Mix up your cardio
When people think cardio, they picture running on the treadmill or cycling on the bike for kilometer after kilometer!
I know that this puts me off cardio sessions! For example when I jump on the treadmill and begin to run I know in order to reach my target I’ll have to endure steady pace running for the next 40 mins, either staring into space or up at a TV screen, trying to resist looking at the distance. It fast becomes monotonous, and although I do feel achievement when I finish, I don’t exactly look forward to starting again the next day!
But cardio training doesn’t have to be like that! If you do want to perform your cardio on a stationary piece of equipment, why not try interval training to vary your workouts. Try to perform 8 sprint intervals, run as fast as you can for 30 seconds, before slowing down to steady pace for one minute to catch your breath before repeating the sprint interval. Do this 8 times, not only will you cut your cardio session time down, but you will also boost aerobic power, burn fat at faster rate and your body will be trained to recruit more muscle.
If you’re like me and don’t particularly enjoy running, cycling or rowing for any amount of time, why not try a high intensity circuit? This is how I generally train on my cardio days as I find I’m getting a full body workout at the same time as improving my cardio and not being bored out of my mind!
Pick four or five exercises per circuit, trying to mix and match exercises that work a different part of your body, some based on bodyweight only and some incorporating a bit of resistance for example, you could perform, jump squats, press ups, mountain climbers and shoulder press in one circuit. Pick a lighter weight than normal when using dumbbells or barbell, as you’re not trying to go heavy, but rather trying to keep the intensity high!
Perform each exercise for 8 – 12 reps or constantly for 30 seconds, with little or no rest in-between until you have completed the circuit, take a one minute break and start again. Try to repeat the circuit 3 times in total! The great thing about using this as your cardio workout is that it can always be different!! You can either change your circuit each time you train, or plan a couple of different circuits that you switch between on different days of the week! You can still incorporate sprints or the rower as one of your stations, so that you’re mixing and matching all the time!
This challenges your body as it does not know what’s coming next, but you’re still enjoying your training and feeling incredible!!