I’m not a big “cardio” fan. Partly because my attention span is pretty short, and personally, my body is built for the short bursts of power-type training. Also, I love getting outside, especially now that the weather is getting nice (it was the worst winter in history here in Boston!). So, I want to break out some of my favorite outdoor exercises.
Today, I wanted to share some ways to get out of the cardio trap and also give you some quick, down and dirty sprint workouts you can do.
Some ways to get out of the “cardio trap” are:
1. Increase the intensity of your strength training. If you strength train correctly, you will get your heart rate up.
2. Perform interval conditioning sessions. Use the bike, perform sprints, jump rope, etc. The intervals can vary, but the goal is to elevate your heart rate for a short amount of time and then recover—continuing the cycle with high intensity but a short duration. This has been shown to leave your metabolism elevated for over 24 hours post-workout. As a result, you burn more calories overall with less time invested in the training session.
3. The main focus of this post…Do HILL SPRINTS!
Hill sprints are killer for increasing your heart rate, burning a ton of calories and making you feel totally bad ass, because let’s face it: How many people actually run hills? They pretty much suck, but you get such a benefit, that it’s all worth it.
Here are a few reasons why hill sprints rock:
2. Getting outside in great weather
3. Huge endorphin rush
4. They work every muscle in your body
6. Burn a ton of calories—during and after the workout
7. Short duration
8. Amazing benefits for your body composition
9. Get your legs lean and strong
10. Great training for your abs without doing boring crunches
These are just a few of the great benefits of hill sprints. These workouts are very intense, so do not attempt them unless you have been weight training for several months and have no recent injuries. They are very dynamic, and count on the hamstrings and glutes being sore following the first workout.
Here’s an awesome hill sprint training session:
5 x 10 yards (rest 30 seconds in between)
4 x 20 yards (rest 45 seconds in between)
3 x 30 yards (rest 90 seconds in between)
2 x 40 yards (rest 90 seconds in between)
1 x 50 yards
Be sure to complete a proper dynamic warm up before the session including lunges, squats, torso rotations, ankle mobility and some jogging to increase blood flow.