Category Archives: Cardio Workout

Understand the Benefits of Taebo

taebo exerciseTaebo exercise is a whole body fitness exercise that mixes martial arts moves such as kicks and punches. The exercise became rather popular in the 1990s because of it’s rave reviews. Taebo was developed by American taekwondo practitioner Billy Blanks, with whom the exercise is synonymous. It was one of the first cardio-boxing type exercise to benefit from commercial success. These program uses the movements of martial arts at a quick pace, which is believed to enhance fitness. The name taebo is derived from tae kwon do and boxing. It is also an acronym standing for:

Total commitment
Awareness
Excellence
Body
Obedience

Now that all the hype has subsided, taebo can be better evaluated for its efficacy and usefulness at achieving fitness. Taebo reviews speak of the effectivity of this exercise from a totally neutral point of view. Kristie Leong M.D. weighed in on the topic at the Yahoo Voices website. Here is part of what she had to say.

“What Are the Benefits of a Blanks Taebo Workout?

Although the Taebo workouts provide variety and a multitude of benefits, they’re not for the first time exerciser or those who want a lower key routine. The kicks and punches, particularly the kicks, are intense and can result in significant muscle strain if done too aggressively early on, particularly if incorrect technique is used. The workouts are high impact which is more stressful on muscles and joints than a low impact routine, although they burn significantly more calories than traditional aerobics. The high impact movements may also help to build stronger bones.

How Should You Do a Blanks Taebo Workout?

The Taebo workouts are best approached slowly starting with the basic workout DVD’s to learn how to kick and punch correctly before moving to the more advanced workouts. Emphasis should be on learning the correct form to prevent injury, stopping the tape periodically to do the moves slowly while watching form closely in a mirror. This can help to prevent future injury when the workouts become more advanced. Once your muscles adjust and you can perform the movements fluidly, slowly proceed to the more advanced workouts.”

She also gave a review on the taebo results that can be expected based on a realistic and scientific point of view, rather than a marketing spin. Taebo cardio benefits are likewise extolled. The verdict on the exercise that combines Karate, Tae Kwon Do, boxing and even some ballet is rather positive to Kristie Leong, as she points out below.

“The Bottom Line?

Once you become comfortable with the moves involved in the Blanks Taebo workouts, the benefits can be significant. A Taebo exercise can burn about forty percent more calories than a traditional aerobics routine and provide the additional benefits of building strength, flexibility, balance, and mental focus. Even though it’s not for the beginner, it’s an excellent way to build a stronger heart as well as a better body.”

Unfortunately, taebo exercise classes are not that common. The routine developed by Billy Blanks is protected by trademark laws, hence any legitimate taebo studio would likely be licensed to Billy Blanks Enterprises. Healthdiscovery.net offers some advice on how to get yourself onboard a legitimate taebo class.

“Where can you practice Taebo?

Taebo is a trademark of Billy Blanks Enterprises. The routines and music mixes have been designed by himself. The Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, CA. is the original setting for Taebo classes. But, if you don’t happen to live near the studio, you can get started on your Taebo workout in two ways:

• Find an instructor who has completed the Billy Blanks Taebo training course. The training program has graduated many instructors from all over the U.S. Beware of copy-cat programs, however. There are many “sound-alike” programs that promise the complete workout, but the Billy Blanks organization says there is no substitute for the original program.

• Buy a videotape. To buy “The Taebo Way,” check out www.taebo.com or watch for the popular infomercial. By watching the tape and following the Taebo routine, you can get the benefits of the whole-body exercise in the privacy of your own home.”

Below are just some of the direct benefits you can expect if you commit yourself to taebo for a decent period of time. Billy would not have sold more than 85 million taebo instructional videos since 1998 when they first released the original version, if the exercise routine was not effective. Livestrong.com enumerates 4 key areas where taebo can benefit your over-all health.

“Building and Toning

Billy says Taebo will work on the upper body (arms, chest, shoulders), lower body (thighs, buns) and the core muscles (abs, spinal erectors, obliques). One of the goals of Taebo was to increase functional strength, which Billy described as the type of strength used on a daily basis.

Cardiovascular Workout

One of Taebo’s biggest selling points is its cardiovascular workout, which Billy said was a result of the dance moves added to the already high-energy workout. The benefit of a good cardiovascular workout was the first thing Billynoticed when he inadvertently created Taebo in 1976. Billy, a devoted exerciser, became quickly fatigued when combining dance moves to his martial arts and boxing workout.

Weight Loss

Due to the high-energy aerobic nature of Taebo, the exercise program will burn calories during the routine, which should translate into weight loss.

Self Defense

The kicking and punching done during a Taebo workout will lead to a better grasp of self-defense methods. While he says he hopes Taebo users are never put in a spot where they will need the self-defense training, Taebo will give them the skills and confidence to deal with potential trouble.”

The numerous advantages of Taebo is due to the fact that the discipline is low impact and provides a total body workout. Because this mainly is an aerobic exercise, the heart and lungs benefit a great deal. It may also be noteworthy to point out that boredom with Taebo is less likely to set in because there are several forms of training mixed into it. For those who take pleasure in dancing, Taebo is going to be a first rate exercise alternative. People who favor some type of self defense will like how karate and kickboxing also combine into the program.

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Likewise, those who like group activities will like taebo. It can be done with anywhere from 5 to 20 participants. It can also be enjoyed as a one-on-one event with a certified trainer, and even as a solo sport once the moves are mastered.

Triathlon Training: How to Prepare & What to Expect

triathlon trainingA triathlon is a multi-stage race that involves the completion of three continuous endurance competitions. While there may be some variations to the sport, a triathlon usually involves swimming, cycling, and running in direct succession over varying distances. Triathletes compete for the fastest overall course completion time. A participants’ time also includes the “transition” times between each separate event. Triathlon training usually has many participants as former veterans of road races such as a 5-10K run or a 25-50K bike race. Contestants are also grouped by gender and age. The more serious participants are regarded as Elite competitors.

