Oh cardio, my sweet, my love, my addiction. What would I do without you? Recently I had to "take it easy" for a week and not do any intense exercise. Easily the worst week of my life. I was dying. I was going to claw out of my skin. I wanted to curl on the belt of the treadmill and sob because we couldn't be together. This walking nonsense just wasn't doing it for me, not at all!
Since I have been reunited with my love of intense exercise and being drenched in sweat I decided to kick up my workouts and go back to a routine I used to do quite frequently, a little cardio circuit. Five different machines, 10 minutes each. Quick, easy, and anything but boring. Just when I start to get antsy and want to do something else, the ten minutes are up and I get to move machines. LOVE IT!
Machine 1 - Elliptical. Since this machine is low impact I like to start here to get "warmed up". Keeping my RPM above 80 and keeping it at a resistance of 7, I pump my arms squeezing my biceps around those handles and contracting my triceps with every backward motion. Once I power through five minutes, I pause and take my legs backwards utilizing different muscles then when my legs are moving forward. About 150 calories and an additional five minutes later, it's over and time to move to the treadmill.
Machine 2 - Treadmill. Get this thing at a 3.0 incline and a 6.0 and get started. Once you hit three minutes, kick that up to an 9.0 for one minute and run a little faster. Now that you are at minute four, take it back down to a 6.0 and keep it gong for another minute. Ok, look at that, half way there. Minute 6-7? 9.2 (yeah that's right, a little bit faster now) Minute 7-8? Scale it down to 6.0 again (seeing how we are doing a little interval training here too? Gosh this feels GREAT!). Minute 8-9? Kick it to a 9.5 baby, this is the home stretch! Whew, cool it down for the last minute at a nice and slow 5.0... once that ten minute mark hits, it's time to move... now we are sweatin'!
Machine 3 - Bucket Seat Bike. This to me is a bit of a break, so I welcome the chance to sit and power through some legs. Starting with a resistance of 7.0 get those legs moving fast and furious. Low resistance, fast pedal... let's hit it! As each minute passes you change your resistance. Since the first minute was at a 7.0, the second is at 14, yes that's right a 14, yes it is going to be significantly harder and heavier..that's the point. Too hard? Thank goodness it's only a minute, back to rapid pedal at a 7.0...so on and so forth until you hit that magic ten minute mark...then switch!
Machine 4 - Stair mill (love to hate it). Starting at a nice and steady 7.0 speed, keep it here for about three minutes. Then...we climb! With each minute we go a little faster...at five minutes we go to a 9.0. Minute seven, we go to 12.0. Minute eight, 14.0 and at great old minute nine...17.0. It is the last minute, might as well run up those stairs as fast as you can!
Machine 5 - Row (to the finish line!). I don't use this machine often, but when I do I always love it. The way that it requires you to use legs, keep the core engaged and also controlling the arms as you reach and pull back? Total body baby, love it! Row strong and steady throughout the entire ten minutes and that's it...easy right?!
Well, with 50 minutes of body pumping cardio out of the way, you should be feeling pretty good both mentally and physically (not to mention quite sweaty). Try it out... I hope you love it as much as I do!