INTERVAL TRAINING: THE BEST CARDIO WORKOUT

HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING is better than AEROBIC CARDIO TRAINING

ex: elliptical sprints vs. elliptical at an easy-moderate intensity for 45 minutes

Why?

  • time efficiency
  • better cardio respiratory benefit
  • increased fat burn
  • increased general metabolism
  • increased aerobic capacity
  • post-exercise metabolic effect

It’s evidence based! A study conducted at the Government Medical College confirms that HIIT (high intensity interval training) achieves better health results than moderate intense exercise.

CHELSEY’S CARDIO PICKS:

Treadmill or Elliptical INTERVALS

The key word here is capitalized. Try this rotation: 1 min. walk, 1 min jog, 1 min sprint. Repeat this 3 minute circuit 5-10x depending on your physical fitness. Your sprint will be different from the guy next to you, so take it at your own level.

Rower

This piece of equipment helps you burn tons of calories in a short amount of time. Go for about 5 minutes at a sub-maximal intensity as a warmup or cool down after weight training.  My favorite approach is to find the interval setting on the screen: 500m interval row. Go for a few rounds with full recovery rest between each. Aim to finish the 500m by a certain time or compete against a friend for the fastest finish. Be sure to use your legs and upper body to reap the full body benefits.

Stairs
Ditch the elevator! Climbing steps elevates the heart rate tremendously. Get outside and find a badass set of stairs (i.e. Rocky steps in Philadelphia). If your gym has a stair climber, you’re lucky. When climbing at a sub-maximal intensity, no need to go much longer than 15-20 minutes. Try some intervals or the “5 minute stair climb test”: the screen will tell you the # of flights climbed. Try to beat your # each week. Sometimes I’ll use this to gauge my clients’ general cardio shape.

Jump Rope
Awesome for the abs and not just for 10 year olds. Jumping rope requires foot agility and coordination. Keep your core tight while jumping and stay focused! Try throwing a few 1 min intervals into your normal weight training routine for a cardio boost.

Boxing

I’m obviously a fan of this workout since I’m a PSU Boxing team alum. Hit the bag at 2-3 minute intervals at the gym or your at-home heavy bag. If you’re interested and want to learn, take my  boxing class (info is on class schedule tab) or personal train with me to learn how–I must admit that I have experience in creating some monsters:)

Outdoor sprints

Hit up the high school track with 200m sprints/200m walk intervals 8-10x. Or, take your normal jogging route up a notch by using the 3 minute running circuit listed above.

Weight training with minimal rest time

We can consider this a cardio workout if the exercises are paired correctly. Keep the exercises compound (involving more than one muscle), the reps fairly high (8-15), and with minimal rest between sets. Pair exercises that elevate the heart rate. (i.e. barbell squats & barbell lying chest presses. dumbbell walking lunges & barbell bent over rows. dumbbell shoulder presses & weighted crunches).

muscles

 

What’s your favorite way to do get in your intervals? Comments please!

Citations

Khaled M B, A M, S T K, S P C, R D. Effect of traditional aerobic exercises versus sprint interval training on pulmonary function tests in young sedentary males: a randomised controlled trial. J Clin Diagn Res. 2013 Sep;7(9):1890-3. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2013/5797.3343. Epub 2013 Sep 10. PubMed PMID: 24179890.

Shiraev T, Barclay G. Evidence based exercise – clinical benefits of high intensity interval training. Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Dec;41(12):960-2. PubMed PMID: 23210120.

 

4 Comments on “INTERVAL TRAINING: THE BEST CARDIO WORKOUT

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