Episode 21 – How to spice up your cardio training

Today is about cardio. Most people like to skip it so let’s discuss how to spice up your cardio training and make it more exciting.


Cardiovascular (or cardio) training is a type of physical activity that involves the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the body.

Some benefits of cardio include:

  • Better recovery from physical and mental exertion
  • More stamina through the elimination of waste by-products (metabolites) and more efficient fuel (nutrient) delivery
  • Better thinking processes (better delivery of fuel and efficient removal of wastes)
  • Lower chronic disease risk for conditions such as diabetes type II, heart complications, obesity, and cancers, etc.


1. Mix it up and start with some interval training

This is probably the easiest tip to adopt into your current cardio training. Instead of just doing 10 mins on the bike or 2000 metres on the rower, try one of these techniques:

  • Pyramid
  • Ramp
  • Reverse Ramp



If you can think of a pyramid (or triangle), what does it look like? It starts from a point and then builds to a peak and then finishes to a point again. You can also apply this pattern to rowing, jogging, cycling, hill sprints – you name it, the pyramid works!

This is how you can start to build a pyramid interval program for running. For example,

  • 1 min Run, then rest
  • 2 min Run, then rest
  • 3 min Run, then rest
  • 2 min Run, then rest
  • 1 min Run, then rest.



The second type of interval pattern is a ramp. This pattern gradually gets longer in duration as the session progresses. This pattern might start out fast and intense, then steadies into a longer high-moderate intensity as time progresses. Let’s have a look at an example:

  • 1 min Run, then rest
  • 2 min Run, then rest
  • 4 min Run, then rest
  • 8 min Run, then rest
  • 16 min Run, then rest.


Reverse Ramp

The reverse ramp would simply be the opposite to the ramp. The pattern would start out moderate in intensity and longer in duration and then builds into a faster, more intense but shorter timeframe of cardio.

For example,

  • 16 min Run, then rest
  • 8 min Run, then rest
  • 4 min Run, then rest
  • 2 min Run, then rest
  • 1 min Run, then rest.


2. Try different types of cardio

Get involved in different types of cardio workouts. This is called cross-training and while the activity is different you’re still essentially doing cardio. Some examples include:

  • Cardio classes
  • Resistance based group classes
  • MMA classes
  • Outdoor boot camps
  • Dance classes
  • Pairing up cardio equipment, eg. bike, and rower
  • Circuit training


What’s the other two ways to spice up your cardio training? Read on!

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