A lot of people aren’t big fans of doing cardio while at the gym. I must admit sometimes I am one of them but ultimately I know that cardio work must be done to help shed that fat. Right now, I’m working out at home and doing the Insanity/Asylum hybrid workout so my cardio is taken care of and no treadmill or exercise bike is needed. However, when I do eventually return to the gym, I will need to start back up on a cardio routine to really keep my physique nice and tight. In this post, I want to share with you one cardio routine that I use to burn 500+ calories while also increasing my endurance and fitness level. I call it the Power Hour, after that old drinking game, I know it’s really clever J.
The Power Hour is exactly what it sounds like, one hour of cardio. I don’t use this everyday but it can be a great way for me to switch things up and really make myself work. The one hour mark is a baseline of how long I will be working, however, the actual work itself involves multiple variations.
The 20/20/20 method I use is for days where I’m feeling rather bored and lacking the attention to stay on a machine for an entire 60 minutes. I choose 3 exercises to do and break them down into 20 minute blocks. So for instance, I’ll do 20 minutes on the exercise bike, followed, by 20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill, and then finally 20 minutes on the elliptical. This switches things up and allows me to hit my muscles in different ways. Not only that but it is also easy to switch up the intensity for each movement, so I can do a high intensity interval type training on the bike and then maybe a slow walk on a high incline, followed by something light on the elliptical.
5 On 5 Off
For this one I generally warm-up with a ten minute incline walk on the treadmill. After the first ten minutes are up I run for five minutes and then go back to walking for five minutes. I go back and forth between the two until I get up to 45 minutes or the full hour. This is a great one to do because it is easy to add more running and lessen the walking ‘breaks’ as I build up more endurance or simply want to run for a timed distance.
Walk and Walk Some More
This one is great for cutting, especially if a calorie restriction has me a bit lower on energy. However, it is really effective as a cardio workout. I generally ramp up the incline pretty high on the treadmill and walk at between 4-4.2 mph, until I reach the full hour. The incline works wonders because at a certain degree of incline you are burning as many calories as you would if you work doing a jog instead of a walk. An hour of walking on the treadmill can get pretty tedious, so I like to have an audio book or podcast ready to go so my brain is focused on something interesting. Also, every 5 or 10 minutes I like to lower the incline bit by bit until I’m walking on a flat surface at the end, as the higher inclines seem to be pretty tough on my joints. Not sure exactly if this one burns 500 calories in an hour because the treadmill measurements are unreliable but from experience I can tell you that it works very well.
Cardio is simple enough for anyone to do, however, it can be difficult for many people to do because it can get to be boring. That is one reason I like to switch things up with my workouts and try cardio in different ways through things like HIIT or playing a sport like basketball instead. For these longer cardio sessions using machines at the gym I find it best to simply throw some variety in my cardio workouts to keep my mind focused and my body guessing. If you want to burn 500+ calories in an hour there are many ways to do so, it is just a matter of taking action.