Nobody can argue that cardio isn’t an important part of your fitness regimen - it is. It’s just that cardio needn’t be the hour-long trek that we see so often in the gym and in the park. If you want the benefits of doing cardio, but don’t want to spend ages doing it, here’s what to do:
Doing sprints is key to achieving the rocking bod you are after. Sprints have two important effects on your body. First, they are incredibly demanding on your muscles and your respiratory system. In effect, they shock your body into making improvements and using oxygen more efficiently. Second, sprints don’t cause your body to eat its own muscle like long cardio sessions do. It’s why sprinters manage to maintain so much muscle.
If you’ve got a home gym, you do sprints on a treadmill. If you don’t have a treadmill yet, read reviews, like the Sole F85 review here. Or you can simply go to the park and do sprints there. Sprint for 15 seconds, then rest for a minute, then sprint again. Do this ten to twelve times for a killer cardio workout.
Use high intensity training
Sprints aren’t the only high-intensity cardio training activity out there. In fact, most forms of cardio are amenable to increased intensity. Take the elliptical for instance. You can do HIIT on the elliptical simply by increasing the resistance of the machine. The same applies to the stationary bike. Just put it into high gear, get out of the saddle, and work as hard as you can for, say, 30 seconds. Then rest. Then repeat.
Do kettlebell swings
Most people associate the kettlebell with building muscle. But it’s also a great tool for those who don’t want to spend lots of time doing cardio. Start with holding the kettlebell with both hands and let it dangle in front of your between your legs. Then heave using your legs and lower back to swing the kettlebell up in front of you. Repeat this for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Do this until the fifteen minutes are up. I Love kettlebells.
The good thing about circuit training is that it forces your body to so many different moves from different angles. You’re not just trying to lift a weight in a certain way. Instead, your body’s movement becomes the focus of the exercise.
Doing circuits with weights takes a little bit of preparation. Choose four to six different exercises. Pick things like pull ups, lunges, jumps, box jumps and so on. Then do one after another in succession without a break. This workout is a little bit like the workout that the actors did in preparation for the film 300 (Gerard Butler- eat your heart out!). It wasn’t the longest of regimens, (about 14 minutes) but it certainly was one of the most intense.