hey everyone! hope you are all enjoying your weekend.
i did cardio three times this week. not going to lie, it has been a doozy for me to get back into regular cardio routines.
i already hate cardio as it is, but i know it is essential for me to stay healthy. cardiovascular health is not something to take lightly.. we’ve only got one heart. we want it to be strong and healthy!
plus, what if i have to out-run a grizzly bear? i need to be in tip-top shape.
i read somewhere that when you take time off from regular exercise, the first thing to go is your cardiovascular endurance. well, i can confirm (through personal experience) that what i read is true. to put it bluntly.. getting back on the cardio wagon was a bitch.
however, what i have noticed is my endurance has also come back quite quickly. the three routines i have to share with you today gradually get more difficult. if you have been slacking off on your cardio like i was, do these three workouts in order, every other day, and you will be back to you speedy gonzalez self in no time!
another thing to mention about these workouts.. like i said earlier—i hate cardio. i love the feeling i get after a nice cardio session.. but the workout itself? i just don’t like it. it is boring. even if i am running outside.. i just get so bored. weight lifting is fun and exciting for me. i love switching up the moves every couple minutes and working different muscles. but cardio? it is just minute after minute of repetitive hell.
when i am on the treadmill, i feel like this guy:
SO.. i do minute intervals for two reasons:
- doing your cardio with intervals allows you to get a better workout in less time. 20 minutes of tough intervals will serve a better purpose than 40-60 minutes of jogging at a steady pace.
- i am WAY to A.D.D. to not mess with the treadmill controls every minute. it keeps me entertained.
with that said, here are the three treadmill workouts! remember, the first one is easy and they gradually get tougher.
if you are not sure what “RPE” means, you can read my post about it here. “RPE” stands for “rate of perceived exertion” and it is a scale from 1 to 10. a 1 is sitting on the couch. a 10 is running from a grizzly bear. you can gauge the speeds in these workouts according to your fitness level. i have noted the RPE for each minute on the workouts below. this will tell you how hard you should be working.
workout #1: 7 minute sets with increasing speed
this is a 30 minute workout that starts out at a moderate pace, builds up to a quick speed and then allows you to recover for one minute. with each set, you actually start out faster than the set prior. if this is too hard, you can keep every set at the same speeds as the first set when doing intervals, recovery time is key. you want your heart rate all over the place to get the most bang for your cardio buck.
|minute #||speed (MPH)||RPE|
if you feel like you need longer to recover from the final set, feel free to stay on the treadmill until you are breathing comfortably. you want to let your heart rate slow before stopping movement all together.
workout #2: 5 minute sets with increasing gaps
this is a 20 minute routine that follows the body-for-life high intensity interval training format. the change i have made is i make each set increasingly harder because the gap between the speed increase each minutes gets larger and larger as the sets progress. after a two minute warmup, the sets start. you will always start the set at 6.0 miles per hour. during the first set, you increase your speed by 0.5 each minute. the second set, you increase your speed by 0.6 each minute, and so on. you finish off the workout with one extra minute, running as fast as your little heart will allow.
|minute #||speed (MPH)||RPE|
|19||9.5 (or as fast as you can handle)||10|
you can stretch this workout into 30 minutes if you prefer, but you really will get a kick-butt cardio session in just the 20 minutes.
workout #3: ramp it up with incline intervals
i didn’t incorporate an incline in the two routines prior, but the truth is.. that little “incline” button can really transform your workout! even a small incline increase makes a big difference on the intensity of your workout. don’t be afraid to ramp it up! for this 30 minute routine, i increased not only the speed but also the incline with each minute. having that fifth minute each set at a 3% incline while running at 8 MPH really made my heart work. i sometimes wanted to give up, but i just kept saying things like “only 20 more seconds and you can go back to 6 MPH and 1% incline!”
that is the nice thing about 1 minute intervals. they kick your butt, but they don’t last long!
i have included a 5 minute warmup and a 5 minute cooldown. the interval sets are 5 minutes and i chose to do four sets. you can make the workout longer by adding more sets, but why would you want to do that to yourself?
|minute #||speed (MPH)||incline (%)||RPE|
if this workout was too easy for you, try starting the sets at 2.0 incline instead of 1.0. or, alternatively, you can increase the incline by a full 1% every minute instead of 0.5%
well, there you have it! three killer cardio workouts that are quick (but not easy!) i hope this has given you some ideas and you try the routines out.
you probably should.
i mean, you never know when you are going to have to out-run this guy:
and for the record, he can run about 40 MPH.
1. how do you feel about cardio? love? hate? wishy washy? i’m sure my feelings are clear.
2. what is your *favorite* form of cardio? does snowboarding count? because that is probably the only kind i actually enjoy. wait, i know, i like to hike and bike as well!
xo. janetha g.