Most exercisers wouldn’t even consider using dumbbells for cardio. As a matter of fact, most exercisers don’t even use dumbbells to a fraction of their full potential. Well, that is about to change… if you decided to follow my advice.
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 hands down, most exercisers choose aerobic exercises like jogging, biking and rowing for the cardio portion. I don’t see people picking up dumbbells when it comes time to do their cardio workout.
Over the past year or so, most trainers (myself included), have moved away from aerobic exercise in favor of anaerobic 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 call these “dumbbell intervals” because you do an interval of exercise, followed by rest and then more intervals.
Dumbbell cardio is a better choice for a great cardio (and full body) workout for a lot of 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 tells the body to do what it takes to get lighter. This means you body also sacrifices muscle to reduce the weight. 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.
Source by Eddie Lomax