In my last post, you learned about the best cardio exercise you should avoid.
Now (because Johnny Al never leaves you hanging!), I will share with you some cardio options that you should NOT avoid.
These exercises are some of my favorites; they are great for both fat loss and conditioning.
The truth is that the cardio exercise that is best for one individual may not be the most effective for another trainee.
That’s because the ideal exercise choice depends on many factors. Some of these factors are your specific goal, injury history, bodyweight, and equipment access, to name a few.
Instead of boring you with an explanation and recommendation for each and every possible scenario, I will simply hook you up with my five favorite cardio options for dramatically improving your conditioning levels while burning fat as fast as possible.
These options are for those with no current injures, no coordination issues, and no fear of hard work.
Alright, if you’re still reading, then this post is for you. Here goes…
1) Sprinting- How many exercises can contribute to strength, speed, power, conditioning, fat burning and mobility, all at the same time? Not many, that’s for sure. But done correctly, sprinting is one of the few that can actually pull it off.
Exactly how to design your sprint workout depends greatly on your goals, training experience, and physical abilities. There are some things, however, that must be incorporated regardless of the above factors. These “must do” elements include:
a) A proper warm up- an effective warm up for sprinting includes dynamic stretches, mechanical drills, and accelerations.
b) Sprint at submaximal speeds- In other words, don’t sprint at 100% of your maximal speed. (The exception would be for experienced sprinters.) Sprinting at 90-95% will deliver great results while being safer and more conducive to developing better sprinting mechanics.
Click here for a video on how to warm up for sprinting and how to properly practice sprinting mechanics.
2) Hill Sprints- This is an awesome alternative to sprinting on flat terrain. Some people even prefer hill sprints over traditional sprints because, arguably, there is less of a technical component, less of a warm up requirement and less risk of pulling a hamstring.
To do a killer hill sprint workout, find a hill by your home/gym. After a warm up, sprint up to the top of the hill at 95% of your maximal speed. Use a walk down recovery. Continue this pattern for 12 minutes.
3) Stadium Stair Sprinting- Stair sprinting is a fun, challenging and effective workout. Not unlike hill sprinting, you should sprint up to the top of the stadium stairs and walk down.
I prefer to change the running pattern throughout this workout. For a video on different foot patterns, click here: hill sprinting for fat loss and conditioning.
4) Sled Sprinting– I absolutely love both pulling and pushing a sled. With a relatively significant weight loaded on the sled, push or pull it for short distances. Use a rest interval similarly to one you would use during a weight training session.
Done correctly, a good sled workout can really help increase strength while increasing conditioning and fat loss simultaneously. Awesome stuff!
5) Brisk Walking- I know this doesn’t quite fit in with the other options, but we need at least one low intensity option here! I really prefer to walk in the morning for fat loss or recovery but feel free to go for a walk anytime.
As you can see, sprinting and sprinting variations are my favorite exercises for energy system (cardio) work. They each require hard work but the results are well worth the effort. Now get off that treadmill and get onto the path to real results!
Dedicated to your success,