3 HIIT Workouts to Beat Cardio Boredom

by | Updated: December 2nd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Cardio…boring? Yeah, it can be. But you know it’s an essential part of your weight training program, for a number of reasons. Cardio combats fat and keeps those numbers on the scale where you want them to be. It increases endurance, gives you energy, helps you blow off steam and lets you sleep more soundly. It also gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping, improving overall cardiovascular health so that you build strength on the inside as you work on your new exterior.

HIIT Cardio Workouts
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If running on the treadmill is running you into the ground, there are plenty of other ways to work in a killer cardio workout. One of the best programs for the bored or busy bodybuilder is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.

What is HIIT?
HIIT is a workout that involves short periods of hardcore, intense exercise alternated with longer periods of steady, lower-intensity exercise. It kicks calorie and fat burning into high gear, with the burning continuing even after the workout is complete (also known as the afterburn effect). Post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, is the technical name for this benefit. Put simply, it means that oxygen consumption continues at an increased rate even when your body comes to rest.

HIIT it!
For an effective HIIT workout, your goal should be to elevate heart rate to 65% (minimum) during the longer, steady periods and to 85% during the intense, short periods. No special equipment is needed. HIIT can be done on treadmill, elliptical machine or take it outdoors. Try one of these workouts to bring explosive energy and intensity back into your routine:

Treadmill HIIT workout

  • Warm up at a moderate pace, walking at 2.5 mph.
  • First interval: sprint at 6 mph or higher for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Second interval: walk at a moderate pace for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat first and second intervals for 20 minutes.

Elliptical HIIT workout

  • Warm up.
  • First interval: increase resistance and speed for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Second interval: decrease resistance and slow your speed, staying stead for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat first and second intervals for 20 minutes.

Outdoor HIIT workout

  • Locate a hilly area, if possible.
  • Warm up.
  • First interval: jog or run up the hill, fast, for 30 seconds.
  • Second interval: walk down the hill for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat first and second intervals for 20 minutes.

Trainer tips: HIIT workouts should last at least 20 minutes. To build up endurance, add 2 minutes each week until you reach 30 minutes total. With EPOC in full force, you’re going to continue to burn fat and calories long after you’re finished working out.