Written by Drew Schultz, Personal Trainer @ O2 Fitness Falls/540

Have you ever come in for cardio and said to yourself, “Well, I guess I’ll hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes at level 5”.

Fill in the numbers with your own- most people do something like this, and find that their progress stagnates.

There are so many variables that you can use to your advantage, but lets go over a few:

Change your heart rate.

Its important to know your target heart rate. A basic way is to take the number 220 and subtract your age. This number is your estimated maximum heart rate. 65%-85% of this number is your target heart rate.

You want to stay in this range to be assurred of burning fat, and challenging your heart to perform more efficiently for long term cardiovascular health. If you are maintaining a steady heart rate throughout your workout, try spiking it to the 85% or even 90% for short bouts- then bring it back down. We will now talk about how to do this. Change your level.

Hop on the bike.

A simple way to introduce yourself to a cardio interval is to hop on the upright bike.

If you are relatively new to exercise, spin at 95-100 rpms at level 5 for one minute, then double your level to 10. Maintain 95-100 rpms for one minute. Alternate this for three times, equalling six minutes. You will start to breathe heavier, sweat, feel exertion. This is also a time to use the “talk test”- you will find it difficult to speak, a sure confirmation that you are in your target heart rate range. Change your exercises.

Try different cardio machines.

Once you have been exercising for a few weeks, try different cardio machines. The bike scenario is great to start with; if you’ve been at the club for some time, try the same thing on the elliptical, treadmill, arc trainer, etc. The levels will be different, and you have mph and inclines on the treadmill.

Your level of experience and endurance will determine which level/resistance you start with, and what you raise it too in order to increase your heart rate.

Contact O2 Fitness today to get your cardio/fat burn jump started with an individually tailored cardio interval program!

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