So my first week of the Cardio Free workout is complete. I have come to a few conclusions of my own about the program.
1. The most important and different thing about this method is the speed of your reps and sets. The contraction of the rep should take 2 counts, then hold the contraction for 2 counts, then take 4 full counts to release. He uses a bicep curl as an example. 2 counts on the way up, 2 count hold, 4 counts on the way down.
2. One of the biggest "Aha" moments for me was when Jim Karas, the inventor of the "Cardio Free Diet" teaches us that a set of reps should never be more than 10 reps. He breaks it down into phases.
Reps 1-5 are your working reps, these should be pretty easy
Reps 5-8 should be your fatigue reps, you should start to feel the burn during these reps
Reps 8-10 should bring your muscles to failure.
IF YOU ARE NOT BRINGING YOUR MUSCLES TO FAILURE, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME
This was a big change for me. I have always felt like a wuss if I couldn't bust out 10 or 15 reps with ease. Well Jim Karas tells us, that you must fail to succeed.
3. I was most definitely using enough weight in the past. In order to bring my muscles to failure in 10 reps, I had to really up the weight I was using. Today, I mostly used 15 and 20 pound hand weights. There were a few of the exercises in the book that required lighter weights like 3's or 5's, but for the most part, I was up in the higher numbers.
4. A conclusion I came to on my drive home today was this...there is no magic program. The exercises outlined in the book are not magic. It takes work to get results. I am doing the plan in the book, just to get used to this program, but I think the rules he lines out could apply to any strength training exercises. I do feel like I am getting more of a workout and next week I am going to up the ante by adding a bosu ball to the routine.
I will keep you informed!