Obviously, a triathlon training program is very rigorous and is only for the more finely tuned athletes among us. It is demanding in any form, and requires superb endurance from the participant. You must also be very adept at all the three sport disciplines to be able to be competitive.

Before embarking on any triathlon training schedule, you should also prepare yourself mentally so you can break through to higher levels of performance and endurance. While training hard, one must also learn not to overdo it. Rest is a very important component of the program. Here is a triathlon training schedule that you could try out which is tailored for triathlon training for beginners. Don’t be fooled by the word beginner, as this is going to be a grueling routine from menshealth.com.

First lets establish some target heart rates for the triathlon training to establish the intensity level of each phase of the program. We will refer to each heart rate level as “zones.”

I: Training Zone I workouts should be performed at 50-60 percent of maximum heart rate. This should feel easy. Your breathing should be slightly elevated, but you should be able to hold a conversation without trouble.

II: Training Zone II workouts should be performed at 60-70 percent of maximum heart rate. This is a moderately easy pace. Your breathing will feel more labored, but you should still be able to talk.

III: Training Zone III workouts should be performed at 70-80 percent of maximum heart rate. This is a moderate pace. It’ll be hard to hold a conversation—you can spit out a few words at a time.

IV: Training Zone IV workouts should be performed at 80-90 percent of maximum heart rate. This is a moderately hard pace. You’ll be struggling to talk. But remember—it’s not all out. You should still be able to maintain this pace for around 20 minutes.

Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Make calculations for the various ‘zones” based on that figure. For example, 220 – 35(age) = 185 beats per minute maximum heart rate.

Now comes the workout. By the end of this triathlon training program, you should be able to compete in an actual triathlon in 6 weeks time. Use this triathlon training schedule whenever you have to prep for a race. This triathlon training guide is also lifted from menshealth.com.

Week 1

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim for 30 minutes in I
Wednesday: Run for 30 minutes in I
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike for 45 minutes in I
Sunday: Swim for 30 minutes in I

Week 2

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim for 30 minutes in I
Wednesday: Run for 30 minutes in I
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike for 45 minutes in I
Sunday: Swim for 30 minutes in I

Week 3

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim for 35 minutes in II; strength train for 20 minutes
Wednesday: Run for 30 minutes in II; bike for 45 minutes in II
Thursday: Swim for 20 minutes in I; strength train for 20 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Brick workout: Bike for 60 minutes in I and run for 30 minutes in I
Sunday: Rest

Week 4

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim for 30 minutes in II; strength train for 20 minutes
Wednesday: Run for 40 minutes in II; bike 45 minutes in II
Thursday: Swim for 20 minutes in I; strength train for 20 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Brick workout: Bike for 60 minutes in I and run for 30 minutes in I
Sunday: Rest

Week 5

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Swim for 35 minutes in II; strength train for 40 minutes
Wednesday: Bike for 45 minutes in II; run for 40 minutes in II
Thursday: Swim for 30 minutes in I; strength train for 20 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Brick workout/test triathlon: Swim for 20 minutes in I, bike for 40 minutes in II, and run for 20 minutes in I
Sunday: Rest

Week 6

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Bike for 30 minutes in I
Wednesday: Swim for 20 minutes in I
Thursday: Run for 20 minutes in I
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Swim for 15 minutes in I; bike for 15 minutes in I
Sunday: Race day

Finally here are some triathlon training tips that you should keep in mind in order to get the most out of your workouts from active.com. Remember also to manage your expectations of yourself when competing for the first time. Some of these tips do exactly that.

1. Go short before going long.

2. Stay close to home. For the first race, make it easy on yourself and select an event close to home.

3. Just a swim suit and goggles for the swim. of the event.

4. Your bike is fine.

5. You need running shoes.

6. It doesn’t take as much training as you might think.

7. Plan to rest

8. Transition time counts too.

9. Plan to do the first half of the race slower

10. One piece of “trick” equipment. If you want to pick up one piece of “trick” equipment, purchase elastic shoe laces. One such brand is Yankz. Elastic laces allow you to slip your feet into your running shoes and eliminate the need to tie your shoes.

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So are you up to it? If you are then this is the triathlon training guide to get you started. Who knows, you could just be the next ironman.

Try a Walking Workout for that Needed Energy Booster

walking workoutAlmost everybody wants to have that healthy and fit body. Of course, the most popular way to reach that dream is through proper exercise and diet. This seems to be such an easy plan, but once you actually do it, not everyone will probably agree. Truth be told, starting to exercise is a tough task already. Many types of excuses are given such as not having enough time or it is too exhausting. However, it’s actually the opposite. Exercising more is one of the best ways to beat fatigue. According to Dr. Samantha Heller from webmd.com,

“Contrary to popular belief, exercising doesn’t make you tired — it literally creates energy in your body. Your body rises up to meet the challenge for more energy by becoming stronger,”

A walking workout plan is one of the simplest and most efficient workouts. You won’t even have to go any nearby gym. All you’ll need to have is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, pedometer and most importantly, your desire.

The key to success in this kind of fitness program and just about all the other training programs in the world, it is best to tailor the walking workout program according to what you would like to achieve. You may want to lose weight, lower cholesterol, prevention or better management of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, some stress disorders, improve circulation and bone strength, balance, coordination and it boosts the body’s energy.

According to sparkpeople.com, a very good walking workout plan also takes into consideration the frequency of the workouts, the intensity of the workout itself (walking slowly, moderately or briskly or as fast as you can go), and the time allotted for walking that of course includes the time for your mandatory warm up and cool down exercises before and after the workout. It is best to try at a beginners pace first and gradually increase the intensity and the time of your workouts as you get familiarized and accustomed to the exercise.

In designing your training plan, it is important to make a feasible walking workout schedule. Take everything into consideration. First and foremost, note that the recommended frequency of workout is 3-5 times a day. You should ensure that there is sufficient time allotted for this, one that will not conflict in your daily grind or activity.

