Workouts

19 Kick-Butt Cardio Workout Routines

Favorite cardio machine at the gym taken? Try something new: These 19 high-intensity workouts will blast fat and burn calories while fitting into the busiest schedule.

by

Stationary Bike

Indoor cycling classes offer fat-blasting, calorie-scorching, leg-sculpting workouts in a competitive yet social setting. Top instructors designed these routines for the days you can’t make it to class. Just bring your own beats and start pedaling!

Break A Sweat 

By: Victor Self

TIME: 10 MINUTES (Warm Up)

Follow the simple, effective warmup below before you start the hill and sprint workouts on the next page, advises Self, who put together all three. Use the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) scale of 1 to 10 to determine how hard you are working: 1 = easy, 5 = moderately challenging (hard to sustain for more than three minutes), 10 = extremely challenging (an effort you couldn’t sustain for more than 60 seconds). Resistance is indicated at four levels: light, moderate, heavy, and very heavy. Speed is slow (40–60 rpm), moderate (70–80 rpm), fast (85–100 rpm), and maximum (100+ rpm).

  • 0-2 Minutes
    • Easy riding with light resistance and moderate speed (70–80 rpm); RPE: 2–4
  • 2-3 Minutes
    • Slightly increase resistance to moderate while maintaining moderate speed; RPE: 3–5
  • 3-4 Minutes
    • 1 min. pedaling fast (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7
  • 4-5 Minutes
    • 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3-5
  • 5-6 Minutes
    • 1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7
  • 6-7 Minutes
    • 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3–5
  • 7-8 Minutes 
    • 1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7
  • 8-9 Minutes
    • 1 min. moderate pedaling (70–80 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 3–5
  • 9-10 Minutes
    • 1 min. fast pedaling (85–100 rpm) with moderate resistance; RPE: 5–7

Queen Of The Hill Drill

By: Victor Self

TIME: 30 MINUTES (Main Workout) 

  • 0-3 Minutes
    • Start seated with moderate resistance and moderate speed (70–80 rpm); RPE: 3–5
  • 3-6 Minutes
    • Increase resistance two times in 3 min.; slow speed (40–60 rpm); moderate-heavy resistance; RPE: 5–7
  • 6-8 Minutes
    • Keep resistance and stand; increase speed for 60 sec. to 60+ rpm, then back to 40–60 rpm; RPE: 6–8
  • 8-9 Minutes
    • Decrease resistance to moderate and increase speed to moderate while seated; RPE: 3–5
  • 9-13 Minutes
    • Slow speed, heavy resistance, stand; add resistance three times in 4 min.; RPE: 6–8
  • 13-15 Minutes
    • Keep heavy resistance, increase to 60+ rpm (30–45 sec.), then return to original pace seated; RPE: 7–9
  • 15-17 Minutes
    • Decrease to moderate and maintain moderate pace while seated; RPE: 3–5
  • 17-22 Minutes
    • Very heavy resistance, slow speed; add resistance twice during the 5 min. while standing; RPE: 8–10
  • 22-23 Minutes
    • Very heavy resistance, increase speed (55+ rpm) 30–45 sec.; return to slow pace, standing; RPE: 9–10
  • 23- 24 Minutes
    • Decrease to heavy resistance and maintain slow speed while seated; RPE: 7–9
  • 24-26 Minutes
    • Decrease to moderate resistance and increase to moderate speed; RPE: 4–6
  • 26-28 Minutes
    • Decrease to light resistance and increase to fast speed (85–100 rpm) while seated; RPE: 2–4
  • 28-30 Minutes
    • Cool down, seated, allowing heart rate to decrease; end with some stretching

The Ultimate Sprinter

By: Victor Self

TIME: 30 Minutes (Main Workout)

  • 0-3 Minutes
    • Light resistance at 70–80 rpm; RPE: 2–3
  • 3-4 Minutes
    • Light resistance at 80–90 rpm; RPE: 4–5
  • 4-7 Minutes
    • Light resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 6–7
  • 7-9 Minutes
    • Light resistance at 100+ rpm; RPE: 7–8
  • 9-10 Minutes
    • Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 2–3
  • 10-13 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 70–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5
  • 13-15 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 80–90 rpm; RPE: 5–7
  • 15-17 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 7–8
  • 17-19 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 100+ rpm; RPE: 8–9
  • 19-20 Minutes
    • Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5
  • 20-22 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 6–8
  • 22-23 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at maximum speed; RPE: 9–10
  • 23-25 Minutes
    • Recovery with light to moderate resistance at 60–80 rpm; RPE: 3–5
  • 25-27 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at 90–100 rpm; RPE: 7–9
  • 27-28 Minutes
    • Moderate resistance at maximum speed; RPE: 10
  • 28-30 Minutes
    • Cool down, allowing heart rate to decrease; end with some stretching

Stuchlik's Powerhouse Spin Fusion 

By: Pavel Stuchlik

TIME: About 20 Minutes

Adapted for the stationary bike by Stuchlik, the format of this workout is simple but effective: warmup, endurance, strength, power, recovery.

  • Warm Up 4-6 Minutes
    • Keep one foot on the pedal and the other off and out of the way. Spin for 1 min. with one leg. Switch to opposite side for the same amount of time. Repeat two to three times.
  • High Gear 4 Minutes
    • Dial it up to major resistance. Spin in high gear for 4 min.
  • Powerhouse 4 Minutes
    • Amp up to a big gear effort with very high rpm for 4 min. Aim to reach 82% to 92% of your maximum heart rate.
  • Recovery 4 Minutes
    • Slow the pace and reduce resistance for a 1-min. recovery, followed by a 1-min. sprint. Repeat.

Pro Tip From Stuchlik: "Strechgin helps finish your recovery off the bike, and yoga sun salutations are the perfect ending. Finish with a few minutes of meditation if possible."

Rolling Hills With Flats

By: Chan Gannaway

TIME: About 27 Minutes

Gannaway designed this exhilarating cycling workout, which varies resistance and intesity.

*Light: Can maintain pace for 30 min. **Medium: Challenging but steady ***Heavy: Hard but can maintain it

  • 4-5 Minutes
    • Warmup, 60-80 rpm, light*
  • 1 Minute
    • 70-80 rpm, medium**
  • 2 Minutes
    • 80-100 rpm, medium**
  • 2 Minutes
    • 70-80 rpm, light*
  • 2 Minutes
    • 70-80 rpm, heavy buy doable***
  • 1 Minute
    • 80-100 rpm, light*
  • 1 Minute
    • 70-80 rpm, heavy buy doable***
  • 1 Minute
    • 90-110 rpm, medium**
  • 2 Minutes
    • Cooldown, 60-70 rpm, light*
  • Repeat cycle block, eliminating warmup

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