One thing that I love about my job is that it is never boring. There is always a new way to mix things up, a new way to "torture" my clients, a new way to make training fun! Some of you may find this position ludicrous. Typically training is thought of as tedious, if not down right boring!
My mission today is to share with you some of my favourite "fun" workout ideas, and to say that "the world is your fitness oyster -- you don't ever need to be bored!."
"Fun" workout Idea #1. Mix up the type of cardio you do within the same workout.
When Triathletes do two of their sports back to back they refer to it as "brick training". I call it fun! Try the following workout, do 10 minutes on the bike followed by five minutes of skipping. Repeat that cycle two or three times.
If you want to get really fancy, include intervals. Warm up with five minutes of moderate biking. Then alternate 30 seconds hard work with 30 seconds of recovery. Without resting, jump on the treadmill and alternate one minute of jogging with one minute of running for ten minutes. Finish with five minutes of hard work on the bike. Then cool down with five minutes of easy cycling.
"Fun" workout Idea # 2: Interval training
Interval cardio training is when you alternate between bouts of high and low intensity training. Intervals are great because you can do them anywhere, and on any piece of equipment. Do them while swimming, on the bike, while running or even while dancing. If you are trying to improve your fitness level make them your new best friend. They place a high metabolic demand on the body and burn lots of calories in a short amount of time.
Try the following two interval workouts. If you are on the treadmill or you are running outside simply increase your speed. If you are on any other machine - like the bike or elliptical - increase both your resistance level and your speed.
A. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Then cycle through the following sequence: 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds recovery, 60 seconds hard, 60 seconds recovery, 90 seconds hard, 90 seconds recovery. Repeat 2-4 times. Cool down for five to ten minutes.
B. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Then alternate between 15 seconds hard and 45 seconds easy for ten to fifteen sets. Cool down for 5-10 minutes.
"Fun" workout Idea # 3: Try time-based training.
Try what I call "minutes" training or "work/rest combo" sets.
A. Minutes. Instead of doing an exercise for a prescribed number of reps, do as many reps as you can within a minute. I like doing three to ten exercises back to back for a minute each without any break. So, for example, do one minute of squats, one minute of squat jumps, one minute of bridges, one minute of mountain climbers and one minute of burpies all back to back without resting. Then take a one minute rest and repeat two more times
B. Work/Rest combined sets: decide on a time frame - let's say two minutes - then pick three to four exercises that you can complete in roughly one and a half minutes. The workout looks like this, you have two minutes to complete the four exercises. If you complete them in 1:30 you get 30 seconds rest. If you complete them in 1:45 you get 15 seconds rest. Do five to six sets through. By then end it should be a challenge to fit the exercises into the two minute time frame.
If you want more "fun" workout ideas and / or detailed workout plans take a look at my brand new Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/KTrotterFitness/. If you liked any of the above workouts you can find details examples of how to do them on the Pinterest page. I am actually REALLY excited about the page. I never thought I would be into Pinterest, but it has become my new obsession. I was inspired by a girlfriend of mine, who said she was bored and asked me to email her a few workouts. She didn't want to make up her own plan, but she also didn't trust a lot of the online info and therefore wanted the workout to be from me so she knew the info was reliable. So, I created the Pinterest page. Now whenever she wants - or one of you guys want - a new "Kathleen" style workout there are always ones to PIN. Enjoy!