Fitnessmagazine.com suggests having a 15-minute workout if you want to but make sure that the intensity compensates for the short period allotted. You can do a “15 minute lunchtime quickie” which entails just your normal stroll, but just be sure that you don’t stop within the said period.

You can make it more enjoyable and time it up accurately by playing your favorite playlist or song in repeat within the said duration. You can squeeze in the walking when going to the office or coming home from it or you can walk a few blocks from the grocery or the church during the weekends. It’s easy and really not demanding. Not only does it increase the energy, it also lightens the mood of a person.

Once you have come up with your walking workout plan, you have to stick to it. Discipline and consistency are the keys to this. You just have to make your plan as realistic as possible, in that way you won’t come with excuses for not complying with it. It is also important, as previously mentioned, to step it up as much as you can when you get the hang of it. This pushes the body to achieve more and use up more of your stored energy causing more calories to be burned in the process.

If your plan is to go after weight loss and energy booster, then an interval walking workout is highly recommended by webmd.com. Just like any interval training, this involves “short bursts of intense activity, called intervals, with periods of lower intensity, or rest periods. Switching between the two makes your body work harder, burning more calories faster than it would at a steady, moderate pace.”

An example of a beginner’s interval walking workout program from sparkpeople.com looks like this:

5 minutes of warm up exercises
1 minute brisk walking
2 minutes of moderate paced walking
1 minute of walking as fast as you can
2 minutes slow walking
1 minute brisk walk
2 minutes of moderate paced walking
1 minute fast walking
2 minutes slow walking
5 minutes of cool down exercises

With a walking workout plan, you can turn your usual activity into a very a very beneficial workout for the body. With this motivation in mind, you can turn this dull and tiring activity as something to look forward to so it will not be as tiring and bothersome as it used to be. Its versatility is also an advantage, you just have to make it a conscious effort to design it to serve your ends, be consistent with it, challenge yourself every time you feel that you have mastered and accomplish your first program.

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Outdo yourself: wear the proper gears and implements like shoes and pedometers and make it as fun and lively as you can. Of course, be careful in choosing where to do it to keep you from possible injuries. Choose a well cemented pavement or flat grassy field for this so you don’t just fall off. Even if you are wearing the proper gear, they can only do so much in reducing the impact of the injury.

5 Amazing Apps for Running

apps for runningWalking, running and jogging are just some of the most popular ways of exercising nowadays. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and you can even do it with your friends, do it after school or work, in the morning, afternoon, or in the evening. Some people run to lose weight, some to get faster or to run longer while some people run just to pass time.

Whatever your reasons are, it is advised to keep track of some of the details of your running such as the distance you’ve covered, the time it took for you to finish, etc. Keeping track of your running is an easy way to know how you are performing and how to improve it. You may think of it as a hassle but thanks to technology, there are now several apps for running that can easily be downloaded even in your smartphones or tablets. For a start, here are some apps that can help you on your “running diary.”

Mashable.com suggests RunKeeper Pro. It describes the app as:

“A feature-rich app that enables GPS tracking, distance, speed monitoring, caloric output and activity history for any number of activities you partake in including sports such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing and swimming. You can also sync all the data to RunKeeper’s website to monitor progress and share publicly. RunKeeper also offers a simplified version of the app for free.”

Another great up is MyFitnessPal. According to shape.com, it is:

“A comprehensive record of your food intake and activity. You can personalize your calories burned from exercise by entering in your weight and the duration of your run. This free app makes it simple to set a daily calorie goal and then record your food and exercise to make sure you stay on track.”

This is one of the android apps for running that you must have if you’re determined to be fit and remain that way. Exercising is never enough. You should also be watchful on your diet or your efforts will only go down the drain. This app is also available for BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows phone.

If you just can’t get enough of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, then Endomondo is for you. Lifehacker.com describes some of its features:

“Endomondo is a social running app. Like RunKeeper it’s easy to track your duration, distance, and speed. You can also create routes, challenge your times, and challenge friends who live in your neighborhood. It’s about as feature-rich as running apps come. You can get an audio coach, track hydration, send friends pep talks, and plenty more. One of the cooler features is the ability to see other people’s times on routes and test it against your own.”

Just a little info though: for this app to work, your phone should have an internal GPS.

Running can be a little bit boring after some time. For those people who really hate running but want to reach their finish line, “Zombies, Run!” would be one of the best apps for running. Here’s what lifehacker.com has to say about the app:

“What makes Zombies, Run! different is the fact it turns your morning jog into a story about survival. You’re not just tracking your run with stats and numbers—you’re building a base full of supplies, and using zombie chases as interval training.”

With this app, runners can imagine that they’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Nothing can motivate a person more effectively to pick up their pace than a zombie after him or her. Greatist.com says that this app.

“..provides users with more than 30 different missions controlled, in part, by their relative pace (thanks GPS!). These missions are interspersed with songs from the users’ playlist as they walk, jog, or run away from impending zombie doom”

For some, the best way to enjoy their workout is to exercise while listening to music. Running can really be tiring but if done along with music, it can be quite the opposite. Some make use of music to motivate oneself. If you are one of these types of people, apps for running music like “Cruise Control” will be of big help. Mashable.com describes how the app works:

“First, you can just launch it and start running. Your music will adjust to your speed. Second, you can choose your target speed and music will match that pace. Stay on your pace by running in-sync with the playlist. The developers say the average pacing error is less than 1%. The third way to use it is to select a target heart rate (you’ll need an ANT+ or Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor). Again, match your steps to the playlist and the music will get slower or faster based on what your target heart rate is set at. The developers write that lab tests show, on average, the heart rate is within 2 beats per minute of the target. The final way to use Cruise Control is to pick a target stride rate, then all of your songs will adjust to match that pace.”

These iphone apps for running are good news especially for those who are sporty and techy at the same time. But keep in mind that these are not the only apps for running. There are lots of apps to choose from and each has different features that will meet your needs.

The advantage of these apps is that it can be installed in your phone which everyone almost always brings with them wherever they go. So there will be no need to get another gadget for this. Plus, it is real time. There is no need for you to wait until you come home to record your progress down.

