By ThinGuy on Nov 05, 2007
In strength training I live by these three words: Form, Intensity, Weight. If your form is wrong, which almost always happens when people try to lift too much weight, you're not doing any good and actually probably doing more harm to your body. Likewise for intensity. 45-60 seconds max between sets. Don't sit there an jabber for 3 minutes in between sets. Finally, choose the right amount of weight. You should be able to do six repetitions, but usually no more than 10. Single rep max lifts are good for the ego, but do very little for your overall fitness.
The same basic rules apply to cardio. It drives me nuts from my perch upon the step mill to watch everyone walking on the treadmill wrong. Do not hold on to the handles or console! If you "hold on" you are effectively taking all the incline out of the exercise. Don't believe me? Then let go. I bet you need to now lean forward or else you'll fall on your back (form). You will probably also need to slow down (intensity). A lot of folks subscribe to the notion that you should be able to comfortably hold a conversation while doing cardio. I don't know if I subscribe to that, mainly because I hate to talk when working out, but you should be able to answer questions. We'll replace the amount of weight with duration in cardio. You should pick the proper incline and speed that you can do 20 minutes without holding on or stopping. Unless you are a distance runner, I really don't see much advantage in ever going more than 40 minutes. This tip works extremely well for the step mill and even the elliptical trainers, you'll have a stronger "core" to show for it. For a far better cardio workout, let go.