Cardio Trifecta

Bored with your same old machine routine? Switch things up with these three thought-provoking programs.
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Cardio is a bore. There, we said it. It’s what you’re all thinking anyhow. Fortunately, you can reignite your interest — and your fat-burning potential — with some creative programming tweaks. Get your body and your mind back in the game and show those machines who’s boss.

Bike

Stationary bikes have been around since the dawn of time (well, at least since Jane Fonda sported striped leg warmers), and pedaling on the road to nowhere can be tedious. This 20-minute fat-blasting routine uses resistance and RPM to engage your mind as well as your muscles.

The Gist: With each time increment, increase the resistance on the bike. This translates to either a full turn on the Spinning bike dial or a full digital increment on an electronic panel. Try to keep your RPMs in the recommended range. This will be an über-challenge as the resistance gets harder!

Increment

Minutes

RPM

1

0-5

80

2

5-7

85

3

7-9

80

4

9-11

75

Repeat

2-4

11-17

5

17-20

60

Stair Stepper

Get your heart pumping and your brain bumping with this 30-minute interval program that uses speed, time and step depth to shake things up.

The Gist: Every stair stepper is different, but start with a low to moderate step speed for your particular model. Remember: The higher the number, the faster the pedals drop or the more quickly the stairs turn over.

Minutes

Resistance/Speed

Step Depth

0-5

1

Short

5-7

2

Tall

7-9

2

Grande

9-11

2

Short

11-13

4

Short

13-15

5

Tall

15-17

5

Grande

17-19

3

Short

19-21

6

Short

21-23

6

Tall

23-25

6

Grande

25-30

1

Short

Treadmill

Running the same pace on the treadmill for hours on end kills your knees, your enthusiasm and your brain cells. This routine incorporates hill running to reignite your chariot of fire and send your glutes screaming for help.

The Gist: Use the incline and the speed on the treadmill to simulate a hilly running course. Use your arms to power up the hill when the going gets tough.

Minutes

Incline

Speed

0-5

0

3.0-5.0

5-10

2

5.0

10-12

5

5.0

12-14

2

5.0

14-16

02

6.0

16-18

2

6.0

18-20

2

6.5

20-22

0

6.5

22-24

5

6.5

24-26

2

5.5

26-30

0

4.0-2.0

Need more treadmill options? Play with these variations — carefully — and create your own program.

Side Shuffle:

Incline 1.0, 2.0

Walking Lunge:

Incline 1.0, 2.0

Walking Backward:

Incline 2.0, 2.5

Side Squat:

Incline 1.0, 2.0

Skipping:

Incline 1.0, 2.5