Plain old cardio can become monotonous and boring. Running on the treadmill or climbing the Gauntlet (step mill) to nowhere is not my idea of fun. Burning calories is important so skipping cardio is not an option. And whether you prefer getting in your cardio sesh before the sun has a chance to rise, or you fit it in after your evening workout, switching it up often is the secret to breaking cardio boredom.
The best thing about cardio is that you can find ways to get it in without equipment or a gym, so there's no excuse. Here are 3 high intensity cardio workouts for you to try. Challenge yourself, you may be surprised at what you can achieve.
1. Tabatas. Tabatas are a Japanese form of high intensity interval training (or HIIT). Your basic interval is a period of all out effort, followed by a short rest. For instance, a simple interval would be 1 minute of running followed by 30 seconds of walking at a quick pace. Intervals are great for fat loss because they burn more calories in a shorter period of time, which means more time for you to spend at home relaxing. The freedom in Tabatas is that you can choose whatever exercises you'd like and the amount of exercises you perform. The interval timing of Tabatas is 20 seconds of all out effort (as many reps as possible) followed by 10 seconds of rest. You'll repeat each interval for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes). Once you've reached the last round, you'll then move on to the next exercise, and so on and so forth until you've completed the workout. If you choose 4 exercises, you've got a 16 minute workout of nothing but high intensity intervals. Give it a try, it will be over before you know it!
Basic Tabata (or CrossFit's "Tabata This")
8 rounds each of the following - 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest: - Pushups - Pullups - Situps - Squats
2. Rowing Intervals. Ok I lied, you'll need equipment for this one, particularly a rower. This machine is often overlooked at the gym and left to collect dust. Dust that thing off and give it some use! There's not much explanation involved here, hop on and start rowing. One thing you will notice is that watching the meters you've rowed go up is like watching water boil - it seems to take forever to reach your desired distance. Rowing is a calorie blasting cardio workout and a great stray from the norm. Here's a simple interval workout to try. Aim for 6-8 intervals to start. Try to increase the amount of intervals you do every session.
Rowing Intervals - set the rower lever to level 5 - press the menu button - select "custom workout" - choose "30/30 intervals" - perform 6-12 intervals, rowing for 30 seconds at all out effort and resting for 30 seconds
3. Running Intervals. As I mentioned before, intervals work wonders on fat loss. Incorporate them in to your workouts wherever you can, including running. Here's a challenging interval workout you can do outdoors or on the treadmill:
Run for 5 minutes 10 Burpees 10 Squats 10 Pushups Run for 5 minutes 10 Burpees 10 Squats 10 Pushups Run for 5 minutes 10 Burpees 10 Squats 10 Pushusp Run for 5 minutes 10 Burpees 10 Squats 10 Pushups Run for 5 minutes
What's your favorite cardio workout? Do you prefer outdoors or in?