By Myprotein Writer | Ben White
Cardio is important, we know that. Do we try and avoid it? Of course we do.
But whether you’re cutting for a show or just trying to increase your wellbeing, it’s hard to get excited by the usual Low Intensity Steady State cardio.
Why not switch it up a little with something different? Try the below workouts to mix up your cardio and boost your metabolism!
#1 Timed Compound Lifts
Why just reserve the big lifts for the very start of your training? Ditch the 20 minutes on the treadmill for some supercharged lifting and torch some body fat!
Grab a barbell and a stopwatch and let’s get started!
The best lifts to perform with this technique are:
1) Barbell cleans
3) Clean and front squat
These may all be pretty similar in style but the key to this is to start with what is effectively the deadlift position, due to the fact that all of the moves mean you have to lift the barbell from the floor to your shoulders are considered as multi-joint movements. These will get your metabolism firing and your cardiac system pumping.
How this works
Pick one of the movements that suits you. Choose a weight that is roughly 60% of your 1RM (or one that you’ll be able to lift for a solid minute!) and set a timer for 1 minute. Hit start and rep it out till the timer stops.
You’ll be surprised how just 1-minute of this will leave you feeling like you’ve just run a mile.
Complete 4 rounds!
#2 Tabata Workouts
8 rounds of 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest. Easy…right?
✓ Select 8 different exercises, this can be anything you want.
✓ Try bodyweight exercises for this type of training as the main part of it and then throw in some dumbbells for the final few exercises. Basic example is:
20 second set – Push Ups – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Bodyweight squats – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Crunches – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Dips – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Leg raises – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Chin ups – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Dumbbell shoulder press – 10 seconds rest
20 second set – Dumbbell clean and squat – 10 seconds rest
How this works
In Tabata Workouts:, you’re performing a huge amount of work in a really short amount of time with even shorter rest periods. Because of this, and the fact you’re doing movements which cover your whole body, you get pretty tired pretty quick. And sweaty. Really sweaty.
Repeat these rounds a few times depending on the level of intensity and what your goals are: use more weight or bigger movements if you need to burn fat faster; stick with the bodyweight if you are just maintaining or trying to get fitter.
#3 Quick HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workouts
An oldie and a goldie. Technically speaking everything in this article classes as HIIT but this is the classic interval style cardio.
Select a cardio machine and choose a speed or resistance slightly lower than what you would usually use for steady state. Go at this for a minute and once the minute is up, ramp up the tempo! You will want to push as hard as you can for 30 seconds on a higher resistance and then once it’s up go back up to full resistance.
1 minute – comfortable jog
30 second – sprinting
Repeat this until 10 minutes is up.
How this works
Because you are varying the speeds you are working at you will be fluctuating the heart rate a lot. This not only does wonders for your fitness as a whole, but also kick starts the metabolism into fat-burning mode.
This is probably the easiest to tailor to what you need to do as, unlike the others, you can adjust your intervals to suit what you need from your cardio.
If you are cutting and need to burn as much fat as possible then you can make the jogging last for 30 seconds instead. This means you have a shorter rest period and therefore will keep the heart rate higher for more of the time to push your body that bit further.
Take Home Message
So there you have it – step up your usual cardio routine and make some serious impact in half the time!