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How to Cut Down Cardio (but get the same results!)

How to Cut Down Cardio (but get the same results!)

When it comes to working out, my attention span is that of a gold fish – I have none. I don’t think I’ve ever repeated the same workout twice in my life because I cannot stand monotonous repetition. I am the same when it comes to running – 10 km is my max and any longer is just not do-able. (Also because by 10 km I am truly exhausted… but I like to think it’s because I’m bored 😉 ).
So when it comes to steady state cardio in the gym, you can bet your bottom dollar that I never do it. Ever.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t do any cardio! I just do it differently – 1 hour runs on the treadmill, 20 km on a bike, or 3 million flights on stairs on a stair master is never going to cut it for me. Instead I do intervals for a maximum of 10 minutes. That’s it!! 10 minutes of hard, 100% full out work, and then you don’t have to worry about it again. It is way more time efficient, much more effective when it comes to burning fat, and a hell of a lot more interesting than staring blankly into a TV screen for 1 hour.

Here are some awesome ways to get interval training in at the end of your workout to really maximize your workout

Treadmill IntervalsCut down cardio and replace them with these four challenging workouts that will burn fat fast!

Aside from my warm up, sprints are about the only workout i’ll get on the treadmill to do.
After a warm up of 2 minutes at around 5.0 MPH, I’ll do a very basic but challenging set of intervals for 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. I’ll generally keep the incline at 1.0 as i’m looking for speed on this exercise.

The Breakdown

  • Change the settings on the treadmill so that you are on Interval Mode. When it asks for “jog speed” type in 5.0, and when it asks for “run speed” type in 8.0.
  • After your warm up, start off at running pace (8.0) for 30 seconds. Once 30 seconds is up, hit the flashing “interval” button to change to jog speed.
    (You may need to give yourself about a 10 second buffer between jog and run to allow for the treadmill to reach the correct speed)
  • Repeat for 8 rounds total.
  • Cool down for ~5 minutes

 

 

Bike SprintsCut down cardio and replace them with these four challenging workouts that will burn fat fast!

The bike is a great way to get cardio in as it really focuses on the lower half of your body. The bikes you would want to use for this workout are the upright spin bikes, rather than the recumbent bikes that you lean back on. The upright bikes are a more functional machine, and forces your heart to work harder by pumping blood upwards.

The Breakdown

  • Warm up for 2 minutes on the bike at a light to medium resistance, ensuring your legs are fully warmed up. You will be going ‘full out’ for this exercise, meaning 100% effort.
  • When you are ready, set a timer for 45 seconds. Pump up the resistance so it is challenging but also allows for quick revolutions. Sprint as hard as you can for 45 seconds.
  • Once the timer beeps, set another one for 1 minute and bike slowly on very light resistance.
  • After 4 rounds, repeat it one more time for 30 seconds at 100%
  • Cool down for ~5 minutes

 

 

Rowing TabataCut down cardio and replace them with these four challenging workouts that will burn fat fast!

Tabatas are a quick and effective way to get cardio in, especially for someone (like myself!) who gets bored easily. 20 seconds of work, with a 10 second rest will keep your mind interested throughout the workout. The intensity of the workout will be measured by “time per 500m.” This is a speed that is shown on the rowers display, and it measures how long it will take you to row 500 metres. A time of 2 minutes is very fast. So for the sprint portion of this workout, you will be aiming for a speed of about 2:10/500m. For the rest portion, you will be looking at a speed of 2:30/500m

The Breakdown

  • Warm up for 2 minutes on the rower at about 2:30/500m speed. Ensure you are feeling loose and warm as you will be going ‘full out’ for this exercise, meaning 100% effort.
  • Keep your eye on the timer display for this workout, so you know when to begin.
  • Using your legs for power, sprint on the rower for 20 seconds. Once you hit 20s, keeping rowing, but at a much slower pace (2:30/500m) for 10 seconds.
  • Keep repeating this circuit for 8 rounds total
  • Cool down for ~5 minutes

Body Weight Workouts

If I am completely without a gym (on vacation or working out outside), I try to combine running with body weight exercises. This is extremely effective and tough to do, because your heart rate is constantly high throughout the workout. Combine that with exercises that are working your core and legs, you’ve got yourself a killer workout in a matter of 20 or so minutes.

Find some of my favorites below:

This workout incorporates sprints with strength exercises

This workout focuses on your glutes but still increases your heart rate

This workout is an upper/lower body split and will make you SWEAT!

For Pinning:

Cut down cardio and replace them with these four challenging workouts that will burn fat fast!

