I am sure for those of you that tried my running Tabata workout, your not thrilled to see more of these intense, 4 minute circuts. Trust me though, once youve incrporated Tabata training into your weekly routine, check the scale and then you will be glad for more. These workouts today focus on body weight and polymeric training – all squeezed into a 4 minute circuit of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. In the beginning, don’t try more then a couple 4 minute intervals at a time. In fact, you shouldn’t even be able to do more then that as you should be going SO hard during you 20 seconds ‘on’ periods that that 4 minute workout should feel like an hour (amazingly efficient, right?!)
The below workout chart lists a variety of Tabata workout options you can do. With each type of workout you choose, remember to do 20 seconds as HARD as you can go with 10 seconds of complete rest; repeat for a total of 4 minutes.
If you know me, then you know one of my hobbies (okay maybe obsession is the right word…) is to read fitness magazines and studies, watch videos, experiment, ect. There is SO much out there, I like to be ahead of the game and be able to personally speak to what works best for me. Well, one thing I have been constantly hearing about is Tabata Training. Blasting fat in only 4 minute workouts? Hmmm I had to try it. I did, and I am hooked. ♥
Tabata training is a form of high intensity intervals (think HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training) but it is taken to another level with being a series of alternations between 20 seconds maximum effort and only 10 seconds of rest. Tabata can be doing via running, or it can be done by doing a series of body weight or plyometric exercises. In HIIT workouts, you take your rest periods by just slowing down your pace. Then on your intense periods, you are doing a tempo pace (vs a sprint pace) for longer periods of time. With Tabata, during your 20 seconds of intensity, you are doing and all out sprint of whatever you are doing. You should be sprinting/working so hard that you NEED those 10 seconds of rest – which you can take by hoping off the treadmill or stopping.
Both HIIT and Tabata training are effective training tools and both will blast calories and fat if you do them consistently and correctly. I have been incorporating both styles of intense cardio into my workouts on separate days. That way, my body never knows what’s coming.
Try this running Tabata workout for your next workout. More workouts to come next week using body weight and plyometrics for your Tabata training!
Have you ever gone to the gym planning to do cardio, then halfway through your ‘cardio’ workout, you realize you aren’t event sweating? Did you put yourself up on the elliptical or stair climber and set it to manual then just move? When you are going to do cardio, the best and most effective way to do it is to get your heart rate up to 85% or so and power away; if you don’t, you are simply wasting your time! The more effort and movement you put into your cardio workouts, the more fat you will burn. :)
Of course, my first choice in a cardio workout is to go out for a run. However, I only run 4-5 days a week leaving 1-2 days for cross training cardio. I typically do spin class one of the days then on my extra cross training cardio day, I like to mix it up. Now, unless you are an endurance athlete, most people don’t need to do cardio more then 2-3 days a week – as long as you make it count those 2-3 days.
When I say ‘make it count,’ I am meaning that your cardio workout should be anything but easy and you should be able to walk out of the gym proud of your workout. Obviously the easiest way to get cardio in is on a cardio machine, and I am fine with that. However, my thoughts on machine cardio is this: if you are going to do a machine, you should not be on the same machine for more then 20 minutes and you should increase to the maximum resistance at least twice in that time. I like to do 2-3 different cardio machines in one workout, each with the same maximum resistance segments.
The point of switching up the machines is so that your body doesn’t get used to one thing and adapt, taking the effort out of your workout. When you switch it up, you are constantly throwing new efforts at your body, and your body has not choice but to work its butt off (literally!) to get the workout complete. Then when you change the resistance on each machine, you are able to allow your body those peak periods of intensity with time to recover in between – that is how you are going to burn fat! (think HIIT training on a stationary machine).
Here is a killer cardio workout that I like to do – try it and I promise you will sweat your little heart out!The Fitness Fashionista’s Killer Cardio Workout To being fit and fashionable, Christyn
We’ve all done it. Hop on that treadmill or elliptical and set yourself to auto pilot for 30-60 minutes. You don’t change the speed, resistance or incline and at the end of this cardio segment, you find you have barley broken a sweat. Sound familiar?!
The problem with so many cardio workouts is that they become so routine, the challenge of completing it to your fullest is eliminated. Your goal should be to maximize calorie burn during every minute of cardio while burning fat and toning stubborn problem areas (that can get zoned in on with the intensity of cardio!)
Here are a few tips to make the most out of your cardio workout:
1. No more excuses. You know you have to do it, so just do it and enjoy it. Take pride in the fact that you are so committed to your health and make the most out of that hour.
2. Check your heart rate. If you are not working out in your target heart rate zone, you are not getting the most out of your workout. To find your target heart rate, subtract your age from 220 (this is your maximum heart rate). It is recommended that you work out at about 70% of your target heart rate zone when starting out. So, if you’re 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 190 beats per minute and working out at 70% of that would put your heart rate at about 133 beats per minute (190 multiplied by 0.7). As your level of fitness improves, you can up that number to 161 beats per minute. Many of the cardio machines have heart rate sensors that can give you a ballpark range (they are not 100% accurate, but close) or I like to wear a hear rate monitor occasionally to test my levels.
