Cardio. The dreaded C-word when it comes to fitness. Doing cardio is like going to the dentist.. You know you need to, but you never want to.. and usually you feel better afterwards, but let’s face it, DURING–it sucks. Doing cardio is like someone giving you ten dollars for allowing them to punch you square in the gut. You can’t breathe, you roll around in pain and agony, but in the end, you’re rewarded.
Cardio comes in many forms and routines. When most people think of cardio they immediately think of the strip of darkness and sadness that consume half of most gyms–The stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and other boring devices of torture used to elevate your heart rate. Oh the monotony of running in place, biking to no where, walking up stairs while staying on the exact same level.
But in reality, this does not have to be where it begins. You do not have to succumb to running like a gerbil on a hamster wheel to stay in shape. I have found the best way to actually enjoy cardio is to continually mix it up! Perform different exercises for different reps or rounds. Pair different exercises together. The more the merrier! It gets your mind off of how much you actually hate exercise when you are constantly changing exercises and counting reps!
Let’s design a new cardio program for you.
First, pick 1 of the following:
- Treadmill jog/sprint
- Jump rope
Now, Pick a time to complete that exercise for:
Next, pick an exercise
- Squats/jump squats
- Lunges/jump lunges
- Mountain Climbers
- High Knees
- Lunge to high knee skip
- Curtsy squats
- Lateral Lunges
- Box Jumps
- Tuck Jumps
- Kettlebell swings
- Kettlebell goblet squats
- Step Ups
- Medball toss / Wallballs
Once you’ve chosen an exercise, pick the amount of reps to complete it at
Pick a second exercise from the same list above
Now, choose a rep scheme for the second exercise.
Lastly, Pick a number of rounds or an amount of time to complete your workout in.
- 3 rounds
- As many rounds in 15 minutes
SO, let’s put a few cardio routines together!!
- 0:60 sec treadmill run, 15 jump squats, 25 kettlebell swings for 5 rounds
- 2:00 min stairmaster accent, 10 burpees, 10 lunges for 8 rounds
- 0:30 sec row sprints, 25 step ups, 10 mountain climbers for 10 rounds
You can certainly add more than two exercises and substitute your favorite exercises for the ones I’ve listed above. This is a great time to add in a few of your weaknesses to help you improve. Pull ups, push ups, hanging leg raises for some core work— really the possibilities are endless. Keep rest short and your heart rate elevated.
Done right, these routines can burn a lot of calories in a shorter period of time due to the high intensity factor. Add in a few of these circuits to your weekly gym routine for increased fat loss. Leave in comments what routine you came up with and are excited to give a try!!