1. If you really love your cardio machines and can’t give them up, next time you leap on to the treadmill or cycle, ditch your magazine and try this: warm up at an easy pace for 5 minutes, until you start to break a light sweat. Now increase your pace until you’re sprinting hard (an 8-9 effort out of 10) for 10-20 seconds. Ease back to a jog (about a 5-6 effort) for 30-40 seconds. Repeat this process for 15-25 minutes, then cool down with a jog. As your fitness increases, so should your sprint time. Work up to one minute’s sprint work, followed by one minute’s recovery.
2. Ready to take your workout into the great outdoors? Did you know that running on real turf burns a LOT more calories than running on a treadmill? Jog to a (long-ish) hill or set of stairs and sprint up to the top as fast as you can, then make your way back down slowly. Repeat 10 times. Want to keep track of your progress? Time how long it takes you to get to the top each time and work out your average over the ten runs. Take note of how your averages improve as your fitness builds.
3. Did you know you can get an awesome cardio workout without actually running or cycling at all? Create a bodyweight resistance workout, or use weights to get your heart rate through the roof. Circuit training is the perfect way to burn fat fast, so pick 6 exercises (for example, any variation of squats, push-ups, lunges, rows or back extensions, core and either jump rope or a plyometric exercise like burpees), then set a timer and complete each exercise for one full minute, working as hard as you can with either pace or weight, then recover for 20-30 seconds before starting your next exercise. Play with your work and recovery times (e.g. 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, or completing all exercises back-to-back for 30 seconds each, then resting for 90 seconds before starting over) to keep your body guessing and keep the results coming!
Let me finish by saying that if long, steady jogs on a treadmill or around the block are what you enjoy most, then by all means keep doing ‘em because any exercise is better than no exercise BUT if it’s quick results you want to see and a summer body you want, then try interval training… you’ll never look back!
Read more from Libby and the team at Bottoms Up! atbottomsupfitness.com.au