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It is also user-friendly in the sense that even though you are the most well-versed in measuringyour performance, these apps can do it for you. Some may come with a small fee, but there are also some that are free. So, start browsing on your apps store and get ready with your running shoes. This time, it will surely be fun and productive at the same time.

Off-Season Training for Football Players

off season trainingOff-season workout for football players is crucial to their preparations for their upcoming season. It is when they have the chance to condition themselves mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and, most importantly, physically. Integral to the off-season football workout is a program built on developing as much muscle and endurance as possible to get their bodies as fine-tuned as they can, so they can go on to doing more tactical trainings as the season approaches.

According to stack.com, Dwight Freeney uses a program for his off-season workout plan that he has to do once a week. He uses this as his off-season weight training to develop explosive power and strength. With this, he can deliver “a swift punch on a sloppy o-lineman or jamming a puny wide out at the line.”
You can check out Dwight Freeney’s off-season training here, specialized for training power and strength.

Exercise

Sets/Reps

Rest (Seconds)

Notes

Toe Touches 1×20 35-45
Single-Leg Toe Touches 1×20 each leg 35-45
Single-Leg Reach Through 1×20 each leg 35-45
Full Sit-Up 1×10 35-45
V Crunch 1×20 35-45
Outside Thigh Reach 1×20 35-45
Butterfly Sit-Up 1×10 35-45
Spread Eagle Stability Hold 1×10 seconds 35-45
Overhead Reach Stability Hold 1×10 seconds 35-45
2-minute recovery
Dumbbell Power 1×6+6+6; 1×5+5+5; 1X4+4+4 35-45
Dumbbell Incline 1×10, 1×8, 1×6 35-45
Plyo Push-Up with Clap 1×8 35-45
Plyo Push-UP with Chest Slap 1×8 35-45
Plyo Push-Up Side to Side with Clap 1×8 (4 each way) 35-45
2-minute recovery
Rip and Press 3×6 35-45
Dumbbell Lateral Raises 2×8 0 Shoulder Circuit
Dumbbell Front Raises 2×8 0 Shoulder Circuit
Dumbell Rear Delt Raises with Punch 2×8 0 Shoulder Circuit
Machine Hang Shrug 3×20-25 35-45
2-Minute Recovery
Tricep Pushdown 3×8-10 0 Tricep Circuit
Underhand Tricep Extension 3×8-10 0 Tricep Circuit
Overhead Tricep Extension 3×8-10 0 Tricep Circuit
Physioball Push-Up 2×8 35-45
Single-Arm Physioball Push-Up 2×8 each arm 35-45

off season trainingThis workout plan focuses on the muscles that are crucial to football players, most especially the chest, shoulders and triceps. It starts with the core to develop stability and ab strength, in preparation for the rest of the workout. According to Stack.com, Hicks and Freeney believe that it is imperative to begin training from the belly, which serves as the body’s source of power.

Freeney argues that football players seldom strike with both arms at once, so it is important to do workouts such as dumbbell power during off-season training in order to train the arms to work independently, with both strength and speed. On the other hand, workouts such as dumbbell incline workout a different part of the chest and prepares the shoulders for more demanding lifts.

Football players need to be quick with both their lower and upper bodies, especially when they need to strike and take off from the ground quickly. For this purpose, plyo push-up adaptations are very important to develop upper body power output. To Freeney, “chest, shoulders, and triceps are the ammo, but the hand is the bullet. In order to hit harder, the hands need to move faster.”

By the time you get to the rip and press workout of the program, your body will most likely be fatigued, and will have difficulties performing the exercise. However, this is the purpose of it. It imposes the challenge of being explosive even when the body is tired.

Football players are highly-susceptible to shoulder injuries. This is why it is highly important for football players to build mass around their shoulder joints during their off-season training. This will help to keep them from getting injuries in the long-run. In this case, the shoulder circuit will be of great help. In addition, the rear delt raises with punch will help generate swift and powerful movements.

According to Stack.com, machine hang shrug develops triple-extension explosion. With this, the strength and energy is drawn all the way from the ankles, to the knees, to the hips, and to the upper body to deliver a violently strong blow, similar to the slobberknocker.

The tricep circuit is used in this workout plan to deter the tricep muscle from fatigue before doing the last exercise of the program. Generally, it will work out the long, middle, and inner head of the tricep.

To finish it all off is the single-arm physioball push-up. This exercise actually imitates movements performed on the field. For example, this will help the football player lock his tricep muscle in the event that he receives an offensive tackle and is forced to move backward.

There are many different ways to handle off-season training. This is simply one workout plan that you can use to complement your existing off-season workout plan; especially because this is recommended to be done only once a week. As you can derive from what is explained above, this workout plan from Dwight Freeney works on the premise of football players doing off-season training, and develops muscles in a specialized way.

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If you are an athlete looking to improve your game by adding this workout program to your current program, please to take care to consult first and foremost your football coach or physical therapist. This may be too much for you, and if it isn’t, you may need a program that will challenge you even more.

The Best Elliptical Plan for Your Cardio Workout

Elliptical PlanUsing an elliptical plan for your exercise is great for those of us who love to get a good cardio workout. There are many ways to spin an elliptical plan to focus on different parts of the body and still get a good overall workout for your body. Some people like to create an elliptical workout schedule to use different days to focus on different parts of their bodies.

We got these great elliptical plans from fitsugar.com. You can choose one elliptical workout program from these, or you can do them put them all together in your elliptical workout schedule. It is all up to you.

Beginner Workout: This is a great workout to start with for beginners. It is not as rigorous as the other elliptical plans, but it is a total body workout that is great for complement other gym trainings that you might have for your workout session.

