Cardio interval workouts are the best. Not just because they boost performance (although they do) or because they’re great for torching loads of calories (although they are), but because, well, I can do basically anything for a short amount of time. Ask me to go all out for 20 minutes? I’ll work hard (because of course I will), but I’m going to pace myself so that I can finish. But ask me to go all out for 1 minute, 20 times? I will give you everything I have for every single interval.
And that’s why I loved this workout so much. By the time I got off the bike, there was a pool of sweat (gross, I know, whatever) directly below me and my legs had apparently been replaced with jelly, but I was able to push myself hard — legitimately hard — through the final interval.
What you’ll need:
- Either a timer that will audibly notify you every minute, on the minute, (many sport watches have this kind of interval functionality) or a clear view of a clock that shows seconds. You should not interrupt your hard intervals to check the time.
- Cardio equipment of choice. This workout could easily be done while running, on the elliptical, rower, on a bike outside (assuming you have a nice, clear path), you name it. I just really enjoy it on a stationary bike (or on my bike on a trainer) because of how hard I can push before my heart rate gets out of control. But, you know. You do you.
Go! Slow! Go! Cardio Interval Workout
- Warm up for 5 to 25 minutes (depending on how long you want your total workout to be), building speed as you go.
- Go all out for one minute. Don’t build into it any more than is necessary. Don’t worry about whether you’ll be able to hold that same hard effort on the last interval. Just go for it!
- Take it easier for one minute, but do not stop — keep moving at a reasonably comfortable (but not leisurely!) speed.
- Repeat Nos. 2 and 3 nine more times for a total of 20 minutes.
- Cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.
Anyone else out there like me and find that they can push so much harder during an interval workout? I’m kind of addicted to this type of cardio workout … —Kristen