“Heavier weights” is a popular rallying cry right now (thanks, CrossFit). But Aerospace co-owner and former professional boxer Michael Olajide, Jr., makes a case for a different kind of workout in his new book: no-weights cardio.
Olajide, known for whipping the Victoria’s Secret Angels into shape, just released Sleekify!: The Supercharged No-Weights Workout to Sculpt and Tighten your Body in 28 Days, with a foreword written by Olajide’s supermodel client Adriana Lima. “This book is based on my 20-plus years in the fitness industry, as well as in the boxing industry,” he says. “I’ve seen the results—how this program manifests itself in people.” You can see many of them on the runway this Tuesday.
The problem with most cardio workouts, Olajide says in Sleekify!, is they don’t include enough intensity and people often stick to just one thing, like running or spinning. His plan includes elements of his three programs—boxing, jumping rope, and sculpting—in every session.
“This doesn’t mean that heavy weights are bad. Some people want that, and it’s great. But we’re talking about sleekifying,” he says. So just what is the key to upping the cardio ante? Here’s what Olajide had to say:
1. Athleticism. “The fittest people on this planet are athletes. If you want to get in shape, you do what an athlete does,” he says. “It’s hard to work out like an athlete, but the boxer’s workout is simple.” Boxing maneuvers hit your body quickly, he says, where your body is immediately working incredibly hard. If you’ve ever thrown a few punches, you’ve no doubt been surprised by how winded you were off the bat.
2. Speed and intensity. Moving quickly in intervals is key. While you may be jumping rope or throwing punches, the effect on your body is “almost like you’re sprinting,” Olajide offers. This workout is not about lasting for 26.2 miles.
3. Repetition (with variety). “It’s what people don’t want to hear, but it’s the reality,” Olajide says. You have to work very hard, very often, on a consistent basis in order to see results. Of course, he mixes up the workout every three to four days, so you don’t get bored and your body doesn’t get lazy. Just don’t expect to get instant results without pushing yourself. But you also shouldn’t get discouraged if it’s your first time in the workout ring: “I always say that being a contender can be even more beneficial than being a champ,” Olajide says. “It’s exciting; you’re getting there.” —Lisa Elaine Held