Lots of people have this notion of training being split into two separate categories – strength – and then (or before) cardio.
In other words, building muscle and burning fat – and NOT at the same time.
Now, there isn’t really anything wrong with this theory, per se. Often times traditional cardio (jogging, pavement pounding, mild walking etc) does just that i.e. burn fat – – and strength training (done the way most people do it on the machines on the gyms) does just what most people expect it to – build muscle, and not much else.
While traditional cardio is indeed sometimes effective in burning fat off your frame quickly, the sad part is that cardio – even the traditional kinds are often ignored by most people (“bros”, listen up!), fitness fanatics and gym goers alike in favor of the other option – which results in building muscle to an extent, sure, but how functional is that muscle?
Take the guy who can pull down the world on the lat pulldown – likely a guy with a bloated belly for one, and put him on the pull-up station, and lets see how many reps he gets.
Chances are second and next to none it’ll be zero or close to it.
The reverse is rarely ever true though. Take the guy that can do pull-ups galore, and put him on the lat pulldown, and you’ll see him pulling down heavy weights almost instantly and effortlessly.
And that is just but ONE example.
Lesson to be learnt, me thinks – – and thats the first lesson that most people do learn when they get on the System and the workouts I advocate.
You build strength – burn fat – and build muscle – functional muscle, and loads of it – quickly – and AT THE SAME TIME!
Not to mention the benefits your internal organs get from all the stretching and deep breathing involved.
And lest you think “lifting heavy stuff” doesn’t give you cardio – think again. It does – if done the right way – sandbags are a prime example of this – as as perhaps kettlebells as well.
And so does pushing heavy stuff – OVERHEAD – the real test of strength and manliness as it were.
Which of course brings us to today’ post – the mighty HANDSTAND PUSHUP – strength and muscle builder bar NONE.
Now, I haven’t been doing this exercise for a while now (not regularly, at any rate) since I got back to China. For whatever reason I’ve focused more on pull-ups, and for whatever reason I’ve been neglecting this one for a while, but I rectified this today.
And as I got into a handstand, I could FEEL it – oh man, I could feel it.
True, it was only a few weeks ago that I was banging these out 50 reps/workout, but the handstand pushup is a stern reminder of the fact that you never, ever rest on your laurels – no matter how high the peak it is that you conquer.
And as my shoulders “adjusted” to the movement, I did one handstand – then another – held for time, and so forth and the old muscle memory came back.
Along with it, so did something else.
That heart thumping, heart POUNDING feeling I’ve often referred to, and I was literally gasping for breath as I finished a set of 10 barely managing to keep my balance!
Look, I’ve told you in Battletank Shoulders that these exercises done right will not only build massive shoulders, but they’ll also give you the cardio workout of your LIFE – and anyone that has EVER partaken of any of the workouts I’ve mentioned in the book (or something even close) KNOWS what I’m talking about.
And if you’re a bro reading this, and scoffing and shaking your head I’ve got THIS to say to you.
Just get into a handstand, and hold it for at least 30 seconds. Feel free to do it the easier way i.e kick up as opposed to the way I recommend – but just do it.
You’ll be doing good just to get into position, and if you’re able to hold for a few seconds or more, well, take note of your BREATHING as you complete the “rep”.
I’ll bet you anything it’s heavy – deep and heavy, and you’ll quickly see what I’m talking about when I say that YES, non traditional forms of exercise can build strength like never before – WHILE burning fat off your midsection, back and entire frame like never before as well!
And that’s that for today. Oh, I spoke to a lady online this morning who claimed that “handstand pushups and handstands are bad for you because the doctor said so”.
I don’t know how many times I’ll have to debunk this particular myth. Probably forever, but for now, I just “smiled and nodded my head” as it were.
Gotta pick one’s battles, eh? Can’t convert those that don’t want to be … and on that note – – if you work out today – make it a great one!
P.S. – Handstand pushups are one of the very hardest exercises you can do, so its imperative you learn proper form. My initial course on handstand pushups gives you the goods in this regard – right here – – https://0excusesfitness.com/shoulders-like-boulders/