3. Wait an hour before eating. For so long, it seemed like everyone was saying to eat immediately after workout out so your muscles aren’t eating muscle. However, more and more research is showing otherwise. It is now being said that unless you are looking to bulk up (which most women are not) you should wait exactly one hour after finishing your cardio to eat. This allows your body to burn more calories during the period immediately following your workout (after-burn), when your heart rate remains higher then usual. Additionally, studies also have been showing that as long as you are eating every 2-4 hours (depending on your weight, metabolism and fitness goals) you should not need to add an additional “Post workout snack” into your meal plans. Instead, I like to plan out my meals so that my snack is about 1 – 1.5 hours before my workout, I workout for an hour, then by the time I get home and make dinner, it has been my 3 hours.
4. Get into those fat stores. (Note: This is not for those who are interested in bulking up, but for those who want to shed excess pounds.) If you are really interested in getting into those fat stores, then getting your cardio in first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach or right after weight training — when your body has used up much of its readily available energy — is the thing to do. This way, your body is forced to really dig deep into its energy stores in order to get you through the cardiovascular exercise. It’s rough, but it works. Please note though, you should not be working out over 60 minutes on an empty stomach – this works best if you are going to do a 30 minute weight training workout followed by a 30 minute cardio workout, or a solid 60 minute cardio workout only.
5. Use your whole body. If you can only afford to devote 20 minutes to your cardio workout, then make sure you do an exercise that uses your whole body and burns the most calories. For example, in that 20-minute time period, you may only burn about 150 calories using the recumbent stationary bike, whereas, with a little effort, you could burn 200+ running sprints or hills on the treadmill. Furthermore, any unsupported, upright activity, such as running, forces you to use your core and back muscles, whereas, when you are seated comfortably on the bike, your body does not require you to use these muscles. Another great one to do at a high intensity is the cross-trainer as this requires you to use your arms and upper back muscles; just note that in order to get a good calorie burn on this one, you must increase the intensity.
6. Check your form. Having the right form is not only important for injury prevention, it also allows you to burn the most calories possible. For instance, if you are using the rowing machine, but you’re not making the effort to complete the movement by fully extending your legs, torso and arms, then you are probably not expending nearly as many calories as you could be.
7. Sneak it in. If you really aren’t a fan of cardio, that doesn’t mean you can get away with avoiding it completely. Instead, try break your cardio into sets and integrate it into your weight training routine. Try doing 10 minutes of intense cardio every 15 minutes of your weight training workout. Want to really tone those legs? Try doing a series of (20) of each of jumping squats, jumping front/back lunches, and skating side lunges then hop on the treadmill at an incline of 9 and speed of 4.5 for 5 minutes, lower the incline to 4 and up the speed to sprint for 60 seconds, then finish at the higher incline for 4 more minutes. Repeat this 3 times. You will love me for that one
8. Switch it up. f you get bored being on the same machine for 30 minutes at a time, you might want to hit two or three different machines for 10-15 minutes each. This way, you won’t have the chance to get bored. Furthermore, your body will not get the chance to adapt to any given activity and it will thus burn more calories, which is why you’re looking for ways to maximize your cardio workouts. Try doing a 15 minute ‘warm up’ on the cross trainer, go to the treadmill and do 15 minutes of HIIT training the ‘cool down’ on the stationary bike.
9. Be prepared. If you’d like to ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes, three times per week, but you don’t have the required patience to pedal your way to nowhere, then make sure to bring along a good book or magazine (just make sure you keep your pace up) or your iphone that’s loaded with your favorite songs. Music is a powerful motivator and if used correctly, it can serve as one of the choicest ways to maximize your cardio workouts. Besides, the right playlist can make time fly by, which will make your workouts seem like they’ve finished before they’ve begun. I also love to listen to podcasts when I am working out. In the time I am doing my cardio, I can get through a whole podcast and I get so engrossed in the topics, I loose track of time. My favorite: The Jillian Michael’s Show. LOVE her.
10. Gear up. Whatever your chosen cardio activity is, having the right equipment is a must. Not only will it allow you to perform the activity correctly, but it will also minimize your chances of injury and it’s one of the simplest ways to maximize your cardio workouts. Furthermore, the fact that you will probably look forward to trying it out – and, if you’re the type, showing it off – it will motivate you to do more of whatever it is you like to do. For instance, if you’re a runner, go invest in the best pair of running shoes and sports watches you can afford or if you’re into rowing, buy yourself a cool pair of rowing gloves. You will be so surprised to see and feel the difference just this simple change can make in your workout.
11. Pick an activity you enjoy. If you hate to run, then don’t because it’s not one of the best ways to maximize your cardio workouts. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should swear off all cardio activity. The key to sticking with a cardiovascular routine is picking an activity that you really enjoy doing. If you’re a recreational biker or swimmer, for example, then do those activities a couple times a week at an increased intensity. Before you know it, it won’t even feel like work at all and that is one of the best ways to maximize your cardio workouts.To being fit and fashionable, Christyn
Have you tried incorporating jumping rope into your workouts? It gives you an AB-mazing cardio workout while chiseling away at your core with every jump. This weekend, I wanted to get some cardio in without running (it was a rest day) so I brought my jump rope to the gym and incorporated abs between sets to create this workout. It kicked my butt!! You try too and sweat your way to flat abs!
One note: This workout gives you 15 seconds rest between exercises. For an added challenge, only rest every 5-10 minutes.The Fitness Fashionista ‘Jump to Flat Abs’ Workout To being fit and fashionable, Christyn