I like my workouts to be short and intense. Usually I aim for 10-20 minutes with 30 minute max cap. In general, when it comes to cardio, these type of HIIT workouts are proven to give faster results with regard weight loss/aerobic fitness capacity/fat loss/toning. Don’t get me wrong, long cardio sessions are great and should definitely be included (and obviously exclusive of endurance athlete or people who just prefer this type of exercise) but I think that these sessions should be used once maximum twice per week.
I like to incorporate them into my rest days; for example I will take my dog for a long walk (1/2hrs+) or do a gentle jog (30-45mins) to stretch out my muscles or a 10km cycle (also circa 40mins)….. you shouldnt be coming back from this kind of cardio session exhausted (again this may be different if training for marathon/ironman etc- I ve never followed such a training plan).
Why do short and intense session work better even though you might only burn 150 calories for 20mins compared with 500+ for a 2 hour walk? Because short intense HIIT not only puts stress your metabolism at the time of the workout but also shocks it creating the ‘after burn effect’ or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). The optimal post exercise burn occurs when you keep your heart rate at 70-85% of your max during the session…..On the other hand long cardio sessions will only burn the calories during the actual cardio….so if you ve burned 500 calories on your walk that’s it and while you may have only burnt 150 calories during the HIIT session, the after burn will go on for much longer and you may actually be burning 800 calories+ (exact figure will vary depending on weight/age etc.) over the rest of the day/next day……
Waffle over….here’s the workout….I spent two weeks away on work training with the hotel gym being the only gym available. Going outside wasn’t an option as I was attending a course which would start at 8am and finish at 6pm so it would be dark by then and most likely raining….Anyway the gym was awful….loaded with a tonne of old cardio machines which were completely occupied at certain times and very little weight related stuff to work on (I don’t use weight machines like the ‘chest press’, ‘leg press’, ‘bicep curl’ etc- I do not think they sufficiently isolate the muscle and for the most part do nothing or make you more prone to injury…my opinion…facts may be different)….anyway there wasnt even a barbell to do deadllifts/squats….only a squat rack (again MAJOR issues with this…..seriously prone to back injury because you begin to rely on the bar and lean against it when lifting….)
So I came up with some bodyweight type workouts some of which incorporate dumbells/kb and a cardio machine…..I will keep posting these as I go and I have a few specific to when you have no equipment to work with at all….
The intervals are short and intense so push yourself. Check out this video for proper rowing technique (so many people put major tension on their back with a poor form myself included….I m only realising my poor form now and trying to re-train to keep an upright posture…)
Let me know how you get on if you try it!!