah, it's cardio day! You walk over to the treadmills and low and behold, everyone's fat! This isn't the place for you. You glance to your right and there it is, the squat-rack—empty because everyone is waiting on a bench press. You think to yourself, "I wish I could do my cardio in there... that's my home!"

That's where Clean Cardio comes in. Gone are the days of slaving over the treadmill!

The Benefits Of Clean Cardio Include

Full Body Burn

When you walk, cycle, or stair-climb, you're only using your lower body muscles. Hang cleans involve the entire body. The more muscle cells at work, the more fat burned! And the burn keeps going and going... Post training, you will burn more fat. A recent study showed that whole body weightlifting (as done in Clean Cardio), elevated users metabolic rate significantly for two days after the workout with most calories coming from fat.

Hormonal Harmony

High rep training dramatically increases the amount of GH released into the bloodstream. This can help build muscle and burn fat—much more than that leisurely stroll with your Grandma!

Prevent Catabolic Catastrophes

Long periods of low-intensity exercise (like walking), tend to convince some fast-twitch fibers to convert to slow-twitch fibers. Clean Cardio prevents this from occurring, preserving your muscle growth potential.

Power To Clean Even The Toughest Fat

Hanging Cleans allow for fast execution of reps. This will help build speed and power.

The Ability To Move Furniture

Due to all of the muscle groups required to perform a hanging clean, you train your muscles in a functional manner. This will help prevent injury and will also help you lift couches.

Breathe Dammit!

High-intensity cardiovascular exercise increases oxygen expenditure and forces the body to adapt by becoming more efficient at oxygen transport (increase in VO2 max). That means healthy benefits for your heart, lungs and other components of your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.

Mastering The Hang Clean

The hang clean is a complex move but once you get it, it becomes second nature.

The Pull (Clean)

Start by holding the bar across your thighs just above your knees with palms facing toward your body (hanging!). Push through your feet to lift the barbell as you explode upward with powerful leg and hip extension coupled with an upright row, using your shoulders, trap and back muscles. The bar should be kept close to the body at all times.

The Catch

Squat under the bar as you catch it on your shoulders and whip your arms around so that your elbows are pointing forward, not down. Next, extend at the hips and knees so that you're standing straight up with a slight bend in your knees and the bar resting on your upper chest.

Now that you've mastered the form, let's go over a couple different "Clean Cardio" options.

The Program

Descending Sets

The drawbacks to using weights for cardio are dealing with the inevitable fatigue that'll limit your reps and ultimately the duration of your cardio workout and the annoying changing of weights! This is my favorite protocol, and it is based on decreasing the number of reps you do per set.

Keep the rest periods between sets to under 60 seconds and work on decreasing that rest interval over time. Start with a light weight that you can get 20 reps with and increase the weight when the workout becomes too easy. There are 14 total working sets and the workout should take about 20 minutes to complete.

Descending Sets Routine:

  • 1 set 15 reps (warm-up with bar)
  • 2 sets 15 reps
  • 2 sets 12 reps
  • 2 sets 10 reps
  • 2 sets 8 reps
  • 2 sets 6 reps
  • 2 sets 5 reps
  • 2 sets 4 reps

Straight Sets

With straights sets you pick one rep range and attempt to hit it with each set. Choose an easy weight and build up as you go, as the sets obviously get harder as you go. Try to keep rest under 90 seconds in the beginning and work at getting it under 60 seconds. Start with only three sets and slowly build to six.

Straight Sets Routine:

  • 5-6 sets 15-20 reps

High Sets/Low Reps Protocol

If you hate high reps, this may be for you! This workout calls for lots of sets for very low reps. You can go a little heavier than with the other workouts, but because of the high number of sets, you should use a weight that you can get 10-12 reps with, even though you're only doing three reps. Keep rest time between sets to under 60 seconds.

High-Set, Low-Rep Routine:

  • 15-20 sets 3 reps

There you have it, the solution to hours of boring "traditional" cardio. Now get it the squat rack and burn some fat!

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