You want to shed the excess fat, but you hate cardio? Don’t worry. These 8 unusual cardio workouts will not only burn the fat, they’ll also build new muscle, boost your endurance and they’re fun!
It’s like almost everyone hates cardio. You’ve been working hard to put slabs of meat onto your frame for so long and the very thought of doing a cardio workout fills you with dread. It’s likely because you’ve heard that doing cardio will diminish your muscle mass, not to mention it can be incredibly boring. We think otherwise and we want to help you change your mindset.
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While it’s certain that overdoing cardio will make you lose a lot of muscle mass fast, incorporating small amounts of cardio at specific times, will prove to be a smart and safe strategy. What’s more, it’s been proven that cardio can increase cognition and even add 3 more years to your lifespan.
And what’s most important, cardio can be made fun. In this article, we present to you 8 ways in which you can make your cardio workouts fun, or at the very least make them less painful mentally. These 8 workouts will also help you maintain your current muscle mass since the right method to get lean and maintain muscle is to perform exercises that will have both a strength and a cardio component.
8 unusual cardio workouts for trainees that hate regular cardio
These unusual cardio workouts will have you pushing sleds, flipping tires, increase muscle mass, boost your endurance and help you get rid of that dreaded layer of fat once and for all.
Sled push and pull with a rope
Get a rope or a chain and attach it to the end of a sled, and start sprinting while you’re pushing the sled until you reach the full length of the rope. Once you finish running the full length, turn around and start sprinting back to the end of the rope, grab it tight and start pulling it back to you. Then prepare to take the next lap.
Perform ten laps. For the 1st lap, use the sled only. For the 2nd to 5th lap, increase weight in each lap by 20-40 pounds. For the 6th to 9th lap reduce the weight in each lap by 20-40 pounds. In the last lap use the sled only again.
Rest 20 seconds between the 1st and 2nd lap. Between the 2nd and 5th lap increase the rest interval for 5 seconds in each lap. Between the 6th and 9th lap decrease the rest interval for 5 seconds in each lap.
Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 laps.
Box jumps (weighted)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and jump on a box either wearing a weighted vest or holding a weight plate or a dumbbell. Then, go back down slowly and safely, but focus on jumping as fast as possible while keeping a rigid and tight body.
Do fifteen jumps as fast as possible in one minute for a total of ten minutes.
You will rest for the time left after you finished 15 jumps in the designated one minute.
Do 2 sets.
Hitting a tire with a sledgehammer
Grab a sledgehammer, grab with one hand the top of the hammer’s handle and with the other the bottom. Then, start hitting the tire. You can do it with a rubber plate if you can’t find a tire. Slide both hands to the bottom of the hammer in the middle of the swing. This’ll help you produce the greatest power. Put the hands into their original position before each swing.
Hit the tire for 40 seconds non-stop. Rest for 20 seconds. Hit the tire for 10 minutes using the Tabata method. You can use a timer and switch sides after five minutes.
Agility ladder and suicide sprint
Go fast through the agility ladder and then immediately start the suicide sprints. Sprint fifteen feet, then sprint back to the start. Next, sprint thirty feet, go back to the start, ten forty-five feet and go back to the start.
Do five sets and rest one minute between sets.
Grab two ropes and start moving the arms as fast as you can. You can alternate the swing variations, rope circles, slams, “over-unders” (alternating one hand up, one hand down).
Do forty seconds total of rope swing variations. Rest for twenty seconds. Do ten sets.
Set two chairs or two cones around 20 feet apart, grab two dumbbells or kettlebells to your sides, like you’re carrying a suitcase, keep your chest up and your spine rigid and start walking around the two chairs or cones in figure eight pattern.
Do 20 laps as fast as you can. Rest for 3 minutes after finishing the 20 laps. Rest during the movement only if you can’t handle the weight anymore. Do 3 sets.
Resistance tether band work
Get a tether band and attach one end of it to some heavy object like a sled or a tire and attach the other end around your midsection. Next, set up 3 cones equally apart from one another, 15 feet away from you. Then, lay on the ground and start: quickly explode up from the floor and start sprinting to each cone, once you reach it, touch it and sprint back to the starting position.
Reach as many cones as you can in 3 minutes. Rest for 1 minute. Do 3 sets of 3 minutes.
Flipping a tire
This movement has been proven to be an effective method for maintaining posterior chain strength which will enable you to preserve your deadlift strength.
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Puff your chest up and arch your back. This will put your spine in a safe and tight position. Then, while keeping the spine in a neutral position, grab the tire, pick it up and flip it on its other side.
Do 15 flips as fast as possible in 1 minute, for a total of 10 minutes.
You will rest for the time left after you finished 15 flips in the designated one minute.
Do 4 sets of 5 minutes.
Most of these unusual cardio workouts are pretty intense and will burn more calories than normal jogging or running. Incorporate them in your workout routine as a way to both build some strength and burn extra calories.