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  1. Soooo this pretty much solidifies the fact that our fitness souls are one in the same. I literally can’t stand more than 10 minutes of cardio either. And I already know we happen to have the same approach when it comes to alternating between HIIT and heavier lifting. Sweaty soul mates 😀 ! <3

    • beverleyc

      8 January

      Haha yayyy!! You and i definitely need a workout session together i think! Man I could do with a workout buddy who trains the same way. Sighhhh <3

  2. I love this!! I love to hit it then quit it when it comes to cardio. Occasionally I’ll go on a long run to relieve stress but I love quick and effective cardio circuits. I’m digging all the workouts you posted here! Tons of awesome ideas. Thanks girl!

    • beverleyc

      8 January

      Hit it and quit it!! greater words were never spoken 😉
      And yes maybe once a week i’ll do a 5K run, but always ALWAYS outdoors. Thanks for the love girl

  3. Because who has time for cardio these days ?!?!? LOVE treadmill sprints and any type of workout that can make my cardio sessions go by quicker! Thanks for sharing!

    • beverleyc

      8 January

      Exactly! Working women with blogs on the side especially!

  4. Yes! I’m all about the quick blasts of cardio unless you’re training for a marathon it really gets you no where.

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Agreed! haha. And i most definitely am NOT training for a marathon 🙂

  5. Cayanne Marcus

    8 January

    Heck yeah this is EXACTLY what I needed to see today. I just have not been feeling cardio lately, and I’m all for listening to my body. Excited to knock some out quick with that treadmill interval later today. I’ve actually never used the interval button…I’ve always switched between speeds manually, so this will be great to try.

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Haha oh NO!! That would take ages to keep switching it manually. Get on that interval button, your life will be changed

  6. This is such an interesting post! I’ve always been a cardio person since I’ve run for so many years but I love hearing from you about how you do your workouts because I’ve started seeing a need to change up my workouts

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Thanks Liv! I wish I could be a cardio person, I would love to have that kind of endurance. Hope you try them out!

  7. Hi Bev! Would you believe I’ve never pre-programmed the treadmill to do intervals like that and always typed them in myself? I totally agree with you on the interval training. While steady state cardio has its benefits, its not for me either! Great stuff. Rowing is killer, by the way.

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Haha you GOTTAAA get on that interval button. It is life changing! And I agree, tons of benefits for steady state but just not as enjoyable on a treadmill

  8. SORRY I broke all the rules and read your blog anyways! Sucks.

    Haha but I LOVE this! Yeah, I’m mad that you don’t like running as much as I do (kidding), but even the obsessed get tired of it! You have no idea how badly I need to cross train. I pinned this and you are officially my inspiration. Plus, the short circuit stuff makes us faster so it’s a win win & Immabe working on my “sweatyandfit” bod for the summer.

    Okay, I’ll get off your blog now.

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Bahahah Margaret you’re hilarious. I’m so glad you found this helpful!! Let me know if you try one of the workouts 🙂

  9. I lovvvee doing intervals on the treadmill especially but in all my workouts. Keeps things interesting and the time flies by! Not to mention they are so good for you. Sounds like some great workouts here, looking forward to trying them!

  10. Jen

    10 January

    Yes! I need the emoji praise hands here. I am so not a fan of steady state cardio anymore, which is why I’ve likely not done another distance race :). I love doing intervals and I tend to recommend intervals to my clients too! Such a great post girl!

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Thank you Jen!! Haha, the furthest distance race I did was last year and it was 10km. ENOUGH FOR ME. I’ll stick with my 5k races where I can at least do well =P

  11. […] How To Cut Down On Cardio But Get The Same Results – Just say no to steady state cardio. […]

  12. Christina

    10 January

    ~*pinned*~ Totally doing that rowing tabata. I’ve been using the rower more than ever for cardio since I can’t run and I GET SO BORED so I think this will totally help and give me a killer workout!!

    • beverleyc

      11 January

      Thanks for pinning! <3 Yes try the tabata, i think you would love it! Changes it up

  13. Jess @hellotofit

    12 January

    Yes yes and yes!! Unless I’m using steady state to catch up on social media (which has been often, unfortunately), I’ll do shorter bouts of cardio/HIIT stuff. GREAT POST.

  14. I am with ya 100%!!

  15. GiGi Eats

    13 January

    Ugh. Me and my cardio marathons! I wish I could tell myself it is OKAY to CUT BACK!! ha ha aha!! But I am jut a crazy! 😉

  16. […] How to Cut Down on Cardio (but get the same results!) >> Beverley over at Sweaty and Fit shares some different workout ideas on how to decrease the amount of time you spend on cardio, but still reap the benefits. Beverley and I share the same mentality when it comes to cardio, i.e. less is more! If you can work smarter and harder in less time, you’re actually doing yourself a favor. Interval training and HIIT are where it’s at peeps! […]

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