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Shugart's Hammer
 
Choose Life Over Cardio
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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17277

Choose Life Over Cardio

Vertical climb: 2000 feet
Steepest grade: 68%
Number of ties: 2744
Air: Thin. Very thin for this Texan.

It's called the Manitou Incline, originally built as a cable car system to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak. Now all that's left are the wooden ties, which look like irregular steps all the way up the mountain.

Visualize doing step-ups for a mile. A mile up.


Took about an hour to reach the top. Quads? On fire. Glutes? Exhausted. Calves? Murdered. Heart rate? Through the roof the whole time.

Dear StairMill at the gym: screw you.

I once worked with a guy on his training plan who played strenuous pick-up basketball for 6 hours a week. After I outlined his weight training program, he asked me, "Chris, what about cardio? What do I need to do for that?"

He had a disconnect between the 6 hours of running up and down a court he did weekly and "doing cardio." Apparently, you're not "doing cardio" unless you're at the gym, wearing a Bodybugg, and riding a fancy machine that doesn't go anywhere.

Maybe it's good to have a disconnect like this. Don't "do cardio" if you can help it. Instead, do stuff. Experience life. Move around a lot.

If you're worried that going for a strenuous hike (or skiing, surfing, biking, etc.) is going to negatively affect muscle gains in the gym, well, have a shot of MAG-10 or eat a FINiBAR pre-event. If you're still worried, then consider relaxing a little, perhaps getting a life.

If you have the option, choose life over cardio.

-- Chris

PS: I now have a new blog HERE. Check it out.

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BiP
Level 100

Join date: May 2009
Posts: 1663

You just gave me another reason to move to America. London is one of the flattest AND ugliest places I've lived in!

Pretty much every time someone asks me about cardio these days I tell them to go for a walk or start swimming. I can't believe some people would rather spend an hour on a treadmill instead of actually going SOMEWHERE, getting at least the same amount of light exercise, plus fresh air and (if they choose a good spot) some nice views. And considering that I'm in England the backside of the girl on the treadmill ahead is NOT a nice view.

B.

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caveman101
Level 2

Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3469

BiP - you should come down my gym in west wickham about 5pm on a weekday, its all i can do not to drool!

And Chris - that Manitou Incline just screams challenge!

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BiP
Level 100

Join date: May 2009
Posts: 1663

caveman101 wrote:
BiP - you should come down my gym in west wickham about 5pm on a weekday, its all i can do not to drool!

And Chris - that Manitou Incline just screams challenge!


That's near Croydon, right? I'd pretty much have to take half a day off, which is impossible for the next couple of weeks, but maybe one day :)

B.

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Icarus
Level 5

Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 547

I do the incline about once a month and my wife does it every week. My fastest time was 42 minutes. I want to get under 40 mins, but I am just not able to haul ass when it's this cold out.

Chris, if you ever go to Vancouver, do the Grouse Grind. It's sorta the same thing, but there are a lot of switchbacks and it's in the forest. Great workout there too.

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panther2k
Level 5

Join date: Nov 2005
Posts: 203

I love stuff like this... I actually walked all the way around Manhattan today, which is 36 some-odd miles according to Google. Took me about 9 hours and 40 minutes without stopping and my legs are shot to hell!

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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17277

Icarus wrote:
I do the incline about once a month and my wife does it every week. My fastest time was 42 minutes. I want to get under 40 mins, but I am just not able to haul ass when it's this cold out.

Chris, if you ever go to Vancouver, do the Grouse Grind. It's sorta the same thing, but there are a lot of switchbacks and it's in the forest. Great workout there too.



I heard you're a beast if you can break 40.

I need some of the Peri-Air from Spaceballs first.

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Chris Shugart
Director of Content

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 17277

panther2k wrote:
I love stuff like this... I actually walked all the way around Manhattan today, which is 36 some-odd miles according to Google. Took me about 9 hours and 40 minutes without stopping and my legs are shot to hell!



THAT is very, very cool. Would love to do that.

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Jakeneller
Level 3

Join date: Mar 2011
Posts: 44

This is kind of the outlook I take on cardio. I can't stand running on a treadmill, even if there is a TV built in. It just isn't right. I recently bought a dirt bike and wow, talk about a full body workout.

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TheHBomber
Level 2

Join date: Jan 2011
Posts: 19

The Incline is intense! Well done.

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Gym Savvy
Level

Join date: Sep 2009
Posts: 192

BiP wrote:
You just gave me another reason to move to America. London is one of the flattest AND ugliest places I've lived in!

Pretty much every time someone asks me about cardio these days I tell them to go for a walk or start swimming. I can't believe some people would rather spend an hour on a treadmill instead of actually going SOMEWHERE, getting at least the same amount of light exercise, plus fresh air and (if they choose a good spot) some nice views. And considering that I'm in England the backside of the girl on the treadmill ahead is NOT a nice view.

B.


Good point on the view part, another reason I love parliament Hill for sprints, although it does feel like it takes about a week while you're actually doing it so sprints might not be accurate. You ever anywhere near Hampstead?

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