A Quick (intense!) Cardio Workout

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’m almost done with my Hammer and Chisel program! I’m so excited about the results I’ve been seeing. Lifting heavy has given me muscle definition and endurance that I never thought I’d have!

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After H&C versus last year!

 

Some people have asked me about the lack of cardio in this program – fyi, it does have cardio, but it’s a smaller component of the program.

People used to think that you had to run, or bike, or climb stairs for at least 30-60 minutes in order to get your “cardio” workout in. But now, we know much more about the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT is usually a minute of hard, intense work that raises your heart rate, followed by a period of rest. You repeat the sequence of work-rest for about 20-30 minutes. Working out this way gives you similar benefits to an hour-long run, but in half the time! Many Beachbody programs use HIIT instead of traditional cardio because it’s a time saver, and allows you to work other areas of your fitness too.

Here’s a quick HIIT routine that you do anytime you have an extra 20 minutes!

(Well maybe not anytime, you’ll probably be very sweaty by the end of it…) The secret to HIIT is that you have to go HARD! You’re only working it for a minute each time, so push yourself!

Start with a quick (2 minutes or so) warm up – jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc. Do each of these exercises for 1 minute, followed by 1 minute of rest.

1) Star jumps: Start in a squat position. Jump as high as you can, and spread your legs and arms wide (so you look like a star!). Land softly in a squat position and repeat.

2) Mountain climbers: Start in a plank position, hands or forearms, whatever is more comfortable. Alternate bringing each knee up to your chest as quickly as you can.

3) Burpees: Start standing. Squat down, and jump your feet back so that you’re in plank position. Do a pushup. Jump your feet back to your hands. Stand up, and jump as high as you can. Repeat.

4) Cross jacks: Start with your arms straight out at shoulder height and your feet wide. Jump your feet together so that one crosses in front of the other, and at the same time, bring your arms so that they cross in front of you. Jump your feet back out wide, and repeat, crossing the opposite foot in front this time.

5) Switch lunges: Start in a lunge position (back knee bent, not straight). Jump, and switch your feet so that the opposite foot comes in front. Land in a lunge position and repeat.

Repeat this whole sequence again, and you’ve done your cardio for the day! You should be sweaty and tired by the end of this quick workout.

cardio
This is me after Hammer and Chisel Cardio!

 

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