If you spend hours on the elliptical then I’m sorry but you’re doing it wrong, unless you have bad knees or you’re training to be a gazelle. When I first started at the gym I always went on the elliptical because well, it was easy. Now I pretty much despise any cardio that involves a machine (although I use treadmills in the winter because I live in Canada and well snow).
Here are a few of my favourite forms of cardio (this doesn’t mean I love cardio, I still hate it):
Skipping – this shit will get your heart rate up in a hurry. Try skipping in intervals and then when you get really good at it try double unders.
Burpees – pretty much the worst exercise known to man but burpees are effective. Use burpees as a finisher to fully destroy you after a workout.
Jump Squats – these will help perk up your butt and that’s pretty much all the reason I need to do them. Add jump squats into your warm up and your body will be warm in no time.
Running – get outside and run like hell (unless there’s snow on the ground).
Rowing – yes it’s a machine but it’s f*cking hard. Add rowing into your normal gym routine, you’ll hate it so much you’ll love it
Add one (or more) of these moves to your regular routine and you’ll feel your heart rate increase and the sweat pour out of your body.
I don’t think there is anything in this world that I hate more than running. When I was a kid I hated track and field day because you show up to school one day and you’re expected to run for like 800 metres. No thank you. The night before track and field day I would try and come up with ways to get out of it, like breaking my own leg. I don’t think that’s too dramatic or anything. I’m also asthmatic so running is a bitch for me, a bitch that I’ve avoided like the plague.
A couple of weeks ago I walked into my regular Crossfit class and written under WOD on the board was a 400 metre run. No, just no. I felt like I was in elementary school again, only this time I didn’t have my inhaler. The run was awful, I hated every minute of it. I was embarrassed by my horrible running skills, I literally have the lung capacity of a mouse. I hate being bad at things so I am determined to improve this skill ASAP. I know I won’t be able to run long distances over night but I’ve come up with a plan. Repeat the weekly workout 3-5 times a week.
Feel free to join me for 8 weeks of literal hell, I’m starting Monday. Hopefully in 8 weeks I will be significantly better at running.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a good way to get your ass handed to you in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts are designed to torch calories in a short amount of time and are a fantastic addition to anyone’s workout program. The best part about the HIIT workout I’ve designed for you is that, you don’t need equipment and you can do the workout outside (work on that tan). Also it’s only 30 minutes, everyone has 30 minutes they can spare for a workout.
Squats: Feet hip width apart and push your butt back. Need assistance? You can use a TRX or a bench/chair.
Push Ups: Remember to keep your elbows close to your side. You can go from your knees or toes or you can go from an elevated surface.
Jumping Jacks: An oldie but a goodie.
Lunges: Keep your chest up, core engaged and toes pointed forward.
Burpees: *evil laughter* this isn’t going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.
Sit Ups: Never skip core, I learned the hard way.
Long Jump: It’s like track and field all over again. Squat down and leap forward.
Cardio is like the weird uncle you avoid at holidays because it’s weird and makes you feel uncomfortable. I’d rather put a pin in my eye then do cardio. When I first started working out I was a cardio bunny, I would spend hours cycling, walking, elipticalling (I know that’s not a word). Like most girls, I was afraid of the weight rack, I was afraid of my muscles getting huge and hulking out of all of my clothing. I was so young and naïve then, the weight section of the gym is now where I feel most at home. As much as I hate doing steady state cardio, I still do it. Yes I do cardio, I don’t do it everyday but I work it in to my workout plans because I know I’ll be better for doing it. I don’t spend hours doing cardio, 10 -30 minutes is usually the max for me. I find that doing 10 min of steady state at the end of a workout is really beneficial for fat loss. I truthfully hate every minute of doing it but in order to improve your fitness you have to do the things that make you uncomfortable.
To be honest I find any and all forms of cardio awkward and weird, maybe it’s because I’m uncoordinated or maybe it’s because I have asthma and breathing is hard. Here are my top 10 reasons why cardio is awkward and weird:
Running Hurts – Your lungs burn, your legs burn and if you have bigger boobs there is a legit fear of giving yourself a black eye.
WTF is the Elliptical – I know the elliptical is better for your joints, but what exactly is it training you for? To be a gazelle? I need answers.
The Stairmaster – The Stairmaster is the tallest machine in the gym, it’s like standing on a stage where literally everyone can so you sweating your ass off and trying not to die.
Cycling – If you have ever attended a spin class you’ll understand the pain of sitting on those skinny, hard bike seats and not being able to walk properly for 24 hours. People start talking and things get weird.
Doing Cardio with a Partner – You’re both weirdly out of breath and trying to hold a conversation.
Rowing – Everything is cramping and when you stand you leave a huge booty sweat mark on the seat. Also if you have a big booty, it spills out awkwardly over the sides of the seat.
Jumping Movements – Everything is jiggling and flopping and you can’t control it. Box jumping and falling on your face in front of everyone at the gym, enough said.
Farting – I’m usually not one to talk about these things, but it happens to the best of us. It’s hard to hold one in when you’re running or jumping, sometimes it happens and catches you by surprise. Here’s to hoping no one heard it.
Cardio Machines in General – You’re using a lot of energy and going nowhere, it’s actually kind of sad.
The Finish – If it was an intense cardio session you probably just want to lay on the floor in a puddle of your own sweat but it’s usually frowned upon.