Cardiovascular endurance exercises-getting up to speed

Cardiovascular training raises your heart rate and it will strengthen your heart. You need to stay moving in order to keep your heart going strong and to keep your muscles tuned and strong. Cardiovascular endurance exercises and getting up to speed with them will help keep your heart in check, your endurance in spec and your muscle tone your apex.

Just remember, your heart is a muscle, so working your heart through cardiovascular will help strengthen your heart as with benches will strengthen your chest as to squats will strengthen your thighs. A stronger cardiovascular system will mean more capillaries delivering more oxygen to cells in your muscles, this will give your cells a chance to burn more fat while you exercise and while you’re relaxed.

Make it work for you   

Cardio exercise can rev your heart rate to roughly fifty percent of its maximum level. Cardio shouldn’t have to be what is thought of as the norm for fat burning training, you can turn your weight training training program into a CARDIO fat burning endurance building workout as well. What ever your goals are, you can turn your workout, either it be free weights or machines into your own personal CARDIO workout just by upping the repetitions.

Cardiovascular can make the heart and lunges as well as the circulatory system to work harder to support the working muscles. Cardio can increase blood and nutrients to working muscles.

Disease killer

Keeping up with a regular routine of CARDIO can not only help you to lose weight, reduce your stress levels and decrease fatigue, but employing this type of training on a regular basis can also give you many other wonderful benefits like decreasing your risk of obesity as well as coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, osteoporosis, anxiety, high cholesterol plus certain types of cancer.

Some of the best CARDIO for your heart

jogging is a good form of CARDIO for your heart, though it can be hard on your joints and the lower back especially if you’re into jogging on concrete or black top. If you have access to jogging where you can get away from those hard surfaces that would be best. Now if you have access to a beach would definitely be a good choice because the sand creates a cushion.

Another good place for jogging for those of you that have access to would be the foot hills, your getting away from the paved streets and once again, the ground surface is giving your joints and lower back a lot more cushion. Another thing to consider is jogging in foot hills gives you a different kind of CARDIO workout than what the typical jogger would take to.

Jogging in the foot hills gives you a workout that will work different muscles, such as the muscles that will power you up a hill and then switch to a whole different set of muscles when jogging down hill. On flat surfaces there may be a lot more terrain to jog around or jump over.

For those of you that live up in the mountains, there may be other obstacles to train in, like snow to jog through, that could create for a real strenuous workout, but it probably wouldn’t be the best recommendation being that jogging in those conditions could be a little slick. But there’s another option you can go with.

Indoor CARDIO 

For the greater majority of you out there that may not have access to the prior places as mentioned, your next bet would be indoor CARDIO. The treadmill has a softer impact that will be easier on the joints and you can set your treadmill for incline settings as well to make your workout more strenuous besides, you can’t use a rainy day as an excuse for not getting your CARDIO in if you go with the indoor training route.

Another good form of CARDIO is cycling. Biking is a fabulous way to engage in some intense CARDIO. If you have a bicycle, getting out and cycling can not only burn fat but also reduce stress and get your lungs and heart muscle working.

There is also variations of indoor cycling, the standard stationary bike is a good fat burner. There are different types of stationary cycling machines that you can give a try, but whatever type you go with, it’s good to have goals and strive to go for longer durations or making your CARDIO training more intense by increasing tension settings.

design a circuit training program

Circuit training will definitely give you and your muscles and heart a charge. Take a group of exercise that work different body parts, generally five to ten exercises, perform one set of each back to back with minimal rest between each set. The workout should take roughly thirty minutes. You can use free weights and machines or you can do this workout in your living room with a pair of dumbbells.

This type of workout will not only work your muscles but also your endurance and your respiratory system. If you stick with this workout, it should have you getting into better shape in no time.

Previously I said this workout should only take you thirty minutes, but you can set the time for your limit, whatever that may be, it all depends on what your fitness level is.

Next you need to base your workout around a group of exercises that you will be using . Determine how long you will be giving yourself for this workout, then however long you workout, will be determining how many circuits you will be doing and how hard your willing to push yourself. The longer your workout, the more you will pace yourself. Typically your workout should go from ten to forty five minutes, once again, it all depends on your fitness level.

A system I would recommend would be the push-pull method, that way when you’re doing chest, which is a pull muscle, legs will be resting, when your doing legs, your back will be resting, when you’re doing back, chest will be resting. With this system you will be alternating body parts, so there won’t be much need to rest between set’s.

If you do four stations of one minute each, repeating four circuits adds to sixteen minutes and as you build up your endurance you can add more stations and circuits to your workout, this means a longer workout and more calories burned, the sooner you will see a trimmer new you.

