High-Intensity Cardio: Push Yourself
In fact, high-intensity training can actually be your best friend, and you might not even know it. What do I mean?
Let’s face it, low-intensity cardio can not only be boring, but it takes a ridiculous amount of time. Time you could be spending with your family, on school work, or just out doing anything you love.
This is why your cardio routines should fulfill the Triple E:
Let me introduce you to the intimidating, but incredibly effective world of high-intensity cardiovascular training.
What is High-Intensity Cardio?
Some people cower when they hear the words “high-intensity”, and others accept the challenge.
This of course, all depends on your level of cardio advancement, motivation, and willingness to push your body to the next level.
The difference between high and low-intensity cardio has to due with the utilization of different energy systems. During high-intensity routines, your body will primarily use the anaerobic energy system. In essence, the anaerobic system is used during short bursts of power or explosiveness.
These high-intensity bursts of power build lean muscle, rapidly burn fat, and help you achieve long-term results.
Is High-Intensity Cardio Training Right for You?
Some people believe only highly-advanced cardio freaks and athletes, are the only people who can use these advanced methods.
This is simply not true.
Everyone can use high-intensity training to achieve their desired results. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most elite athlete, or someone who is struggling with their weight, high-intensity cardio is still the best option.
We must understand that “high-intensity” has a different meaning for each individual person.
For example, Kobe Bryant’s cardio regime would likely put many of us in the hospital.
The key is to know your limits! Everyone has to start at a certain point.
Yeah maybe you’re starting point would be a low-intensity warm-up for Kobe, but it doesn’t matter. Even Kobe had to start somewhere.
Knowing your physical capability and limits is essential for developing a high-intensity cardio regime.
Take it one day at a time, and slowly work your way up to more intense techniques.
Good High-Intensity Cardio Workouts
There are some important safety tips you must know before attempting any of these exercises.
- Always dynamic stretch before these exercises
- Use a foam roller (Optional, but recommended)
Avoid static stretching before these exercises because it’s not an effective method for preparing the muscles and joints for strenuous activity.
Sprints: The King of High-Intensity Cardio
When it comes to high-intensity training, sprints are king.
Sprint training not only annihilates fat, but will also increase lean muscle mass in the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and even the core muscles.
I suggest using sprints are your introduction into high-intensity cardio. Sprints will properly prepare your body for future exercises, which are increasing difficult.
There are many variations and alterations that can be made to this simple exercise.
Important tip: a sprint should never be longer than 60 yards because it will decrease the quality of each sprint, you will tap into the aerobic energy system, and no one can maintain 100 percent effort for anything longer than 60 yards.
Some variations of sprints include hill sprints, partner resistance sprints, weighted vest sprints, parachute resistance sprints, and ankle weight sprints.
Many people are simply unaware of the potential benefits of using plyometrics as a high-intensity training routine.
Plyometrics are incredibly high-intensity, and will absolutely destroy fat. Just because you don’t have a vertical leap like Lebron James, doesn’t mean you can’t use plyometrics in your cardio regime.
Plyometric exercises will not only burn fat, but will also increase strength in the legs and core.
And even if it isn’t your ultimate goal, these exercises will also increase your athleticism because each exercise strengthens your fast twitch muscle fibers. These fibers are responsible for every explosive movement such as jumping, sprinting, or immediate change of direction.
A plyometrics routine will typically only take about 20-30 minutes.
Some of the most effective plyometric exercises include depth jumps, side-to-side box jumps, vertical jumps, horizontal jumps, weighted explosions, and jump rope to name only a few.
High-Intensity Agility Training
Another excellent form of high-intensity cardiovascular is agility training.
Agility’s are exercises typically used by athletes who are looking to increase quickness, speed, and non-linear explosion.
Each of these exercises mimic the non-linear movements involved in sports like basketball, soccer, or football. But even if you’re not training for a sport, you can still include agility’s into your cardiovascular routine. There is a high level of intensity involved within all agility drills because there is limited rest between each set.
Some of the most effective agility exercises are performed on an agility ladder, with hurdles, or with cones. Each exercise will test your anaerobic conditioning, coordination, and overall speed.
If you’re looking for an extremely high-intensity cardio exercise, then look no further.
Suicides are one of the most challenging workouts you will ever use for cardio. This exercise is typically performed on a basketball court, but can be used almost anywhere.
How to perform suicides: You will start on one side of the basketball court, sprint to the closest free throw line and back, sprint to half court and back, sprint to the furthest free throw line and back, and sprint to all the way to the end and back. This sequence equates to one suicide.
Suicides will put your anaerobic and muscular endurance to the test. Definitely focus on traditional sprints or the previous high-intensity cardio exercises listed, before attempting suicides.
Bodyweight exercises are one of the most popular forms of high-intensity cardio.
Aside from cardiovascular training, bodyweight workouts also direclty train the large muscle groups. These exercises are a win-win. One of the biggest upsides of bodyweight exercises is you can perform them in the comfort of your own home.
Some of the most effective bodyweight exercise include several squat and push-up variations. Bodyweight routines incinerate fat because of the high level of intensity, and the limited amount of rest between each movement. This not only builds cardiovascular endurance, but also muscular endurance.
I hope this gave you a good intro into the world of high-intensity cardio.
The key is to push yourself each and everyday until you reach your goals. Don’t give up!
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