It's great for the heart, makes us feel wonderful with that incredible endorphin release, and it sheds fat. Along with resistance training, it's an essential half of getting into shape. Gentlemen, without a consistent and effective cardio plan, it's simply impossible to shed that last bit of fat covering up that six-pack and those biceps you've worked so hard to build. Ladies, you just can't get rid of the dreaded pooch or that jiggle between the thighs without it. Cardio exercise is a must. PERIOD,

However, for many of us, it can also be the most boring, drudging task of the day. Sometimes running on a treadmill or an elliptical can make us feel like human hamsters on a wheel, where 20-30 minutes of uninspired cardio goes by in a blur. As the weeks go by, we do the same routine each and every day. We run at the same tempo, for the same amount of time.... we stay the same weight and feel the same after each and every workout.

We're convinced that we should get in our cardio session for our health, but we certainly do not always enjoy it... and as I've come to learn about human psychology, if we do something because we think we SHOULD rather than because we WANT to, we very rarely improve and often times we give up all together.

Well ladies and gentlemen; I'm here to tell you that your days as a human gerbil are over. There is a solution to cardiovascular exercise that is fun, interesting, engaging, and self empowering. It's called MMA fitness training.

In Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), fighters must be in the most supreme condition as they battle all out at full intensity for 15-25 minutes in the cage with very minimal rest. They are some of the fastest, strongest and well conditioned human beings on the planet. Not to mention almost all of them are absolutely ripped to shreds, but not in an unattractively bulky way like the monsters of bodybuilding. In my humble opinion, they are built the way we're MEANT to be built. Learn and attractive as well as strong, flexible, and energized.

It only makes sense that if you want an MMA body, it's time to start training like an MMA fighter (and no, you don't have to get punched in the face to train like a fighter...). The best news is that it doesn't take long at all. Because of the length and intensity of an MMA fight, (15-25 minutes) most MMA cardio workouts are no longer than 20 minutes and incorporate the whole body from the shoulders and arms, through the core, all the way down to the quads and calves.

If you have 20 minutes 3 times a week, you can get into shape like an MMA fighter. Apart from technical work (sparring, grappling technique, and hitting the focus mitts) even the most talented fighters like UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre only train cardio for 20 minutes at a time 2-3 times a week.

The whole fitness industry is finally catching on to the idea that MMA style workouts are the best way to get in shape. Georges St. Pierre is on the cover of Men's Health after being on the cover of Maximum Fitness, and Men's Fitness this year. UFC fighter Rich Franklin was on the cover of Muscle and Fitness just a few months ago.

Try out an MMA cardio workout and you'll never set foot on the treadmill again, you'll be shedding fat like a machine, all while improving all aspects of fitness from strength to flexibility in less than a half hour, three times per week.

Author's Bio: 

Travis S. Lutter is an American mixed martial artist who won the The Ultimate Fighter 4 reality show. His UFC record, not including his exhibition wins on The Ultimate Fighter 4, is 2-4. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Carlos Machado.