Designing a training guide   

This training guide will give you six stations, and can be repeated for however many circuits you feel comfortable with, obviously less circuits if you are new to this type of training.

Station one-pushups for chest

Station two-dumbbells rows for back

Station three-squats for thighs

Station four-barbell extensions for triceps

Station five-dumbbell curls for biceps

Station six-calf raise machine for calves

You can of course switch up your exercises from workout to workout. Muscles have the ability to remember, they can grow board and not respond if you do the same workout all the time, so it’s good to switch things up periodically to keep your muscles guessing.

Designed with you in mind

There are many other types of CARDIO you can get excited about doing, whether it be swimming, aerobics or dance class, karate, various sports activities like baseball, football, soccer or basketball whatever your interest may be. The most important thing is that you do what you love and love what you do and stick with it. Follow a healthy lifestyle and take in the proper nutrition to keep your body fueled like a well oiled machine, eat that extra Apple a day and keep the doctor at bay, keep hitting the CARDIO and soon you’ll have head’s turning. Till next time, train like a superhero and never say die.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box below.

Please follow and like us:

Natural food detox plan-recharging your system

In this article I would like to touch on some natural foods that can detox and recharge your system. Whether your looking to cleanse your system from toxic substances you plan to overcome, or you are merely looking to rejuvenate your system for a healthier new you.


Detoxification, in short(detox) is the psychological/medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism mainly carried out by the liver. This can be referred to the period of withdraw in which an organism returns to homeostasis after a long term use of an addictive substance.

Homeostasis is the property of a system that variables are regulated to keep internal conditions stable and basically constant.

Detoxifying rundown     

Detoxing concentrate on eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, cranberries, kale and spinach, these are all antioxidant rich foods. Other foods that help the body produce their own antioxidants you can try would be garlic, onions and eggs.

Another form of toxins are pesticides, organic foods are an excellent choice, but if you’re not able to go that route, you can choose produce that have thick skins you can peel off, there’s a less chance of contamination.

If you can drink eight to twelve glasses of water a day or a non-caffeinated tea, chances are you’ll be sweating plenty of toxins out of your system.

Another good thing to try to avoid would be processed foods, fast food, fried food, red meat, dairy, caffeine, sugar and alcohol.

Good things to snack on would be nuts or fruit from the organic isles, or maybe a salad with chicken or salmon dressed with lemon juice and maybe some virgin olive oil.

Herbal detox tea would be a good recommendation. Tea that contains ginger are an antioxidant that stimulates circulation and flushes toxins from your system. You can try licorice tea, licorice expels mucus and dandelion which supports digestion and liver function.

keep going

If you continue on a healthy detox diet for a month, your energy levels will be much higher as your weight, cholesterol and blood sugar drop.

Next I want to guide you through a diet plan that will be a surefire way to  cleanse your system of toxins while removing toxins and extra body fat.

Raw fruits and vegetables have more of the nutrients you need than cooked, so always make sure that when you go and do your grocery shopping that you load up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

How to detoxify with smoothies

Blueberry smoothie close up shot

I recommend that a good way to cleanse your system and detoxify it is with smoothies. Now for some smoothie recipes that are easy to make and delicious and you can enjoy these everyday, you can even replace meals with them, so there also good for when you are on the go.

Detox smoothie recipes

Smoothies are easy to make and it’s made easy when you have a blender sitting right on your kitchen counter. All you need is your favorite fruits and vegetables and you can taylor them to suit your own desire.

A nutritious green you can include in all your smoothies, even if you aren’t real excited about greens is baby spinach. It has virtually no flavor and will boost your metabolism, you won’t even notice it camouflaged with fruit.

Add all your choice ingredients in the blender, then blend until smooth. If you want it cold you can either freeze the fruit or buy it frozen, or you can add a half cup of ice.

It’s best to use fresh ingredients. You can use frozen fruit and vegetables  If fresh is not available, just make sure you get organic in frozen and fresh, otherwise you might be adding pesticides to your system when you are trying to rid your system of those nasty toxins.

Detox smoothies basically always contain leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach along with your favorite fruit like bananas, pineapple, apple’s, berries, water, ice, unsweetened almond milk or coconut water is quite often added to thin it out for easier blending.

Other good ingredients to include in your detox smoothie could include yogurt, lemons, limes, celery, cranberries, mango, watermelon, almonds, ginger, dandelion greens, watercress, wheatgrass, beets, avocado, green tea, spiraling and angular.

Seeing as though your goal is to drink these smoothies as often as you like, so I would try to encourage you to try different ingredients and experiment a little. When it comes to losing weight fast, you can’t beat a green smoothie cleanse.

