Take It To The Gym! The Slim Workout
This is a 6 week cardio plan that you can take to the gym (or do anywhere). All you need is a stopwatch (or timer).
The beauty of this plan is that it leaves you TONS of flexibility: you can follow the intervals with any cardio machine you like (treadmill, elliptical, rower, bike) OR take it outside and run, jog, hike etc. Simply boost or lower the effort you put in to the right level for YOU.
If you’re using a heart rate monitor, find your maximum (220-your age for men, and 226-your age for women), and simply add a percentage point to each of the suggested intensities. (2-3 becomes 20-30% of your maximum heart rate. 5-6 becomes 50-60% of your maximum heart rate, and 7-8 becomes 70-80% of your maximum heart rate).
If you don’t have a monitor, use the ‘talk test’ & the guidelines below and check your breathing. It’s YOUR workout, so while you should push yourself, you can dial things back if need be.
2-3: Easy. You should be able to talk normally, and notice a small boost in heart rate.
5-6: Moderate. You’ll start breathing a little more frequently, and can speak in short sentences. You’ll feel like you’re working, but know that you can push harder.
7: Hard. You’re heart rate is up and you’re pushing yourself. You can speak a few words at a time, but your breathing should be more labored. You won’t want to be speaking very much.
8: Really hard. This is an intensity you only reach and keep up in short intervals. Give it your all (it’s not long). Speaking is very difficult, and breathing is fast. Your heartrate should be WAY up.
Add 2-3 cardio interval workouts like these to your routine each week for 6 weeks, in addition to your resistance workouts. Each workout is only a half hour, and you’ll work up to tougher intensities as you go.
Save a copy of this for your phone/timer! Switch up the machines/exercise you’re using from week to week (or willy nilly) for best results.
Printable version here.