I’ve been asked a time or two where I got the inspiration to create Working Class Cardio. And believe it or not, the answer might surprise you.
Like many other career meatheads, while I’m interested mainly in developing programs that target performance (getting stronger, faster, have better conditioning), I certainly have a base in bodybuilding-style training, and still hold many who do it in high regard – esp guys from years back.
Everybody knows Arnold, Franco, and Louie, but and the physical culture guys like to talk about Saxon, Inch, and Sandow, but there are many others that I was a fan of, even if they were before my time. Guys like Sergio Oliva, Chris Dickerson, Frank Zane, Freddy Ortiz, Marvin Eder, Ed Corney, Robby Robinson, and more.
And while Joe Weider might have dubbed himself the “trainer of champions”, that rightful owner of that title should be the legendary Vince Gironda. Very few guys brought about changes in the physique world like Gironda did. If you don’t know much about Vince, you owe it to yourself to read up on him.
Anyway, Vince was known creating crazy versions of exercises and wild programs in order to illicit particular responses in ones physique. One of the crazy things that Gironda came up with were his 8×8 workouts.
Now, there have been a few different versions of these types of programs over the years. Gironda himself used 8×8 and 6×6, and you’ve likely seen the 10×10 programs of German Volume Training. The way Gironda applied them was actually a bit different.
Vince would have his bodybuilders doing 8 sets of 8 with a moderate weight in a very smooth motion. They would never go to full extension/lockout, nor would they really ever hold a contraction – the goal was constant movement. However, that wasn’t the hardest part.
Gironda reduced rest periods to an absolute minimum – as low as 20 seconds between sets.
See, Vince knew that bodybuilders did cardio to lower bodyfat levels as much as possible before a contest. However, he knew that too much cardio (along with the strict dieting that came with contest preparation) could also lead to muscle loss. So, he combined a protocol that meant maximum time under tension and super-low rest periods.
The result was his bodybuilders showing up to shows in fantastic condition – usually with the lowest bodyfat of anybody on stage. And all with doing minimal cardio.
What does this have to do with me and Working Class Cardio?
Well, quite a while back, I was looking for a program that would be quick, efficient, and accomplish a variety of goals at the same time. I knew that something like Vince Gironda’s 8×8 could do the job. So, I started experimenting with it.
Firstly, I changed the types of exercises being used, as I was more worried about performance. So while Gironda used exercises that targeted aesthetics as the main goal, I picked exercises that were more athletic in nature (clean & presses, DB snatches, swings, jumps, etc). And the first time I did a workout…HOLY COW…
…it kicked my ass.
I knew I could make this work. But the problem I had was that while the conditioning element was off the charts, in order to maintain form and keep rest periods short, I was radically dropping the weights…to the point that I knew strength and power (explosiveness) would suffer long-term.
Then it hit me.
I was doing 4 exercises per workout, each one in an 8×8 format. (They wouldn’t all necessarily be 8×8…maybe 8×6, or 6×6, or 7×7 – I experimented a bit.) So I thought:
“What if instead of doing all my sets of an exercise in a row, then going onto the next exercise, I would rotate through all four exercises, circuit-style? So, I could do a set of exercise 1, rest 20 seconds, a set of exercise 2, rest 20 seconds, a set of exercise 3, rest 20 seconds…”
You get the idea.
This would let me still do this style of workout, but let individual muscles rest locally, while other ones worked. That way, I could still keep weights heavy instead of having to drop them too much, *and* keep rest periods short for conditioning.
I tried it my very next workout and knew I was onto something.
Fast forward quite a while and a bit of testing and tweaking later, and Working Class Cardio was born.
And in case you’re wondering if Working Class Cardio is the ‘real deal’, then go READ HERE to find out about how Eric lost 61+ pounds, READ HERE to see how Aaron lost over 30 pounds (and see his pics), and READ HERE to see how Don dropped 45 pounds and 8 inches off his waist.
As Fonzie might say….Whoa.
Listen, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of the workout that is whipping people into shape left and right…you’ll be shocked how quickly you get into shape.
Oh – and did I mention, you don’t even need to go to a gym to do this program? Do it in your living room if you want.
How can you lose?
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »