Tip: The New Cardio – Steady State Lifting

Bored of steady state cardio? Tired of HIIT? Try steady state weight lifting to lose fat. Here's how to do it.

Steady State Weight Lifting?

Many people use steady state cardio (walking, jogging, elliptical etc.) to burn some extra calories and help maintain a caloric deficit to promote fat loss. A lot of these people also find it tedious and would love an alternative.

So here it is. We'll call it "steady state weight lifting." Not only will it burn those extra calories, you'll promote recovery, tighten up your lifting form, and also get in some extra training volume and frequency to promote muscle growth.

  1. Choose an upper body compound lift and a lower body compound lift. Avoid doing two pulling exercises together (rows and deadlifts for example) to avoid fatigue with your grip strength. Use exercises you're proficient with. This isn't the time to be trying out new movements. Three of my favorite pairings are:
    • Trap Bar Deadlift with Barbell Bench Press
    • Barbell Back Squat with Suspension Row
    • Goblet Squat with Push-Up
  2. Load up 40-50% of your 1RM for each exercise – a weight you could bang out for 10-15 reps. Don't go any heavier. We're just doing this for cardio; the other benefits are just a sweet bonus.
  3. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Do 1-2 reps of each exercise, alternating back and forth between the two until time expires. Move at an urgent, but not super intense pace.

To add a progressive component, record how many sets/reps of each exercise you did. Try to beat your score next time around.

Give this method a try on your next recovery day, or in place of your usual morning cardio.

Barry Vincent is a fitness, performance, and lifestyle coach based in Hamilton, Canada. A former fat kid, Barry now helps people improve their bodies and lives through gradual, sustainable improvements in their exercise and nutrition habits.

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