Cardio for Big Guys Who Hate Cardio

  • 3 min read

What are some interesting cardio workouts for big guys who don't like cardio? How can big men get back to training post-Lockdown?

Cardio is hardio.

Training for a Powerlifting competition in 2016, I remember asking my coach how I could lose weight so I could compete in a lower weight bracket. I was weighing in at 116 kg and wanted to compete with the under 110 kg guys (to be a bit more competitive). I asked my old-school, wide-as-he-is-tall, strong as a bull coach if he thought taking up running in the lead up to the comp would be a good idea to shed those few extra kg’s. He looked at me and uttered those words: “Cardio is hardio”.

My coach then proceeded to tell me that no big guy in excess of 100 kg’s had any business trying to run for sustained periods. It would wreak havoc on my knees and be detrimental to my strength gains. That is when he introduced me to the world of GPP (General Physical Preparedness). GPP is best described as overall physical conditioning in endurance, strength, speed, and recovery.

Read on to find out more about the best cardio workout for big guys who don’t like cardio!

Big Guy’s Cardio

It's uber-important to wear clothing that breathes when doing Cardio. Say N.O to B.O!

In the post-Coronavirus world, home workouts will take on a new level of importance. This is because people have adapted to exercising without having to pay gym fees. There are plenty of options out there for us big guys to get back into shape, especially if you have over-indulged in the finer things in life during Lockdown. I know I have.

But how does one get motivated? If you have read Can’t Hurt Me by the unstoppable human dynamo that is David Goggins, do yourself a favour and pick up a copy. Seriously. Just do it! Goggins was able to turn his life around and get into peak physical shape by first ‘callusing’ his mind. In the book you fill find Goggins talks a fair bit about rucking. What is rucking? Rucking is an American term for what we Aussies would call going for a hike with a heavy backpack. The benefits of this type of cardio for big guys is profound.

Take a hike

Grab your backpack, load it up with weight and get hiking. Simple.

Hiking whilst wearing a weighted backpack improves your cardiovascular health more efficiently than walking. It’s ridiculously easy to use hiking to help you on your fitness journey too. Grab a backpack and weight it down (with anything really). Now, go and find some enjoyable bushland, or nature reserve to explore or even just walk around your neighbourhood. And that’s it. Work up to maintaining a healthy pace.

It’s important to establish a habit of going for regular hikes. In the sage words of Tony Robbins: “If you talk about it, it's a dream, if you envision it, it's possible, but if you schedule it, it's real.” Schedule your hikes and never miss any and soon you will reap the rewards of GPP, meaning better heart health, improved recovery plus strength and conditioning. At the risk of sounding you’re your mother: don’t forget to take your water bottle and wear appropriate clothing!

Hack your cardio training

Alright, so now you’re regularly hiking with a weighted backpack (or ‘rucking’) as part of your post-Coronavirus return to cardio training. So, what’s next? How do you keep things interesting and thus make it more likely that you will train and continue to reap the rewards of improved health? Maybe you want to head back to the gym. Or maybe you want to stick with the home workouts.

Read on to discover a couple of cardio exercises for us big guys who don’t like cardio.

The prowler is the best conditioning tool. Ever.

Prowler push – Described as “the best conditioning tool” the prowler is essentially a sled you can load up with weight and push. When starting out, do not add weight to the prowler. Trust me. You can obtain an excellent training effect by simply pushing an empty prowler for 15 minutes.

Weighted wheelbarrow – Don’t have access to a gym with a prowler or prefer to train at home? Why not go low-tech and throw a load of bricks (or wood, sand, dirt, etc.) into a wheelbarrow and get pushing? The beauty of the weighted wheelbarrow is that it is super simple to set-up and use and is an awesome way of ensuring you achieve full body GPP.

So, now you know how easy it is for us big guys to start getting back to training post-Lockdown, it’s time to make cardio interesting again!