Cardio Workouts for Men and Women

The 7 Best Cardio Workouts for Men – That are Also Fun.

Given the choice, most men would rather lift weights than join a group exercise class.

For many men, fitness is about how they look on the outside rather than what is going on inside their bodies. It’s no wonder then that men, even those who exercise regularly, are more likely to suffer heart and circulatory issues than their cardio-loving female counterparts.

Of course, this is a sweeping generalization but you only have to look around most gyms to see the truth; the free-weight area is almost entirely populated with men whereas the group exercise studio and cardio machines are more commonly used by women. Weight training, it seems, resonates more with men while cardio resonates more with women.

Men need cardio just as much as women need to do some weight training so here are some great masculine cardio workouts that will appeal to even the most weight-training obsessed guy…

Heavy bag intervals – Cardio Workouts For Men

boxing is about as manly as it gets and whaling on a heavy bag is a fantastic form of cardio. Set your timer for two or three minutes and then just unload on the bag. Try to move your feet and build combinations rather than just swing wildly and don’t be surprised if you are exhausted in 30 seconds or less. At the end of your “round”, take a break for 60 seconds and then go again but this time pace yourself! Always wear bag gloves or wrap your hands when using a heavy bag as a broken hand will severely curtail your workout.

Jump rope – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 1

continuing with the boxing theme, you can get a great cardio workout by jumping rope. Load your favourite music onto your MP3 player, grab your rope and rock out while you exercise. Ten to twenty minutes of jumping rope is a very effective way to develop aerobic fitness and burn calories while intervals (e.g. 30 seconds fast, 90 seconds slow) will increase your anaerobic fitness.

Sprints – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 2

sprinting is a very manly form of cardio; just imaging you are chasing down some game or making a run for glory on the rugby pitch. Sprints build muscle, strip fat and will get you fit in double-quick time. Try this sprinting workout…

Sprint out 25 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 50 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 75 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 100 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 75 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 50 meters – walk back to recover
Sprint out 25 meters – walk back to recover

Rest three minutes and repeat.

Circuit training – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 3

instead of doing straight sets of your strength training exercises, organize your workout into a circuit to get a cardio benefit from non-cardio exercises. Not only does circuit training crank up your heart and breathing rate, it is also very time efficient as you eliminate the vast majority of your between-sets rest periods. While circuit training commonly uses high reps and low to moderate weights this needn’t be the case – you can also use heavy weights and low reps so you build strength with your fitness.

High rep squats – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 4

load up a bar with a decent amount of weight and then start squatting. Try and crank out 20-reps without pausing. On completion check your heart rate and you can all but guarantee it’ll be higher than it normally gets when you do your regular cardio. High rep squats are man makers as well as muscle builders and are not for the faint of heart but they certainly deliver results. Try and see how many times you can squat your bodyweight in ten-minutes for a real man-sized cardio workout.

Rowing – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 5

Of all the cardio machines at the gym, the rower is arguably the best one for most men. Rowing is a full body activity that requires upper and lower body strength and the slow, powerful tempo makes it an ideal fit for manly cardio. If running isn’t for you and track sprints bother your knees or hips, a rower could very well be the answer to your fitness prayers as, being low impact, it’s suitable for virtually every exerciser.

Sledgehammer training – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 6

take an old SUV tire and lay it on its side. Next, take a regular sledgehammer and hit the wall of your tire 20 to 30 times as hard and as fast as you can. Stop and check your heart rate – it’s going to be significantly elevated! Take a brief rest and repeat. Hitting a tire with a sledgehammer is a uniquely satisfying cardio workout – how often do you get to hit stuff and not get into trouble for doing it? If regular cardio leaves you cold, try sledgehammer training.

Heavy carries – Cardio Workouts For Men – Number 7

weighted carries are great for developing fitness and strength simultaneously and there are so many variations that your workouts need never be boring. Grab a heavy sandbag, shoulder a loaded barbell, hold a dumbbell or pair dumbbell at your side or overhead, sling a partner over your shoulder, put on a heavy rucksack…just pick something heavy up and walk with it.  Go for time or distance, vary the weight and the training implement and you have a virtually unlimited number of weighted carry workouts. Weighted carries are a great way to finish your regular gym workout.

Big biceps are great but if your heart is the size of a sparrow’s, you are doing yourself a large disservice. Cardio in the traditional sense may not be your cup of tea but skipping your cardio could be doing you a lot of harm. Man up and do your cardio but skip the group exercise classes – do one of these manly cardio workouts instead.

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