Have you been on the rat wheel for so long you just simply dread cardio? Hopefully you are using cardio to supplement your strength training, but it is still important to keep your heart and lungs in condition no matter what your goal.
As I start prepping for photo shoots, I have to up my cardio once again and am in the same boat as you.
Of course, having a good music playlist is paramount to getting a good session in! Take the time to download some new tracks!
Here are a few "GAMES" to keep your cardio interesting.
#5 - INTERVALS (Speed + Incline)
1 Min ON (Ramping up from 7-12)
1 Min OFF
Repeat for 1 mile then turn the incline all the way up.
30 SECONDS ON (Ramping up from 7-10)
1-2 Min OFF
Sprinting on that incline is brutal and can be dangerous if you aren't used to this type of intensity.
I reserve this format for my athletes.
#4 - MIX IT UP
Get off the treadmill and try some of the other forms of cardio in your local gym.
My gym has a row machine, a heavy bag and some battle ropes.
One of my favorite tests for my clients to gauge their progress is 1000 meters on the row machine for as fast as possible. This can be accomplished usually in the 3-6 minutes range, so this is a great start.
Then I like to move on to some 1:00 Rope Drills.
1 Min ON / 30 Seconds OFF doing various rope exercises such as:
Single Arm Waves, Double Arm Slams, Jump Squat Slams, and Seated Twist Slams.
Do another 10 minutes here then move on to the heavy bag.
Here, try for 3 Minutes ON / 1 minute OFF of various forms of combos such as:
Jab, Jab, Hook (1, 1, 2)
Jab, Hard Hook (1, 2)
Jab, Hook, Body Shot L, Body Shot R (1, 2, 3, 4)
Body Shot L, Body Shot R (3, 4, 3, 4)
#3 - STAIRMASTER SPRINTS
Put the StairMaster on MAX and run for 1 minute.
Ride it down to the bottom and either let your buddy go next or rest for 1 minute
REPEAT 10-15 times :)
#2 - BIG BEN CHALLENGE
This is one that I have yet to master. A past roommate of mine, Ben Neal, showed me where I stood one day when I decided to do cardio with him.
Start on Level 9 and run for a full 1/4 Mile
Up the speed to 10 and run till 1/2 Mile is completed.
Up again to 11 until 3/4 is done,
then up to 12 and sprint out the last of the mile!
Get ready to get gassed!
#1 - HR INTERVALS
My new favorite way of doing cardio lasting 30 minutes or more is a variation of intervals but using Heart Rate instead of Speed or Incline.
This can be performed on any piece of cardio.
Start by doing 1 minute at a warm-up speed.
Then turn the speed or intensity up until your Heart Rate (HR) hits 140.
This should take a minute or two to get you warmed up.
Drop back down to your rest speed and rest for 1 minute.
Next, put the intensity back up and keep it up until you hit 145HR.
1 minute Rest
1 Min rest
1 Min rest… etc.
I keep going up until I hit 175. You should of course only push as far as your physician sees fit for your fitness level.
In any case by then you should be dripping sweat!
The last few rounds may take 2-3 minutes or more and the 1 minute rest to follow once you hit your mark is your incentive to really crank it up so that you can indeed take a rest.
I find this to be a really effective way of burning some serious calories!