You need a plan

Freshly squeezed organic orange juice

Now that we have  built a solid foundation on detoxing and cleansing your system, I would suggest keeping at the cleanse for thirty days. It would be a good idea to set some goals, set a detox goal of smoothies and wholesome salads as the mainstay of your diet.

You can start off your morning with a tasty smoothie for breakfast, this would also be of benefit if you’re in a hurry before you head to the office or if you do a lot of traveling. You can make up some extra smoothies to take along with you in thermal cups if you do a lot of traveling.

For lunch you can enjoy a nice and hearty salad. Now the list of things you can put on your salad are endless. To give you just a little taste of what you can add to make a great salad, I have included a few ingredients to give you some ideas. Spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, squash and red cabbage are a few ingredients that can get your thoughts turning. Any fresh vegetables always stir up the variety and add plenty of crunch.

A real good dressing you can try would be lemon dressing. This dressing there is no need to worry about, it’s good for you.

Other ingredients you can try are all perfect for your detox diet are apple cider, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, ginger, cilantro chopped and sea salt.

For you meat lovers, chicken, turkey and salmon are all excellent choices you can go with. Now for preparation of your choice of meat for your salad, you should bake, that is so much more healthier for you than fried.


I hope that what I have laid out for you here will help you and maybe clear up any misconceptions you may have had. Just give this a try for the next thirty days and you will be surprised at the results you see. In till next time, eat smart and train like a superhero.

If you are interested in a supplementation along with a healthier diet for detoxifying your system, click on this link.





Please follow and like us:

Beginners weight training-laying the foundation

Weight training with a partner.

   First off, let me introduce myself, my name is Neil, we will be getting started with the beginning stage of weight training for all you beginners out there and for those of you that have been training for awhile, in case you have picked up any bad habits, this would be a good place to get started. 


 Before you get started on any serious weight training regimen, I would suggest that it be a good idea for you to check with your doctor and get a good physical just to be on the safe side to make sure your in good health.    

   Next I want to talk about stretching, this is a very important key to getting started before a workout. A lot of guys out there don’t even give this a thought but it’s a very good preventive against muscle strains. You can do whatever stretches you feel most comfortable with but they should be for the most part, aimed at the general muscle group you’ll be working.


whether if you workout at home or you like to hit the gym, your first step should be cardiovascular. A stationary bike is good, another excellent option would be some form of cardiovascular machine. For example could be a treadmill or maybe even a aerobics class to start off before your weight training. I would suggest if you can start out with ten minutes and work your way up at your own pace, whatever you feel comfortable with. If you can eventually work your way up to one hour of cardiovascular before you weight train, that would be excellent.

One thing I like to use if you have the option is a gauge to measure your calorie expenditure, typically allot of the better quality machines out there have gauges for calorie expenditure, but if they don’t, another option you could use are portable, calorie expenditure gauges.

In  a  future post I’ll be going over goals with you, but one thing I would like to cover now is at whatever level of cardiovascular you start out with, however much you feel comfortable with doing in your beginning stage, it would be a good idea to increase your cardiovascular training by maybe a few minutes each week, this way you can gradually work your way up to an hour.

Next, after you finish with your cardiovascular session, it would be a good idea to discuss some stretching before you jump right into weight training.


   Stretching can improve your range of motion, increase circulation and have a calming effect on your mind.

(Standing hamstring stretch)   

   Stand perfect  with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, arms at your sides. Exhale while you bend forward at the hips, lowering your head to the floor, while keeping your head, neck and shoulders relaxed, wrap your arms around the back side of your legs and hold for about one minute.

(Butterfly stretch)   

Sit on the floor keeping your back straight with the souls of your feet together, knees bent to the sides. Hold on to your ankles, engaging the abdominals, slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while holding your knees against the floor.

(Seated forward stretch)   

While sitting on the floor, extend both legs out in front of you, keeping your legs together, flex your feet and reach your fingers to your toes by bending at the hips. Focus on stretching the backs of your legs, hold for thirty seconds.

These stretching moves are referred to as static stretching, which means your holding the stretch for a matter of seconds.

The common theory that’s practiced is to do stretching before your workout, but the truth about static stretching is it’s best to do after your workout. Static stretching decreases the activity of the central nervous system, reduces blood flow to the muscles and can actually hinder your athletic performance.

Now that you are a little more informed about the beginning structure of your training, the importance of cardiovascular, stretching and when it is best to fit that in, which would be after the workout, Now you can move on to the weight training. 


For the first week I would suggest you condition yourself with  exercises you can do at home, combination movements like pushups, deep knee bends, crunches, lunges and low back raises. Combination movements are exercises that involve more than one muscle at a time

It’s best to find a time of the day you would feel most comfortable to do your training, whether it be in the morning, afternoon or evening, whatever you’re preference, whenever it fits best with your time schedule, or whenever you feel your energy level is at a good height. A lot of people prefer to do their training in the morning, it’s not only when their energy level is at its best but often they may find themselves to tired after working a long day or they have other family obligations. Point is, it’s best to find a good time of the day to do your training and then stick with it. 


