Choose your own cardio
We pegged three fitness phenoms and tapped them for their best cardio workout. Who will reign supreme? You decide!
NO MATTER HOW YOU TACKLE IT – ON THE TREADMILL, WITH A SKIPPING ROPE OR WITH GROUP CLASSES – CARDIO IS A NECESSARY PART OF YOUR FITNESS PLAN.
Not only does it boast amazing fat-burning powers, but cardio also strengthens your heart and respiratory system, diminishing your risks for life-shortening diseases like heart disease, which kills a quarter of a million Americans each year.
|Melissa’s intervals are
great for gym bunnies who want
to spice things up.
|Alicia’s athletic drills
raise your heart rate without a
single piece of equipment.
|Kim’s combo moves
will make you a believer in the
fat-torching power of weights.
"THE ABS MASTER” - MELISSA CARY-PITTMAN
FLYING HIGH: Just because you are on a machine, doesn’t mean your workout will be a snoozefest. Melissa shows boredom the door while melting away fat with her two-machine plan.
GET STARTED: Begin with a five minute warm-up on a treadmill (Melissa uses a Life Fitness model) at 6kph (see chart at right). As you work, adjust the speed and incline to match your abilities. After all, “If you can talk through this entire workout, then you’re not working intensely enough!” says Melissa. Do both routines or, if you’re short on time, choose to tackle either one.
“ THE ATHLETE” - ALICIA HARRIS
FLYING HIGH: When it comes to burning calories, plyometrics are the weapon of choice for this former track star – plus, they break up the monotony of her regular treadmill and elliptical workouts. Don’t be fooled by the lack of equipment though: this is one tough routine!
GET STARTED: Warm up for five to 10 minutes with some dynamic motions, such as walking lunges or light jogging, then complete the exercises in the order shown. Alicia says that one round will take approximately 15 minutes (perfect for beginners!), two rounds will bring you closer to 30, and if you’re really looking for a challenge, aim for three rounds in total. If needed, rest one to two minutes in between circuits.
“THE MEDIA MOGUL” - KIM LYONS
NO-CARDIO SOLUTION: Combo moves and circuits are the backbones of Kim’s personal gym program, and this routine delivers both. Her unique exercises take you through multiple planes of motion to provide a full-body burn.
GET STARTED: Do each move for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest, or up the burn by working for 45 and resting for 15 (with the exception of the walking plank; see below). Do the entire circuit with a 2.5-3.5kg dumbbell, three to five times through.
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