Time Resistance (Level) SPM* Notes
0:00-3:00 3 130 Warm Up
3:00-5:00 5 130 Warm Up
5:00-10:00 5 140 Speed Up
10:00-15:00 7 140 Backwards
15:00-20:00 7 140 Forwards
20:22:30 7 140 Push
22:30-25:00 7 140 Pull
25:00-30:00 5 140 No Hands
30:35:00 3 130 Cool Down

*SPM=Strides per minute

Booty Workout: This focuses on the glutes and hamstrings by using the incline on the elliptical. This means that you’ll get that fabulous-looking ass while getting your much needed cardio workout. The key to this workout is to work hard to keep your heels down. This will work your butt even harder. To pose an even bigger challenge, you can choose to not hold on to the handles, and workout your core even more.

Time Resistance (Level) Incline SPM*
0:00-2:30 3 5 110-130
2:30-5:00 5 7 120-130
5:00-10:00 9 11 130-140
10:00-15:00 9 13 130-140
15:00-20:00 9 15 130-140
20:00-25:00 11 15 120-130/Go backward
25:00-30:00 9 15 130-140/Go backward
30:00-32:30 5 5 120-130
32:30-35:00 3 5 120-130

(Source: fitsugar.com)
*SPM=Strides per minute

Core Workout: If you’re really bent on working out your core intensely to get that drool-worthy abs, you can try this longer and more intense elliptical core workout. To make it really effective, set the incline on the elliptical to 6.

Time Resistance (Level) RPE* (1-10)
0:00-5:00 2 1
5:00-10:00 8 6
10:00-15:00 5 3-4
15:00-20:00 9 7
20:00-25:00 5 3-4
25:00-30:00 10 8
30:00-35:00 5 3-4
35:00-40:00 2 1 Cool Down

(Source: fitsugar.com)
*RPE=Rate of Perceived Exertion

Shorter Intervals: This workout will definitely push you to your limit. In this workout plan, you will have less rest time between sprints. This will push your anaerobic threshold and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Time Resistance (Level) SPM* RPE* Notes
0:00-3:00 3 120-130 Warm Up
3:00-6:00 7 130 Warm Up
6:00-6:45 7 180-190 7
6:45-8:15 7 130-140 Recover
8:15-9:00 8 190-200 8
9:00-10:30 7 130-140 Recover
10:30-11:15 8 200-210 8
11:15-12:45 6 130-140 Recover
12:45-13:30 8 200-210 9
13:00-14:30 6 130-130 Recover
14:30-15:15 8 200-210 9
15:15-16:15 6 130-140 Recover
16:15-17:00 8 200-210 9
17:00-17:45 6 130-140 Recover
17:45-18:30 8 190-200 9
18:30-19:00 5 120-130 Recover
19:00-19:30 8 190-200 9-10
19:30-20:00 5 120-130 Recover
20:00-20:30 8 190-200 9-10
20:30-21:00 5 130-140 Recover
21:00-21:30 8 190-200 9-10
21:30-22:00 5 130-140 Recover
22:00-22:30 8 190-200 9-10
22:30-24:30 5 130-140 Recover
24:30-27:00 7 120-130 Backwards
27:00-30:00 5 120-130 No Hands

*SPM=Strides per minute
*RPE=Rate of Perceived Exertion

Total Body Workout: If you’re looking for an intense total body workout for your elliptical plan, you can and are pressed for time, you can try this total body workout.

Time Resistance (Level) SPM* Notes
0:00-3:00 3 130 Warm Up
3:00-5:00 3 150 Warm Up
5:00-7:00 5 150 No Hands
7:00-9:00 7 170 Hands-Pull
9:00-11:00 5 150 No Hands
11:00-13:00 9 170 Hands-Push
13:00-15:00 5 140 No Hands
15:00-16:00 7 200 Hands
16:00-18:00 7 130 Backward with hands
18:00-19:00 7 150 Forward with no hands
19:00-21:00 9 170 Hands-Push
21:00-23:00 5 130 No Hands
24:00-26:00 5 130 Hands
26:00-27:00 3 120 Cool Down
27:00-29:00 3 120 Backwards
29:00-30:00 3 110 Cooldown

Total Body Workout 2: You can also try this one from shape.com. The workout intensity is moderately hard, and all you need is an elliptical with the moveable arm handles. With only this 30-minute elliptical workout plan, you can burn as much as 250 to 300 calories. That makes it perfect as an elliptical workout plan for weight loss for all you busy women out there.

Time ( Minutes) What to Do Resistance (Level) RPE (1-10)
0:00-3:00 Warm-up: move feet forward; push and pull arm handles 3 3-4
3:00-8:00 Let go of handles; continue moving feet forward 6 5-6
8:00-13:00 Push and pull the handles; move feet backward 6 5-6
13:00-15:00 Move feet forwards and extend arms at shoulder height out to sides; circle arms forward 7 6-7
15:00-17:00 Move feet backward and circle arms backward 7- 6-7
17:00-22:00 Move feet forward; push and pull arms handles 8 7-8
22:00-27:00 Move feet backward; push and pull arm handles 8 7-8
27:00-30:00 Cool down: Move feet forward; push and pull arm handles 3 3-4

*RPE=Rate of Perceived Exertion

There are many ways to spin elliptical workout plans once you get used to it and get a hang of how your body reacts to the different movements within the workout. It is highly recommended to do an elliptical workout at least twice a week to achieve your fitness goals.

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Like we said at the start, you can opt to do several of the workouts suggested and put them into an elliptical workout schedule. That way, you can keep track of your fitness achievements whilst being aware of the parts of your body that you have been focusing. This is sure to give you a huge confidence boost as you work through your workout plan week after week after week.

7-Day Cardio Plan for Weight Loss

Cardio PlanBeginning with a basic cardio plan is a stepping stone for people who want to start exercising. It will help you build your strength, endurance, and speed to prepare you for more rigorous cardio workout plans.

To start, you have to be mindful of the importance of warming up and cooling down. This will prevent you from straining yourself and causing injuries and body aches afterwards. A good cardio plan should always include this at the start and end of the workout session.

