Cardio workout programs are boring. Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training has some great solutions for making your typical cardio more fun and effective.
Solution #1: Interval Training
Interval training is where you perform a period of hard work followed by a period of easy work. You can use interval training with any sort of cardio equipment or activity.
I like to use high intensity jump roping and shadowboxing, but you can also use a stationary bike or treadmill. According to Craig, the best time to do interval training is right after your strength training session.
This way, you have 3 full training days per week. But many people have found that performing strength training and interval training every other day works just as fine.
However, this would mean that you’ll be training 5-6 days a week instead of just 3 days per week. The important thing is you get in the workout.
One last option is to perform you interval workouts in the morning, and strength workouts in the evening (or vice versa). Start your interval workout with a 5 minute warmup.
Then, choose from one of the following Interval Training methods:
Perform 45 minutes of high intensity cardio, followed by a 90 second period of lower intensity cardio. Make sure you bring it down to a nice, easy pace during the 90 second portion. This is your time of rest. Savour it. The 45 second/90 second interval counts as one interval. Repeat this interval for a total of 6 times, or 13 to 14 minutes of training.
Perform 60 seconds of work, followed by 90 seconds of rest. Of course this is harder than the 45/90 seconds workout. If you are unable to complete 60 seconds of work, then go back to 45 seconds. Spend a few more weeks and 45 seconds, then try to bring it back up to 60 seconds.
This is the hardest workout out of all of them. In this workout, you perform hard cardio for 20-25 minutes. Hard cardio can consist of running at a moderate pace, cycling at a moderate pace, sparring with a partner, shadowboxing, or jump roping at a moderate pace. In other words, don’t go all out, but don’t take it easy. You should barely be able to make it past the 25 minute mark. Once again, this requires a bit of conditioning, so make sure you make it through workout A and B before trying workout C.
Solution #2: Body weight Cardio
Craig Ballantyne has created some great body weight cardio workouts. These workouts can replace your interval cardio if you don’t enjoy interval cardio.
The workout is known as the Crazy 8 Bodyweight 300 Cardio circuit and consists of 8 exercises. The repetitions and seconds performed for each movement adds up to 300 repetitions and seconds.
Perform this circuit 3 times. Start off with 60 Jumping Jacks. After the Jumping Jacks, move right into a Spiderman pushup. These are a regular pushup.
However, when you go down bring one knee up to the corresponding elbow. Push back up and repeat on the other side. From here, perform walking lunges.
After the walking lunges, perform spider climbs. To do these, get back into pushup position and bring your foot up beside your hand. The idea is to place your foot right next to your hand, but if you’re not flexible enough you can bring it up as far as you can.
Always keep your abs tight and hips low. After the spiderman climbs, stand up and hold your back up against a wall. Squat down to parallel and hold this position.
Continue with a plank for 60 seconds. After the plank, perform 5 burpees. These are where you stand, squat down, pushup your legs out so that you’re in pushup position, perform a pushup, pull your legs back in, and jump up.
After 5 burpees, perform 25 high knees with eah leg. This is one circuit. Do 2 more circuits and call it quits. However, if you need to, you can still ad 15-20 minutes of high intensity cardio at the end of the workout.
Solution #3: Body weight Intervals
Body weight interval training is another fun way Craig Ballantyne uses to help his clients burn lots of fat. All you need is a good interval timer. To start the workout, perform body weight squats for 20 seconds.
Hold the bottom position of the squat for 10 seconds, and repeat for 7 times for a total of 4 minutes of training. This is what you call a Tabata interval.
After the squats, you’re going to do pushups. However, only do 4 rounds of pushups instead of 8. Perform as many pushups as you can in 20 seconds, and rest in the top position for 10 seconds.
The final movement is the plank and side plank. Start off with 20 seconds of the plank, then move to the side plank. Alternate sides for total of 8 rounds.
You can be creative and add your own body weight exercises to the mix.