Iron Man Magazine
Killer Cardio Image Credit: Iron Man Magazine
Killer Cardio Image Credit: Iron Man Magazine

Killer Cardio

Five aerobic-based workouts that will help you lean out but not burn up your muscle.

Eddie Avakoff

Here’s the deal: Everyone wants a sixpack. However, few can say they enjoy sacrificing their muscle mass in the pursuit of the cardio that’s necessary to achieve those shiny washboard abs. First and foremost, low body fat, especially in the abdominal-looking-like-an-Abercrombie-model sort of region is more of a testament to one’s disciple in the kitchen and dinner table than anything else. Nevertheless, there certainly are more strategic approaches to burning fat than others when doing that whole song and dance we all cardio.

Having done my share of competitive cardio as a former competitive triathlete and finisher of multiple long-distance obstacle course races, I have several rules and ideas about how to use endurance-style training to look and feel your best.

Keep It Anaerobic

Take a look at a football player: Lean and muscular. Their sport is very anaerobic and explosive—the average play in a football game is roughly seven to 10 seconds of playtime, followed by 40 seconds of downtime, otherwise known as “rest” from our perspective. Now take a look at a marathon runner: Lean and … well, just lean. In fact, downright skinny to some standards, and often with a slight fat roll around the middle. And rightfully so. Their body adapts physically (and aesthetically) to their given sport. In the football player’s instance, his anaerobic conditioning allowed him to maintain muscle size and power, while


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