One of the main reasons I created P.volve was that I had so many women approach me with the same question over and over again... "Why am I bulking so much?"Some women worked out every day and some only a few times a week but they were consistently baffled as to why they were bulking, especially in the upper thighs.
Studying biomechanics helped me understand why this was happening. Muscles get inflamed and bulky for multiple reasons but for the majority of women it is based on two primary causes: constant repetitive motion (high reps), and dysfunction or imbalance in the muscles, caused by poor form.
The first thing I tell my clients who are looking to de-bulk and get a longer, leaner body is to cut the cardio. Instantly, I see the panic. I was pretty hardcore about this when I first started training. I can work with most women who have bulked up heavily and get that inflammation down in a matter of a month. But they have to stop doing cardio while we are training.
As my training continued, I realized that there are many women who just need cardio in their lives. Whether it brings them joy or reduces their stress levels - I never want to deprive someone of doing physical activity that makes them feel better.
Over time, I have created a list of cardio exercises that compliment my streaming and studio workouts. Done in moderation, these are great extra activities that can be done in addition to your P.volve workouts.
- Sports. People forget that by actually playing a recreational sport, you are doing cardio. Tennis and volleyball are great examples of sports that can get your heart rate up, keep you moving, but don't require the same repetitive motions over and over again. I suggest joining a rec league and playing once or twice a week to get your cardio fix.
- Rowing. When done right, this is a great full-body exercise. The key is to row in between other non-cardio workouts. For instance, I often have training clients row for three minutes in the middle of a P.volve workout. It's a great way to get the heart rate up and burn some calories. Remember, keep the reps low and do it in intervals between workouts to avoid bulking.
- Running. I always worry about throwing this out there because running is tricky. It becomes problematic when you run to the point of exhaustion. The type of running that will complement my workout method is two to three miles, once or twice a week. If you push it more than that and for longer than that, you will see that your leg muscles will start to get inflamed.
- Hiking. For those of us that don't live on the west coast, there are only a handful of months a year that you can get out to hike, but to me, it's amazing. Hiking gets you outside, challenges your body and gets you using different muscles. It's a great way to push yourself without harming all the work you are doing to lean out.
It's worth saying again: if you really want to focus on creating a longer, leaner physique, I would cut cardio out altogether for the first full month that you do P.volve. But if you're a cardio junkie and need to get your fix, stick to this list and you'll be able to avoid bulk. At the end of the day, your fitness plan should support your end goal - and you may have to make some sacrifices, like going without cardio for a while, to get the results you want.
Let me know your thoughts on cardio - what is the cardio exercise you can't seem to live without? Let's see if there's a way we can make it work with your P.volve routine!
Post by Stephen PasterinoHi, I'm P, founder of P.volve. I'm passionate about fitness, wellness, and all of the healthy lifestyle choices in between. Get more out of your workouts by staying up to date with our Blog, where I share all of my fitness secrets.
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