Watch Ashley Graham Prove That Cardio Doesn't Have to Suck
"Cardio is the part of my workouts that I HATE doing," she said, but this agility training looks more like a fun game than a boring workout.
Like many of us, Ashley Graham has some strong feelings about cardio. "You guys already know...cardio is the part of my workouts that I HATE doing," she recently wrote on Instagram. (Same, Ashley, same.)
ICYDK, cardio, in the traditional sense, isn't a necessary additive to your workout routine. That said, it is still important to get your heart rate up-something Graham realizes. But figuring out how to get her heart pumping, without logging countless miles or begrudgingly doing burpees, has forced the model to get a bit more creative. "Finding a way to make it fun and trick myself into having fun is the only way to get through it on a Wednesday," she wrote. (Related: I Worked Out Like Ashley Graham and Here's What Happened)
In the recent video she shared, Graham passes around 10-pound medicine balls with Kira Stokes, the celebrity trainer behind her new namesake app Kira Stokes Fit-and seriously looks like she's having the time of her life. "Cardiovascular conditioning drills CAN be equal parts fun and effective," Stokes wrote on her Instagram page alongside the same video Graham shared. "Allow yourself time away from the treadmill, bike, rower, etc...Get creative, get those endorphins flowing, let your inner child shine and insert laughter = bonus ab work."
Finding unique ways to squeeze cardio into her workouts is particularly effective for Graham since carving out time for exercise can be tough with her hectic schedule. "I typically book 75 minute sessions with clients, but on days where Ashley is pressed for time and still wants to squeeze in workout, I get even more creative with finding ways to effectively and efficiently challenge her strength, power, and endurance while still having fun," Stokes tells Shape. (Related: 7 Other Butt Exercises from Ashley Graham's Trainer to Build a Strong Booty)
Setting up her workouts this way is also key for Graham's fitness goals, which-as Graham has reminded trolls in the past-*isn't* to lose weight or her curves.
"She wants to feel strong, build some definition, and strengthen her core," says Stokes. "She's a freaking athlete and wants to be trained like one too. She has incredible body awareness. And most of all, she wants to be her best self." (Related: Ashley Graham Uses Body-Positive Affirmations In the Best Way)
For those who, like Graham, love lifting but don't love traditional cardio on the treadmill or bike, Stokes has the following advice: "People need to remember what we all did as kids. We played. There is no rule that you can't continue to do that your whole life. At the end of the day, your heart is a muscle and you need to condition it like any other muscle in your body. Finding ways to make that fun though, is the best way to do it. Just think outside the box."