Why Cardio Sucks (And 6 Ways to Make It Suck Much Less)

Body

Cardio sucks

You’re dieted down, calorie and carb-restricted, flat as your middle school crush, weary, dreary and dumb.

Showtime is a few weeks away. Whether that be a competition, a hot date, wedding or simply sculpting a beach-ready body by summer. 

During the dog days of dieting, there’s nothing I hate more than cardio.

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgandy. Cardio? You know I don't speak Spanish.
For some, it’s quite a foreign concept

Compared to shoveling all sorts of shit down your gullet and hitting daily PRs during the off-season, you’re definitely catabolic and feel border-line dead.

Wait, isn’t weightlifting cardio?

We all know that weights are cardio, obviously. But to achieve dick skin levels of lean, you might need to add a dedicated cardio session or two.

These last few pounds make all the difference. And despite your protests, it’s time to bang out some cardio. 

From a man who would rather be pounding PRs instead of counting the clock and calories, here are 6 helpful tips to make cardio suck a whole lot less.

Pick whichever cardio activity you like. For these tips, I usually stick to the stationary bike or something low-impact on the joints.

1. Listen to long classic rock songs

When I find myself in an extended low-intensity, steady-state (LISS) cardio session, nothing is more boring than staring at the timer slowly tick by.

10 more minutes down? Try 10 seconds.

Break that bitch up by throwing on some long classic rock songs.

Typically when I start off, I feel like a sack of shit knowing I’m going to watch the sun go down on a stationary bike.

But, Stairway to Heaven or Free Bird make the monotony a lot less… monotonous.

Air cardio is some serious cardio
Caution: You may develop some serious air guitar skills

The bonus here as they these songs usually start slower than a slug and play more like a ballad. Gradually, they (and you) pick up the pace until there’s nothing but blaring guitar solos.

For this reason, I find most classic rock songs are great for high-intensity interval (HIIT) training.

Get lost enough in the music and soon enough you’ll find yourself beading out sweat bullets as you shred your air guitar and flabby abs.

In fact, I did this just the other day. By the time I found myself finished, I had only gone through six songs.

Listening to six kickass songs make my sessions much more exciting.

2. Close your eyes

Sounds stupid right? Stay with me here.

There are only so many motivational posters, class sign up solicitations and protein powder promos I can stare at. Eventually, I find myself so bored I’d rather drop a barbell bench press on my neck than continue.

Sure, there might be some hotties. But, you don’t want to be that guy who spends his gym time only breaking a sweat from eye-fucking yoga-panted pretties, rather than actually working out.

Plus, there’s the whole accidental gym boner issue. No bueno.

Find yourself bored entirely out of your brains? Close your eyes.

Since there are now multiple guitars soloing in stereo, dissect the sound and construct a beautiful picture show in the back of your eyes.

Just be careful to not fall asleep.

Cleveland Family Guy falls asleep doing cardio on treadmill
Sleep and cardio do not mix

Once I get over the initial dread of doing cardio, start sweating and singing to a pretend audience, I find myself in such a relaxed state I feel like I might actually doze off.

If you’re on a bike that might be fine. Treadmill or stairclimber? Not so much. 

3. Plan your diet and training

Seeing as you should be serious about being in shape, you should also be tracking your diet and training.

I practice a one-meal-a-day (OMAD) intermittent fasting protocol and usually do cardio completely fasted.

For me, there’s no better time than sitting with my balls slapping my sweat-soaked thunder thighs to check the online grocery ads and plan my meals for the week.

I’m on this new kick where I’m trying to eat as many protein-packed meats as possible, for the cheapest possible.

Joey Chestnut feasting on hot dogs
Footage of me feasting after fasting

Tonight? Two pounds of pork loin for two bucks and 200 grams of protein.

Planning and plugging my meal into MyFitnessPal usually takes up a good 20 minutes or so.

Counting down the days until your well-deserved carb load or much-missed weight training? Let’s map this bitch out too while we’re at it.

And say goodbye to a serious segment of your drawn-out cardio session.

4. Clear your mind

Most people call me crazy when I tell them cardio can be meditative.

I prefer to refer to this as making a mental audit.

During cardio, you have an extended amount of time to yourself. Your body’s in motion, your hormones are rolling and you should feel pretty damn good by now.

Uncover your day’s bullshit, bring it to the forefront of your mind and process what needs to be taken care of.

While doing this, try practicing mindfulness. Feel the blood pulse through your veins, your skin start to sweat and your breathing deepen.

Lost track of time doing cardio
You may lose complete track of time

In a single cardio session, I can usually unpack all sorts of shit that’s been on my mind lately. I may even mentally map out my travel or finances for the next few months.

Hell, I’ve even conducted complete friend audits, which is cutting negative nancies out of my life to make room for positive people. All in a single cardio session.

Whatever’s on your mind, now’s an opportune time to sort it all out. 

5. Catch up with friends

I’ll be the first to tell you I can’t stand smartphones.

If it were legal to run over dipshit pedestrians submerged in their screens rather than tackling traffic, I’d make Darwin proud.

Nothing pisses me off more than having these same retards loiter around the weights area and wasting my precious lifting space while texting.

Never skip thumb day
Everyday seems to be thumb day in my gym

But, when my focus shifts to solely pumping pints of blood, I find this a good enough time as any to pull open my messenger and shoot the shit with some bros.

Yes, it’s a sad situation that we live in such a digitally-augmented reality we have to communicate through pixels on a screen. But, sometimes a quick text is better than nothing.

And usually, these conversations revolve around us planning an exotic trip or tossing around a new business idea.

So, I’ll place a checkmark in the productive category. 

Note: I’ll only pull out my phone if I’m on a stationary bike, stair climber or elliptical. If you’re texting in a squat rack, you’re an asshole. And people will hate you.

6. Read or write while on the bike

Sure, some of these articles may seem like incoherent ramblings. And you’d be right. That’s because they start off that way.

Half of my first drafts are scribed with skunk-smelling pits, burning eyeballs, and salty lips.

Ace Ventura sweating
Sweat is fat leaving the body

Tony Robbins might call this a Window of Opportunity. Which I use to get things done when I don’t have shit else to do.

By the time my current cardio session is finally over, I’m usually done with a first draft. Most of the time I lose track and go over.

Oh darn, hope I don’t burn too much fat.

You don’t necessarily have to bang out blog articles. Write about anything that comes to mind.

I prefer a stream of consciousness approach where you don’t think about what to write. Just allow your thumbs to click away on your mobile text editor and clean it all up in post.

Can’t write? Read away researching whatever it is you need to know. Gun shopping? Travel planning? MENshrine updates?

Bookmark your best sites and dissect your daily dose of knowledge while you sweat away. Here’s some help… subscribe to MenShrine here

How do you make cardio suck less?

And there we have it folks. Six ways to make cardio suck a whole hell of a lot less.

Richard Simmons says cardio rocks
You said it Dick!

Hopefully, you knock out enough sessions that eventually these six tips translate to a six-pack. 

Have additional non-sucky cardio tips? Please share in the comments below.

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