Pretty much every bodybuilder does cardio, but that doesn't mean they enjoy doing it. In fact, it's safe to say that there's a love/hate relationship between bodybuilders and cardio. The hate part comes in from boring hours spent on the treadmill while the love comes in when you get cut and can show those huge muscles off. The latter makes cardio worth doing despite the monotony. Of course, if you're going to survive the monotony, you need some interesting workouts once and a while. So for those of you looking for a little something different in the cardio department, take a look at these five fat-burning cardio workouts.
Another all-purpose cardio workout is interval training. With interval training, you'll train at a high-intensity for small amounts of time; you throw recovery times in between the intervals until your heart rate goes down. To save yourself from dying of boredom, try interval training that enables you to switch up intensity while working out. For instance, you can run on the treadmill at a 9 mile per hour pace for 2 minutes followed by a jog at 4.5 miles per hour for 2 minutes. In total, you would do this workout for about 25-30 minutes.
Also known as long slow distance (LSD), continuous training consists of training at the same rate for long periods of time. This training is usually 30-60 minutes with no rest periods, and an example of continuous training would be running on the treadmill at 7 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Treadmills are perfect for continuous training since you can easily monitor your progress.
Fartleks (a Swedish term for "speed play") are similar to intervals, but not as planned out. Fartlek training is like a free-for-all where you go hard for a short period of time while determining when the best time to recover is. Because you are making the decision on when to recover, you should already be experienced in interval training first.
This type of training works the entire aerobic energy system because of its non-stop movement. The workouts should last around 45 minutes and you can do them on the treadmill. There is really no set time as mentioned before, so just go off what your body is feeling during the workout.
Weight Circuit Training
Weight circuit training is another great cardio workout that keeps things interesting. Basically it's made up of cardio exercise mixed in with anaerobic exercise like weightlifting. To do circuit training, you can run on the treadmill for 5 minutes, then do one minute of dumbbell flies. Alternatively, you could also do squats for a minute, then do bicep curls for a minute.
The great thing about weight circuit training is that you get to do cardio and lifting all at once. Besides this, weight circuit training is one of the best ways to get cut and develop some real definition in your muscles.
Cross-training is easily defined as doing multiple cardio exercises within a designated time period. And there are some different options for how you can do cross-training too. The first option is doing all of the different exercises in succession such as running for 10 minutes, riding the exercise bike for 10 minutes, and boxing for 10 minutes. This is the most popular type of cross-training.
Another style of cross-training is to do a different workout every day of the week. For instance, you could run on Monday, ride your bike on Tuesday, go swimming on Wednesday, etc. One more way to do cross-training is to keep the same exercise until you get bored with it; at this point, you'd move on to the next exercise. So if you ran for 10 days and got tired of it, you could do hiking until you're board with that.
In the end, having fun with cardio (or at least keeping it bearable) comes down to looking within yourself. The best cardio workout is the one you personally enjoy the most. If you're having to really force yourself to perform cardio exercises, you are going to get less than desirable results. On the other hand, you're going to get great results when you are doing something enjoyable.
By Jeremy Olson