For most people, their cardio exercise plan is as simple as 5-minutes of brisk walking to warm up, followed by 20-30 minutes of jogging/running, and cooling down with another 5-minute stretch. This is just as good as any other as a daily cardio workout plan for those who simply want to have their daily dose of exercise to stay fit and healthy. This is as good as any other cardio plan for weight loss, for as long as you do it regularly, and try to challenge yourself by increasing your running intensity every now and then.

However, if you really want to achieve better results faster for your body, then perhaps a more challenging cardio workout plan is a must for you. Try this 7-day cardio plan for weight loss that we like to follow.

Day 1: For the beginning of your 7 days cardio plan, you can take it easy for your first day. Start with your warm-up and do some brisk walking for 5 minutes. Swing your arms as you go along to loosen them up a little bit. Then do some stretching, making sure to hit all your major muscle groups in your arms, core, and legs. This will help you to develop your flexibility, which will help you make larger strides when you run. Remember, the important part of this day is not to stop. You have to remember that. Set your goal of running for 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter how fast and how far you go, as long as you don’t stop. Once you finish your 30 minutes, give yourself a pat on the back, and do your 5 minutes of stretching to cool down. You can shake your body too while you’re at it, to loosen up your muscles again.

Day 2: On this day, you will build up on your first day. Do everything you did on your first day, but don’t stretch right after your run this time. After your 30-minute run, go and find yourself a spot to lie down. No, you’re not resting. You’re going to do some abs and core exercises to tone your belly. You can start with 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise. Do crunches, side crunches on each side, and crunches with your legs raised to 90 degrees. You can take 5 seconds to rest and breathe between each set of each exercise, if you want to. After you’re done, you can do your 5 minutes of stretching and cool down.

Day 3: Again, you will build up on your second day on this day. Do everything you did on your second day, but don’t stretch after you finish your ab exercises. This time you will start doing your core exercises. To start, you can do 1 set of 10 reps for each exercise. Each rep will last for 15 seconds. Do planks: forward plank, side planks on each side, and a bridge. In case you’re not familiar with planks and bridges yet, the key to planks and bridges is the form. Your body as to be completely straight and your head has to be looking straight forward each time. Done right, you will build up your core group of muscles, which will help you with your core strength and balance. Even better, this will help you lose weight, and keep it from coming back. If you’re up for more of a challenge, do 1 set of 3 reps for each exercise. Each rep will last for 30 seconds. After you’re done, you can do your 5 minutes of stretching and cool down.

Day 4: Don’t do anything. Rest, relax, and let your body recover from your previous days of working out.

Days 5-6: Repeat Day 3. If you’re up for more of a challenge, simply increase your running speed and intensity, or add more reps to your abs and core exercises. This repetition of exercises will help you build your speed, endurance, and strength. Losing weight and toning your body will follow when you achieve this.

Day 7: On this day, you can either rest or repeat Day 1. Assuming that this is your first week of working out, this rest day will come as a welcome gift to your body, because it will need it to recover. Giving your body the ample time it needs to recover after your workouts is just as important as the working out part itself. You need to take care of your body and not stress it too much. Unless of course you want to be an athlete and train for some competition. In which case, you would have your own training regiment, which is sure to be very challenging.

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After you’ve finished this week, you can simply repeat it for the next week. If you find that you’re ready to skip Days 1, 2, 3, and 4 altogether, then by all means, do, and start doing Days 5, 6, and 7. You can keep doing this cardio workout plan, and build on it by adding on more exercises, or you can simply keep doing the same cardio plan. It really depends on the results that you want and how fast you want to get them. But following this 7-day cardio weight loss plan will help you to build the foundation that you need to lose weight and keep them off for longer.

Sweat It Out With These 7 Jump Rope Workouts

Jump Rope ExercisesUnearth your childhood ways and grab your jump rope! It can be easy and hard at the same time, but one thing is for sure. Jump rope workouts are exhilarating workouts that will leave you energized and ready for your day or all warmed up for your athletic training. It’s compact and inexpensive, yet burns a lot of calories and you can do it anytime anywhere. The best part is that you’ll see improvements in the way your body looks and moves and you go along.

According to fitday.com, doing a jump rope workout routine regularly can do wonders for you. There are 3 main jump rope workout benefits. One of the most important and most common reasons why people take to their jump rope workout is to lose weight. For example, a 30 minute jump rope workout routine can help you burn around 300 calories. Done each day for a week, coupled with a balanced diet, can help you get on your way to losing those pounds. Another is the increased cardiovascular fitness. Simply put, it helps your heart and body work better. This contributes your increased energy level after your jump rope workout. The third benefit is the muscle tone. Jump rope workouts are great for toning those legs and lower body and looking great in those miniskirts and shorts! Your legs might hurt and feel sore after your first day of your jump rope workout, but this will eventually help your muscles get strong, larger, and more toned.

Keep these pointers in mind from sparkpeople.com:

• Hold handles with a firm grip, elbows close to sides.

• Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope.

• Keep torso relaxed, head lifted, and gaze ahead for balance.

• Jump only high enough to clear the rope, with light ankle-knee motion.

• During jumping, the rope should skim the surface lightly and your feet should not kick back behind you.

• Always land softly on the balls of your feet.

• Never sacrifice good jumping form for speed!

Check out these 7 great jump rope workout variations from builtlean.com:

1) Basic Jumps

20-30 seconds of jumping
30-60 seconds of rest
Repeat 6-10 times

*It is important to hit jump rope workout for beginners first. The basic idea is to learn the form, get comfortable, and develop your rhythm.

Make sure you give yourself enough recovery time between intervals to slow your heart rate and catch your breath. Start with fewer and shorter intervals with more rest time, and work your way up to doing more intervals for a longer period of time with less rest.

2) Basic One Hop

Good old fashioned, basic “one hop” where you jump once in between each revolution while keeping both feet together. This effectively works both your calves and is the most common jump rope method.

3) Alternating Jumps

Alternating jumps from one foot to the other helps extend the amount of time you can jump rope. It sounds counterintuitive, but hopping from one foot to the other while using the other foot for some support makes it far easier to jump rope for 5, even 10 minutes, or more continuously. This is often how boxers jump rope for 30 minutes straight.

