1. 10-60 PLYOMETRICS
Modern-day cardio can be done in so many different ways that the traditional hamster-on-a-wheel routine is now old news! Change up the way you perform your cardio by doing some interval plyometrics. Plyometrics are not only great for improving power but also increase your cardiovascular capacity. Start by jumping off the ground and launching yourself onto a bench/platform. Ensure that you land on your heels with your knees soft whilst keeping your back straight and your chest tall. Step down and repeat for as many reps as you can for 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. The second round goes for 20 seconds with 20 seconds of rest. Work your way up to a minute, take a minute’s break then work yourself back down to 10 seconds. Do this 3 times over and you’ll be on your way to sweating, burning and shredding up!
2. FULL BODY GIANT SETS
Resistance cardio is one of the most effective workouts for maintaining strength and muscle mass whilst burning fat. Not only is it physically challenging, it also stimulates the mind and keeps you engaged throughout the session. As an alternative to steady state cardio, performing a weights program in the form of a giant set keeps your heart rate up whilst building lean muscle mass for ultimate fat burning. Pick 5-7 of your desired exercises (or even up to 10 if you’re fitter) and work between 10-15 reps of each exercise without a rest until all exercises have been completed. Aim for 3 to 5 sets of the circuit. My favorite circuit goes like
1. 10 x Barbell Clean and Press
2. 15 x Push Ups
3. 10 x Kettlebell Squats
4. 15 x Kettlebell Swings
5. 10 x Single Arm Dumbbell Row
6. 15 x Box Jumps
7. 10 x Weighted Abdominal Twist (Use a weight plate)
The benefit of this type of training surpasses the temporary fat burning effects of steady-state jogging/cycling as your metabolism will continue to rise over time, steadily increasing your fat burning through the day, even up to hours long after the training session.
3. SLED/RESISTANCE RUNS
This version of running is not for the faint-hearted. But if you can hold out until the end, props to you for burning twice as much fat as the guy who’s been jogging on the treadmill for the last 45 minutes! This workout will work exceptionally well if you have access to a gym that has sleds or prowlers in its facility, or if you have a training buddy you can partner up with. Stack up some weights onto the sled/prowler. Ensure that the chosen weight is not too heavy as it will start focusing on building strength rather than on your cardiovascular system. Start with a light to moderate weight in which you are still able to run with. (If you can’t move faster than a walk, drop the weight!) Aim to work for 30 seconds non-stop, and rest for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
4. STAIR SPRINTS
One of the cheapest yet effective ways of burning fat. A flight of stairs? Check. A pair of legs? Check. Time for stair sprints!
Stair sprints is particularly good for increasing muscular endurance and building lean muscle tissue in the legs. Consider this: Would you like to have boney legs that are unflattering in a mini skirt and beach shorts or would you rather have shapely defined legs and thighs? If it’s the latter, it’s time you ditch the old hour-long slow runs you do daily, for the stairs!
Find a flight of stairs, whether it’s in your apartment block or at work, and simply climb it. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose any interval sequence between 10 steps to 50 steps. The flight of stairs by the beach I personally like to use has about 20 steps. I allow myself a break only after I’ve climbed 100 steps.
A1. 5 sets of 20 steps climb
Rest for 30 seconds
A2. 4 sets of 20 steps climb
Rest for 30 seconds
A3. 3 sets of 20 steps climb
Rest for 30 seconds
***Keep going until you’ve completed 20-30 minutes worth of stair sprints.
5. POWER ROPES
If you’re after full body conditioning, look no further than power ropes. Power rope training is highly effective in burning fat and losing weight and can even increase upper body strength and resistance, especially in your biceps, triceps, forearms, and shoulders. What I personally love about rope training is the diversity of what one can do with a set of ropes.
By working in some lower body exercises such as lunges, burpees, and squats together with your power rope training, you’re sure to get maximum fat burning in your entire body. An example of a power rope workout:
A1. 30 seconds of Double Slams (Up and down)
B1. 30 seconds of Alternating Arm Slams (Up and down)
C1. 30 seconds of Wide Circles (Open arms outwards)
D1. 30 seconds of Side to Side Slams (Slam both ropes from left to right and vice versa)
E. 30 seconds of Double Slams with Lunges (Up and down)
Perform the 5 variations above with a 30-second rest in between and continue until 3-5 sets have been completed. This will not only leave your arms and legs burning but also blast that unwanted fat away. Definitely one of my most recommended cardio workouts!