“I Love Cardio…” – Said No One Ever

Finals week is over. Done. FINI. Summer is officially here. Your time is now devoted solely to you, no more wasting time on that bullshit gen-ed history class…nothing but your hometown crew and sun for the next 3 months!

Like any break, you have some serious shit coming up…your boys beach house for the 4th of July…Atlantic City for a pool party, and you’re probably hitting a festival, EDC, Ezoo, Life in Color, or something of the sort. That’s a lot of naked time and you’ve got to look and feel your best. It’s crunch time now. No worries fellas…that’s what I’m

here for! I understand winter has been long and bulk season gets the best of everyone…but that 4 week cut, adding some steady-state cardio, just hasn’t gotten you back to that summer shred you’ve been chasing!


We’ve all heard this…the idea of lifting weights faster for cardio. Every meathead’s dream! And guys, I’m telling you it’s TRUE! You can lift weights faster for cardio and I am going to tell you how to do it.

We do cardio because it elevates our heart rate. When our heart rate is elevated our body is burning more calories. Now think of your body as an oven. Throw in a pre-workout and the oven is preheating. Once the oven reaches temperature it’s ready to go! The hotter the oven, the faster it cooks (or burns in many of your cases) the food you put in it. The hotter your oven gets, the longer it takes to cool down. That process of “cooling down” uses calories. How can we get our oven to burn hotter? This, my swoldiers, is where lifting weights faster comes in to play…

Barbell complexes.

A barbell complex is a series of movements where you finish the reps of one move before going to the next. Here’s the catch…you are not allowed to set the bar down until you have completed all the reps for every move. I typically program 5-10 movements at 6-10 reps move in my complexes depending on how the workout went and how much ass-kicking I need. Give yourself 90 seconds before completing your complex 3-5 times.


How to build your complex:

Big, compound movements tend to work the best for complexes. They recruit the most muscles and really crank that heart rate, or your oven, up to full temperature. Moves like, back squats, front squats, cleans, rows, and overhead press tend to be my favorites. You can always add in isolation movements like curls and extensions at the end of the complex.

Do yourself a favor and practice every complex first with an empty bar before adding weight.  No one wants to look like a jackass in front of the cute girl on the leg extension.

Shred Complex:Upright Row x 8Cleans x 8Front Squat x 8Push-Press x 8Back Squat x 8Bent-over row x 8RDL x 8 Arm-ageddonBent-over Row x10Upright Row x 10Military Press x 10Overhead Tricep Extension x 10Bicep Curl x 10 Baby Got BackPower Clean x 6(Full) Squat Press x 6Step-back lunge x 6/legClean Pull x 6RDL x 6


At the end of each complex drop the bar and crank out as many push-ups as your arms will allow you  after completing one of these monsters! Now take your pulse…I bet that number is around 160-180, hows that oven feel now??

While you are waiting for your heart to get out of your throat, check your pump, if you were sipping that NOxygen/FUEL combination your arms will look like the road map to Swell City. Remember that cute girl on the leg extension? Yea she remembers you now too…go say hi.

Adding weight:

If you can not complete a move with a given weight you are not allowed to add more. There will always be one move in a complex that limits the amount of weight you can add to the bar. For the shred complex that might be upright row or push-press. Remember the idea behind barbell complexes is to move the bar…we are lifting weights FASTER for cardio.

Keep in mind if you want to do these with dumbbells or kettlebells you absolutely can…same rules apply, you must finish the reps of one movement before going to the next and you can’t set them down until you’ve finished all the reps!


We want to jack our heart rate up. This allows our body to burn more calories before, during and after our workout.

Barbell/Dumbbell/Kettlebell complexes allow us to lift weights faster for cardio. Every bro’s dream.

Use big, compound movements in your complexes.

5-10 exercises at 6-10 reps a piece per complex. Complete each complex 3-5 times.

Rest 90 seconds maximum!

One move will always limit the weight you can add to the bar, that’s okay- we want to move the bar FAST to get our heart rate UP!


– Casey

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