4) One Foot Jumps

One great way to correct any muscle imbalances you may have in your calves, or to improve your athleticism is to hop on one leg for anywhere between 10 and 50 reps, whatever you can do. This also helps work your calves very intensely, because you are focusing on just one leg at a time.

5) Side Straddles

These are pretty challenging, because you have to time the revolutions correctly. Here’s the sequence:

a) Right after the rope passes in front of your feet, jump and split your legs apart.
b) As your legs touch the floor in the side straddle, jump over the next revolution, while bringing your feet together again.

That’s it. Side Straddles emphasize the outer calves and you’re going to feel an intense burn after only 20, or 30 jumps.

6) Front Straddles

Front straddles are a bit easier than side straddles, and just requires that you alternate your legs forward and backwards. This also works your hamstrings and quads a bit more, because you have to control your legs.

7) Running in Place

This is a great way to increase the intensity of jumping rope. Each time you jump, the rope comes underneath one foot, then the other, and so on. Kick your knees up as high as possible to make the workout harder.

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Remember, it is very important for you to learn first to develop your rhythm so you can go further in these jump rope workouts. Finding the pace that you’re comfortable will help you to ease through your routines. You can make it as easy or as hard as you want. However, if you really want to achieve results, try to challenge yourself every time; perhaps with the number of reps that you do, or with the kind of workout that you choose. You can even try to create a HIIT jump rope workout, and get excellent results faster. With regular practice, you could be on your way to a fitter and healthier you.

5 Outdoor Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

Outdoor WorkoutAn outdoor workout gives you the benefit of exercising in an open air environment, savoring both fresh air and sunlight. Done at the right time, you also get healthy doses of Vitamin D through regulated sunlight exposure. Most outdoor workout routines also usually involve groups, so you get to enjoy the activity with the company of other people. There is also the visual benefit of outdoor surroundings that come with outdoor workout exercise.

It has been found that people who workout in the outdoors are generally less stressful people. A 2011 study also showed that those who exercised outdoors had a greater decease in tension, anger, confusion, and depression compared to those that worked out in a gym. Another study done in 2010 found that as little as five minutes of an outdoor workout was able to improve self-esteem and mood. Both reports were from the BBC.

Let’s take a look at some outdoor workout ideas that you can do anywhere and anytime.

1. Walking

Walking is still one of the best and the most natural exercise you can do. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, decent weather, a nice path or route, and off you go. Walking is also suitable for people of all ages, and for any fitness levels. Let’s see how to take a walk with fat burning results from askmen.com.

“Like any fitness program, the best place to start will depend on your current training status. In general, the higher the intensity of your activity, the better the health benefits and the more likely you’ll also experience fat loss (if that’s a goal of yours). If you’re just getting started, don’t be discouraged by the high-intensity recommendation. Start slowly. A beginner progression might look like:

Week 1: 15 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days

Week 2: 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days

Week 3: 20 minutes at a comfortable pace, 4-5 days

Week 4: 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 3-4 days

Week 5: 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 4-5 days

Week 6: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 2-3 days; 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 2-3 days

Week 7: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 2-3 days; 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, 1-2 days; 45 minutes at a comfortable pace, 1 day

Week 8: 20 minutes at a vigorous pace, 3-4 days; 30-45 minutes at a comfortable pace, 2-3 days

At that point, you should be ready to add in some higher-intensity work in the form of intervals. The two “on the road” ways to increase intensity during an interval are to pick up your speed or to walk up a hill. Move at your own pace, but the idea of interval training is to work at a higher intensity than you could for a sustained period of time, and then recover as much as possible during the rest interval.”

2. Jogging

Jogging is also a great way to workout outdoors. Many people that jog stay with this exercise for life. Jogging also allows you to burn more calories since you will be moving at a faster pace than walking. It is also more efficient for fat burning because you are able to get your heart rate up in less time and sustain it there. Let’s take a look at a basic running/jogging guide from running.about.com. Of course, we are presuming you have gotten a green light from your physician, and you have invested in good running shoes and the proper running attire.

1. Week one: Walk for six minutes, then jog at an easy pace for one minute. Repeat three times. Aim for three sessions with that same sequence for week one.

2. Week two: Walk for five minutes, then jog for two minutes. Repeat three times. Aim to do three sessions in week two.

3. Week three: Walk for three minutes, then jog for four minutes. Repeat four times. Aim for three sessions in week three.

4. Week four: Walk for two minutes, then jog for five minutes. Repeat four times. Shoot for three of those sessions in week four.

5. Week five: Walk for two minutes, then jog for eight minutes. Repeat three times. Do three of those sessions in week five.

6. Week six: Walk for two minutes, then jog for nine minutes. Repeat three times. Try to do three sessions for week six.

7. Week seven: Walk for one minute, then jog for 11 minutes. Repeat three times. Do three sessions this week.

8. Week eight: Congratulations on making it to week eight! For your first run this week, try walking for five minutes to begin and end the workout, and run for 20 minutes in between. By the end of the week, try to run for 30 minutes without stopping.

3. Cycling

You can just about ride a bike anywhere and it is a 24/7 activity that does not cost much to undertake. Many sport activities are prohibitive in cost and require a myriad of equipment, memberships, and other costs. Most of us know how to ride a bike, so there really is no training required. As the saying goes, you never forget how to ride a bicycle. Other benefits to cycling are building of strength and muscle tone, stamina, cardiovascular fitness, improved coordination and decreased stress. Here are basic cycling tips from active.com.

1. Know your gears.

2. When shifting, plan ahead.

3. Learn to brake. The No. 1 rule of braking is to use both brakes evenly, particularly if you need to stop suddenly.

4. Look through turns. When heading into a turn, always look through the turn to where you want to go, rather than into the middle of it.

5. Lean your bike, not your body. As you head into the turn, push the handlebar that is closest to the inside of the turn slightly so that your arm straightens a bit.

