Twas doing a little bit of “research” at the magazine rack the other day. Typically this means looking at all the so-called “scientific” facts about health, fitness and inter-galactic stuff – that are placed inside all the brilliantly stupid muscle comics.
During my research I happened to pick up Men’s Journal – and what do you know, an article that shows that bodyweight calisthenics are BETTER for your heart than long-distance cardio.
Now this was something worthy of reading. The article, written by Lou Schuler, entitled “The Fastest Way to a Healthy Heart” – shows the following bodyweight exercises as the ultimate test of cardio health.
1. Standard Push-up – nothing compared to Hindu pushups
2. Bodyweight Squat – nothing compared to Hindu squats
3. Bodyweight Lunge – okay, but still lacking
4. Bench Dip – okay for triceps, but not a real ass-kicker like Tablemakers
5. T-pushup – tis not bad – but nothing compared to 1-arm pushups
6. Diagonal Lunge – yawn
7. Step-up – a whopping 6 reps per leg – wow!
8. Decline Pushup – probably the most difficult of all – but still no cigar compare to the Royal Court of Combat Conditioning
Now, lest you think I’m “bashing” – I’m not. At least the writer and his quoted scientific sources are on the right track. But they’re still light years behind the Furey Faithful.
Because the test they give, which is is to be done 2x a week, involves only 6-12 reps per exercise. With these exercises, my fellow Fure-cats wouldn’t even have an elevated heart rate. They might as well do the standard treadmill test.
Now, for the average couch potato – I suppose this test is okay – but then again, the average couch potato probably can’t even do five reps of many of these exercises – that’s how far gone many of them are.
The key thing the test discerns, however, is how FAST a person gets an elevated heart rate – and how long it takes for it to come back to normal, and from this you will be better able to detect the possiblity of a heart attack than you will from doing cardio. I agree.
One of the other things they found was that you do more to help your heart by taking it out for a sprint as opposed to a long drive. Your body needs its valves “blown” wide open – just like a Porsche.
Bottom line, as I see it, if you do a set of Hindu pushups and Hindu squats, and it only takes a couple minutes before you’re huffing and puffing like mad, then the elevated heart rate you are experiencing will do more to improve heart health than going out for a one-hour cardio ride, run or splash.
This is nothing new. I’ve been saying this sort of thing for years. So has Dr. Al Sears. And that’s why both of us recommend bodyweight exercises and sprints for heart health. I particularly advise hill sprints a few times a week to really rev up the engine.
There is nothing wrong with doing cardio – if it is something you enjoy. I do some myself, such as long-distance walking. But I do it for reasons that have nothing to do with heart health. As a writer and creator, it helps me to go for a long jaunt by foot. Helps release creative energy and keep the “idea machine” flowing.
But make no mistake about it – the exercises I teach in Combat Conditioning and Combat Abs will do wonders for you. They will simultaneously improve your strength, endurance and flexiblity. And the endurance I’m talking about is both muscular and cardiovascular.
Make sure you do the Royal Court and Magnificent Seven today. Not just once or twice a week as a cardio test. Do them EVERYDAY for heart health.