Even if you’re over the gym, or just into spending time outside, there’s no need to sacrifice a calorie-scorching interval workout when you aren’t on the treadmill. The key is to keep your heart rate blasting for a short period of time and resting periods active, so you can burn as much as possible in record time. These workouts get you outside, enjoying the weather, and finishing your workout in the time it would take you to drive to and from the gym.
1. Stair Sprints
Use the stairs to blast calories and fat, while toning your entire leg. Find a long staircase in your neighborhood, or head to the local high school and use their stadium stairs.
Run up and down the stairs for 1 minute for your high interval. Then, complete 2 minutes of active rest, by jogging for 2 minutes. If you do not have space to jog, walk the stairs for two minutes. This low intensity interval should allow you to catch your breath and recover before your next intense interval. Repeat the 3 minute circuit (1 minute high, 2 minutes low) 7-10 times. As you build your endurance with this workout, slowly drop the resting interval by 15 seconds every two weeks. When you are at 1 minute high and 1 minute low, raise your intense interval to 1 and 1/2 minutes, and your recovery back to 2 minutes.
2. Run Walk
These intervals use high intensity bursts that push you to the limit and bring your recovery down with a walk. Your heart rate will be elevated during the active rest period, so you’ll burn as many or more calories than you would with a long endurance workout. High intensity intervals are crucial to burning fat without breaking down muscle fibers, like an hour long run would do.
In your open space or on a track, run at an all out sprint for as long as you can. When you absolutely cannot continue, drop to a walk until you are fully recovered. Like the stair sprints, if you need a time, shoot for 1 minute high and 2 minutes low, but be sure to listen to your body and push as long as you can. That said, as the workout continues, you may not be able to maintain a full minute of the high intensity sessions, but keep them up for 20 minutes to knock out your daily cardio.
3. Super Circuits
This interval workout combines high intensity, total body calisthenics and lower intensity, focused toning exercises to help you complete your cardio and toning workout quickly. Head to a local park or in front of your house so you can utilize a high step.
Do each of the exercises for 1 minute and eek out as many reps as you can in that time. It may take a few runs through the circuit to figure out your pacing, so go relatively slow on the first round and ratchet it up after that. Do the exercises in order — they are desined to offer high intensity cardio for 1 minute, then one minute of active rest during the target-toning move.
- Toe Taps: Stand in front of the park bench (or step) and run in place, bringing knees high and tapping your toes on the bench.
- Push ups: Focus on your upper body with 1 minute of incline push ups. Keep your feet on the ground and your hands on the bench as you press. This will take some of the pressure off your upper body, allowing you to maintain form and complete a minutes worth of the exercise.
- Jumping Jacks
- Abdominal Crunches
- Bench Jumps: Stand in front of the bench and jump up, landing on top with both feet. Complete 25 seconds, rest for 10, then 25 more seconds.
- Alternate leg lunges
Now get out there and get your fat blasting!