6. Position yourself for the downhill. Keep your weight over your saddle on downhills.

7. Be smooth on the pedals. Think about turning circles with your pedals rather than pushing down on them.

8. Practice riding different terrain.

9. Be defensive in traffic. Always ride under the assumption that drivers don’t see you.

10. Consider clipless pedals. Clipless pedals (those without traditional “clips and straps”) use a cleat to affix your cycling shoe to the pedal.

4. Tai chi

Discover what the orient has been using for centuries to keep in shape and stay stress free. Tai chi is has been called “meditation in motion,” as well as “medication in motion.” “There is growing evidence that this mind-body practice, which originated in China as a martial art, has value in treating or preventing many health problems. And you can get started even if you aren’t in top shape or the best of health,” According to the Harvard Medical School Website. Other benefits of Tai chi are muscle strength, flexibility, balance; aerobic conditioning and ofcourse, Tai chi would not be complete unless you did it in the open air as an outdoor workout. Here is a basic Tai chi session outdoors from Stephen Luff.

5. Outdoor Circuit Workout

If you want to bring on the intensity level, an outdoor circuit workout certainly is an option. Do this workout with hardly any rest in between routines, and you’ll have a fat blasting exercise while enjoying outdoors. Here is an excellent outdoor circuit workout video you can do alone or with some friends.

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So why don’t you break the monotony of your gym habit, and get going on a fitness routine outdoors. Reap the many benefits open-air exercise can give you, and learn to savor your surroundings while getting in shape.

Spice Up Your Workout with These Dance Exercises

dance exercisesAdding a dance exercise or two to your routine can do a lot to jazz up your workout. The problem with doing the same routine day-in and day-out is it can get boring quickly. Plus, there’s the factor of diminishing returns. After a while, the results you’ll get from doing the same routine over and over again without much variation won’t be as satisfactory as when you first started that routine. Your body will have become complacent and too used to the routine and there won’t be much resistance anymore.

But that can change if you add a dance exercise to your weekly routine. The advantage here is you get to shock your body out of its complacence and yield the results you want, if not better. This will keep you motivated and striving for better results. Moreover, switching up your routine with a dance exercise will keep your workouts fun. Fun is good because it keeps away the boredom.

Pole Dance Exercises

Pole dancing has long been associated with strippers and burlesque dancers – not anymore. In fact, pole dance exercises are proving to be very effective in improving strength and flexibility. Slithering your way up a pole requires strength. Carrying out the poses and inversions that pole dancing is famous for requires both strength and flexibility. Performing pole dance exercises helps you tone and sculpt your muscles. Pole dancing is actually a full-body workout, as it targets the core muscles, the arm muscles, as well as the legs and thighs.

Pole dancing is also said to be a great confidence booster. It is easy to master pole dancing moves, so you can set mini-goals that you can aim to achieve every time you work out using the pole. Completing an entire set of mini-goals per workout will keep you motivated and challenge you to do more and even harder moves. Eventually, you will develop an unflappable can-do attitude with pole dancing.

And if you think pole dancing is limited to women, think again. Pole dancing is becoming popular among men, too. Pole dance exercises are truly great strength builders that men can benefit from.

Jazz Dance Exercises

Jazz dancing is characterized by fast moves that usually require leaping and splitting, lively and often syncopated rhythms, and a lot of improvisation. All these key elements make jazz dancing ideal as a fitness routine.

How do jazz dance exercises help you get fit? For one, jazz dancing burns a lot of calories. The fast moves you are required to perform in jazz dancing use up a lot of energy. So if you’re trying to lose weight, jazz dancing could be your ticket to shedding off the extra pounds quickly.

For another, jazz dance exercises build up strength and flexibility. You really can’t do those fast and high-energy steps if your core and leg muscles are not strong enough. The same applies with the splits; you can’t perform these splits and hold your body in the required form if you are not flexible enough. But if you keep trying to master jazz dancing, these moves will help tone and strengthen your core and leg muscles. They will also help improve your flexibility.

Jazz dancing is also fun. Because this form of dance encourages you to improvise and create your own steps, you can practice your creativity and make your own moves. You get to work out and show off at the same time.

Modern Dance Exercises

Modern dance is a lot like jazz dance in that it can involve high-energy steps accompanied by lively music and that you can improvise your steps and movements as you go along. The difference here is that with modern dance, you can speed up or slow down, as well as switch up to high-impact steps or low-impact ones. In other words, modern dance is free-form dance.

How can modern dance exercises benefit you? Again, modern dance exercises bear similarities to jazz dancing exercises. Modern dancing is a good calorie burner, so you can lose weight quickly with this form of dancing. It improves muscle tone and flexibility as well.

But with modern dance exercises, you don’t have to exert as much energy or effort if you don’t feel like it. As mentioned earlier, modern dance is a free-form dance that you can charge up or slow down. So if you want modern dance to be your main workout for the day, you can use high-energy and high-impact movements to yield the burn you desire. On the other hand, if you’re not in the mood for exercising, you can still turn to modern dance to get some exercising done just so you won’t fall out of rhythm with your routine. You can also use modern dance exercises for warming up before starting a high-impact workout.

Dance Exercises at Home

The best way to attain the benefits of dance exercises is to enroll in a class or join a group. Dancing is a social activity, so doing dance exercises as part of a group will be more fruitful for you in the long run. In a group setting, you’d be encouraged to push more and perform well. Besides, being surrounded by other lively people can be uplifting. Their energy will rub off on you.

However, you don’t have to be in a class just to get your dance exercises done if you prefer working out alone. You can simply set up your living room or bedroom as your temporary dance studio if you want to do dance exercises at home. Just play a dance exercise DVD or put some music on and then move your body to the music. You can even install a pole in your home if you want to try out pole dancing on your own.

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Adding a dance exercise or two is great for spicing up your workout routine. You get to surprise your body out of possible complacency so you can get consistent results. Dance exercises help keep the motivation up and the boredom away. So if you need to mix up your workout routine, feel free to incorporate a dance exercise. It will be good for you.