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500 lb Barbell Resistance-Cardio for Burning Fat While Preserving Muscle Mass and Strength

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When you think cardio, you most likely don't immediately jump to using a 500 lb barbell to do it with...I know I didn't...at first.

Then I realized you can actually do some great stuff with a regular Olympic bar loaded up with some serious weight (can be 405 lbs or 315 lbs or whatever you can get on the bar at your current strength level). The key is that you're not going to LIFT it...you're going to PUSH and PULL it, using the weight plates as wheels.

So now that you know the secret to using a 500 lb barbell for cardio, let me show you how you I did it. I've got several variations that found to be extremely effective .

And before I start, you might be wondering why I decided to try this...well, why not! I think one of the best way to learn things and push the boundaries is to be totally unreasonable about certain things. I though to myself...why can't you use a heavy barbell to push around like a sled. This gives you some nice alternatives when you don't have a sled available.

So lets get to it. And please, do be careful if you try any of these. This obviously isn't what barbells are normally designed for and it's up to YOU to make sure the coast is clear before doing it. You don't want anybody walking into the way of a 500 lb barbell rolling across the floor.

And obviously, a lot of gym are going to frown on this type of useage of the barbell, so be sure and clear this before doing it in a commercial gym, if you do try it in a commercial gym. Home gym or if you own the gym...go nuts and have fun :) It's actually kind of addictive once you get cranking on it.

Be VERY sure you keep the bar under your control at all times and that you could very quickly stop the momentum if you need to.


#1. Pushing, Stopping and Pulling

Very simple drill here. You'll get down low, set your hands on the bar then push it forward, accelerating the bar from a standstill.

Keep pushing for about 6 to 10 feet (or however far you can go in your gym - I recommend no more than that because you can really get up a head of stuff if you do). Then put the brakes on and stop the bar by putting a foot down and pulling back on it to stop the momentum.

Now walk backwards, pulling the bar back to the start position.

Repeat for 3 to 5 rounds (or more).

#2 - Pushing, Jumping Over and Pushing

With this one, you'll be pushing again but instead of pulling to put the brakes on, you're going to jump over the bar and "catch" it on the other side to stop the momentum.

Here's me leaping over the bar - when you do jump over, jump far enough so that you have time to get into position before the bar runs into you. That means about a foot further than you think you'll need.

Squat down and absorb the momentum of the barbell then immediately push to change it's direction as fast as you can.

Go back the other way, jumping over the bar again. You can stick with one way that feels more comfortable or you can alternate sides you jump over.

#3 - One Arm Pulling

This is a simple backwards pull, holding the bar with one hand. This really hits the core strongly, in addition to the legs. This one isn't rocket science. Pull one way then turn around and use the other arm to pull it back again.

#4 - Bunny Hops

This is an interesting one that will involve pushing and hopping in one direction then pulling and hopping back in the other.

Start with your hands on the bar and your feet together like a squat.

Push the bar forward a few feet.

Now hop BOTH your feet forward towards the bar. Repeat this, pushing the bar forward a bit then hopping forward.

Once you get 10 feet down the floor, reverse the movement. Hop your feet back (like the bottom of a squat thrust), kneel on the floor then pull the bar backwards (you'll have to kneel to get enough traction to move it).

#5 - Plyometric Pushing

This can be done by yourself, if you have a couple of foam wedges like I do (obviously not everybody does - I got mine at EliteFTS.com - click here to check it out). You can also do this with a partner, who catches the bar on the other end then pushes it back to you.

It's like playing "pass" with a 500 lb barbell.

With the wedges, set them a few feet away with the angles towards you. You'll explode, pushing the barbell forward. It'll roll up the wedges then roll back to you.

As you'll see in the video, it actually works really well.

If you have a partner, you can be more aggressive with the pushes. It's a great upper body plyometric pushing movement.


So that's all 5 of the variations! Fun with a 500 lb barbell...

You can perform these drills with whatever interval type of format you like, e.g. taking 3 to 5 reps of one then rest 30 seconds, then repeat.

You can go through all the different variations 3 to 5 reps each, resting 30 seconds between each variation, etc.

You can do just one variation and work it.

The uses are limited only by your imagination!

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