At home, you flick between countless TV stations. At a barbeque, you sample six kinds of meat. So why, at the gym, do you sweat all over the same piece of cardiovascular equipment for your whole workout? Instead, try switching machines during one session. You can prevent your body from adapting to the workout, and force it to work harder and burn more fat.
Short on time? Try this 20-minute high-intensity workout. A 83kg man will burn 250 to 300 calories – that’s 35 to 50 per cent more than if he spent the entire time on a stationary bike.
a. Bike – 5 minutes
a. Jump Rope – 3 minutes
b. Treadmill – 5 minutes
c. Bike – 3 minutes
d. Rowing machine – 5 minutes
e. Jump Rope – 3 minutes
Bike – 5 minutes
Exercises like skipping will help you burn plenty of calories in a short amount of time. Skipping can be physically taxing, and a good alternative to cardiovascular work when the weather turns foul. This calorie-torching machine (you’ll singe up to 200 calories in just 15 minutes of moderate skipping) also hones your agility, coordination, timing and balance, says Mitch Chilson, director of strength and conditioning at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts. Plus, you’ll also work out those lesser-used calf muscles. Turn things up a notch by using a heavy jump rope, which is a skipping rope that weighs about 500g (regular ropes weigh less than 250g). “It’s a great way to strengthen the shoulders and upper body,” says Chilson.
Rowing machines exercise most of the large muscle groups without stressing your joints. These compound movements help you build more muscles in lesser time.
Cycling is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that builds up your stamina as well as gives your legs one heck of a lower body workout. For best results, focus on the exercise and forget about watching TV while cycling. Researchers found that subjects who were allowed to watch television worked at a lower intensity level than those who weren’t.