First off, pushups are a good exercise that you can do anywhere, they work not only the chest but also the (anterior) or front head of the shoulder they also work the triceps and trapeze muscles.

Position yourself on your knees, hands on the floor, positioning your hands approximately shoulder width apart, raise your knees off the floor, begin to lower yourself to the floor but refrain from resting on the floor, try to keep a couple of inches between you and the floor, this way you will keep tension on your muscles in the bottom of the movement, push yourself up, extending arms out straight, lower slowly and repeat.

Do as many as you can, try to shoot for twenty repetitions, if you can’t quite make that many, you can always work your way up.


This is another good exercise you can do at home or in the office at break time. This one you can either stand flat foot on the floor or you can use a wooden block or a book to elevate your heels. When you use  something to elevate your heels, it helps to keep your back straight, whereas you don’t elevate your heels you may have a tendency to lean forward to much which would put a lot of strain on your lower back especially if you are doing weighted squats.


This exercise there are a lot of variations you can do, you can do the standard knees bent with arms in front of you or you can keep your legs straight. You can have your arms at your sides or you can keep them straight over your head which would put more tension an your abdominals, it all depends on how much you feel your able to do.

When performing this exercise, you’ll want to make sure that when you raise your self up into the crunching position that you don’t have a tendency to pull yourself up in a jerking motion if you have your hands positioned behind your head, it is best to let your abdominals do the work.


This next exercise you can really get a good workout when doing it correctly. In the starting position I keep my hands on my hips, standing straight I take a good stride forward with my right foot, bending at the knee, I lean forward into the stretch and drop my left leg down so that my left knee comes close to touching the floor. After I return to standing position upon completion of the first repetition with my right leg, then I repeat with the left leg, alternating from one leg to the other.

With this exercise you can try to do twenty repetitions, but if you can’t, no worries, just start out at whatever you can do and work your way up.


Now in this final exercise I’ll be covering today, the low back raises are a good one for strengthening the lower back. It’s good to have a strong lower back being that it comes into play a lot when weight training.

This exercise you can lay on a carpeted floor or if you have access to a weight bench will work good to. Lay face down with arms at your sides, raise your upper torso and your legs simultaneously, try to shoot for at least twenty repetitions with this one.

This exercise my chiropractor gave me to do to strengthen my lower back, I still do it to this day.


Now that I have covered the basics with you today, your assignment will be the routine I outlined for you. Do each exercise for two sets with a total of five exercises that would be ten sets in a workout. Do this three times a week with one day of rest in between. 

Then it would be a good idea to join up with a gym if you can, to get a full all around workout, it would be best to have access to free weights and weight machines. To get up to speed on a protein supplementation to pack on some muscle, click on this link. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the box.

Till next time, take care and happy pumping.








Please follow and like us:

About Neil


Hello everyone, welcome to Sweat and Tears. Weight training has always been a passion of mine. I got my first set of weights when I was 11, started a membership at a gym by the time I was 16.

I used to study over the weight training magazines and dream about having my own set of mammoth sized arms that would burst through my shirt sleeves. Or maybe a barrel sized chest sporting a superhero logo and a cape, bounding from weight bench to weight bench with a bench press that would put anyone else to shame.

But over the years, suffering from too many injuries and a bad back I have come to realize it’s not about satisfying my ego or hoisting too much weight over my head, like a lot of adrenaline junkies out there would have you believe.

Finally after enough years of disappointment, I eventually came to realization that all you need is a moderate weight, train hard to the point of 8-12 reps to failure, work on squeezing the muscle and strive for an awesome pump.

That’s what it’s all about, right? Is getting a good pump!

That’s what this site is designed for.


That’s where you come in.

I’m going to be giving you the lowdown on training technique, proper form, mind set, goals, diet and supplementation to help you get steered in the right direction and to help eliminate some obstacles and roadblocks that I have had to go through over the years.

I am giving you this information, because I believe in you, I know you can do it. With a little of the right guidance, you can start to transform your physique in to a well oiled machine that will be turning head’s in no time.

I wish I had followed by these principles back then, maybe it could have spared me some tears of pain and suffering.


My goal is to shed some light on the dynamics of weight training and it’s correlation with proper nutrition and health, not what it’s become bogged down with, the hype of dangerous drugs such as steroids.

Take a little time and study over the information I have outlined in this site, I think you should find it beneficial.

If you ever need a hand or have a questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,


Please follow and like us: