To improve your cardio fast, you need to apply the principles of high-intensity interval training — or HIIT — to your workout. It consists of pushing the latter’s intensity over a short period rather than practicing it continuously and regularly. Several sports practices can make it possible to apply this principle. Here are six examples.
High-Intensity Interval Training
To improve your cardio quickly, there is nothing better than practicing exercises that solicit your cardio system as intensely as possible but, in short, pulses interspersed with short recovery phases. High-intensity interval training, often abbreviated by the acronym HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), is thus opposed to continuous and regular exercises such as jogging. HIIT principles apply to different sports practices such as running (as part of split work) or even cycling.
The sprint interspersed with short breaks is a classic exercise of split work in the running. It is even more effective if practiced on a hill because it can accelerate the heart rate to a level close to its maximum in no time. A few 30-second hill sprints, interspersed with short breaks, can burn as many calories as an hour of jogging at a steady pace. In addition, it improves your cardiovascular capacity much faster than a classic running exercise.
Note, however, that all sports practices based on HIIT principles are aimed at people who already have an excellent physical condition. If you haven’t practiced any sport for a long time, are overweight or obese, have heart problems or high blood pressure, you should choose a gentler type of exercise and get back into shape more gradually. In this case, it is more relevant to aim to improve your cardio in terms of months, not weeks. If in doubt, always ask your doctor for advice.
Sometimes called cycling or RPM, spinning is an intensive indoor cycling session in the dark, with prominent speakers that play very rhythmic music and light effects that make you feel like you’re in a nightclub. In a spinning class, you will be surrounded by other cyclists who will do the same movements as you and will experience the same difficulties simultaneously, enough to feel fully motivated.
The atmosphere and the competition will allow you to push your limits, developing your cardiovascular endurance in record time. In this type of lesson, the pedaling rhythm and the bike’s resistance are constantly modified by the coach who is in front of you and who does the exercise with you. This alternation of slow and fast rhythm takes up the principles of HIIT and allows a rapid improvement in your cardiovascular capacity.
Calisthenics consists of practicing gymnastic and bodybuilding exercises using the weight of one’s own body instead of dumbbells or other equipment. Among the flagship exercises of calisthenics, we can, for example, cite pull-ups, push-ups, squats without weight, or even burpees. If calisthenics is mainly used to build muscle, it can also help improve your cardio quickly.
It will then suffice to practice as many exercise repetitions as possible, with short rest periods, of the order of 20 to 40 seconds, between each series. Each exercise should focus on a different set of muscles than the previous set. This alternation of series will allow you intensive training without exhausting a particular muscle group and by intensely soliciting your cardio.
Circuit training consists of performing several exe Fartlekone after the other, with little or no recovery time between them. As with HIIT, the principles of circuit training can be applied to almost any type of exercise. In-circuit activity, the complete circuit can be performed three times or more, and the duration of effort can range from 20 minutes to 1 hour. Circuit training can be practiced in a group with a professional coach, which is one of the best ways to boost your motivation at the same time as your cardio.
CrossFit – or Cross Training – is a sports practice that combines fitness and bodybuilding exercises. These exercises solicit the whole body and are practiced at high intensity, with as little break time as possible to work on the cardio. Practiced in a group with a coach, CrossFit allows you to improve your physical condition in a friendly atmosphere without getting tired. The exercises will not be the same from one session to another.
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