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Ditch the Dreadmill!

by goldsgym

Cardio is an essential part of any well-rounded workout. But we all need a break from the treadmill once in a while. We asked Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer Robert Reames for three cardio-based exercises that will get you some high-intensity, heart-pumping action.

3-Way Cross-Train HIIT

Got 25 minutes? Perfect. “This workout provides excellent lower-body and cardiovascular conditioning throughout, with variety, intensity and the ability for each individual to discover their own personal best effort,” Reames explains. While he recommends moving from elliptical to the bike and finally the stepper, feel free to rotate based on which machine is available.

Note: Effort levels range from Zone 1 (base level) to Zone 5 (highest effort).

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Begin on the Elliptical

  1. Warm up in Zone 1 for 2 minutes
  2. Continue warm-up in Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  3. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  4. Recover to Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  5. Elevate to Zone 5 again for 1 minute
  6. Recover to Zone 3 for 1 minute

Switch to the Bike

  1. Start in Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  2. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  3. Recover to Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  4. Elevate to Zone 5 for 1 minute
  5. Recover to Zone 3 for 1 minute

Move to the Stepper

  1. Start in Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  2. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  3. Recover to Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  4. Elevate to Zone 5 for 1 minute
  5. Recover to Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  6. Recover to Zone 1 for 1 minute 30 seconds

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Pull-Push-Press Strength Triad

For this 22-minute circuit, you want to find a “pulling” motion like a seated or standing row using machine or tubing, a lat pull-down using any grip, or a free-weight row; a “pushing” motion like a chest press machine, free weights, cable crossover, or push-up; and a lower-body “pressing” motion like a leg-press machine or squat.

Begin with a warm-up on your cardio piece of choice for 4 minutes, followed by 25 seconds of air pushes, then 25 seconds of air pulls where you are doing the pulling and pushing motions in preparation for the circuit. End with 40 seconds of high knee marches for further lower-body prep.

Complete 5 sets of this sequence:

  1. Pulling motion for 30 seconds (8 to 15 reps)10-second transition
  2. Pushing motion for 30 seconds (8 to 15 reps)10-second transition
  3. Pressing motion for 30 seconds (8 to 15 reps)10-second transition

Finally, following a 1-minute transition to your cardio of choice, a cooldown:

  1. 1 minute in Zone 2
  2. 1 minute in Zone 5
  3. 1 minute in Zone 2
  4. 2 minutes in Zone 1

Bike

HIIT Cycle Blast

This 22-minute workout is best on an upright and/or recumbent stationary bike, but it also can be done on an elliptical, stepper, step mill or even a rower.

  1. Warm up in your Zone 1 for 2 minutes
  2. Continue warm-up in your Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  3. Elevate to Zone 4 for 30 seconds
  4. Recover in Zone 2 for 2 minutes
  5. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  6. Recover in Zone 2 for 3 minutes
  7. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  8. Recover in Zone 2 for 3 minutes
  9. Elevate to Zone 5 for 1 minute
  10. Recover in Zone 2 for 3 minutes
  11. Elevate to Zone 5 for 30 seconds
  12. Recover in Zone 3 for 2 minutes
  13. Cool down in Zone 1 for 2 minutes

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