I like to switch it up a bit when it comes to cardio and now that I’m training for my first ever half marathon I’ve seriously had to up my game. Cardio work outs/warm ups for me used to consist of ten minutes on the rowing machine and not a lot of sweat. Now, it’s a slightly different story. I do anything from 3k-10k runs, lots of interval training and the heart pumping wonder exercise also known as high inclined power walks.
Along with upping my cardio I’ve also increased the weights when it comes to strength training and toning. I’ve actually changed a lot about the way I work out over the last six months and it’s crazy to see how many changes have come from it. If you’re interested in how I made these changes and what a typical workout of Anna Vitality’s looks like then keep scrolling …
Cardio Exercise Numero Uno
- What: Treadmill
- Duration: 25 Minutes
- What I do: To warm I’ll set a medium incline and walk for 2 minutes, then set the incline to the highest level and power walk for another 5 minutes. I’ll then start my Interval Training which involves 30 seconds of walking and then a 30 second sprint. I repeat this 8 times. After my intervals I alter the speed and continue a fast paced jog with a small incline for 10 minutes.
Cardio Exercise Numero Dos
- What: Cross Trainer
- Duration: 15 Minutes
- What I do: Jumping straight from one cardio to another is a great way to increase fat burn and so often after using the treadmill I’ll jump straight onto the cross trainer. The great thing about doing this is that it will most likely feel a bit easier due to it being a slightly lower intesity exercise compared to running on the treadmill so you’ll be able to work harder and increase fat burning potential.When using the cross trainer I usually keep the speed and resistance the same for the whole 10-15 mins. However, I do sometimes like to throw in some more interval training as this is an effective way to improve stamina more quickly as well as burn fat. I’ll usually do intervals of either 30 seconds or a minute where the first bit involves getting into squat-like position and exercising with a high resistance (such a killer for the legs and booty) and then switching to a sprint, dropping the resistance and making sure I use my arms and upper body to fulfill the exercise… all you gotta do then is repeat.
I’ve never been one for ‘leg day’ and what not. For me, it’s ineffective to place the focus entirely on one particular area of the body. I will however have a simplified version of this and will rotate two or three different workouts, some focusing more on lower body while others focus more on core, back and upper body strength, but you’ll never catch me saying “I’m doing shoulders today mate, what about you?”
So, here I have two very different workouts that do focus on alternative areas of the body, allowing recovery time for areas worked on previous days, but, for me, it’s more effective than restricting your workouts to literally one given body part.
I’ll often switch up the order of the exercises or I’ll vary the number of reps and sets but more often than not, they tend to go something like this…
- What: Romanian Dead Lifts
- How Many: 10 Reps x 3 Sets
- Equiptment: 20kg kettle bell
- What to do: With straight arms and slightly bent legs, keep looking forward and begin to lower your kettlebell to the floor. Your back may be slightly arched and you should be able to feel the range of your hamstring flexibility just below the knee before driving the hips forward to stand back up into the starting position.
Tip: Don’t feel like you have to use a heavy weight from the onset. Get your form perfected before you think about anything else!
- What: Squat & Press
- How Many: 5 Reps x 5 Sets
- Equiptment: 10kg bar
- What to do: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your kettle bell close to your chest. Keeping your body neutral, lower yourself into a squat, keeping your chest up, bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold and then press up into standing position as well as lifting the weight above your head. Tip: Try to make the most out of the power in your legs when standing up from the squat position, thrusting your hips forward. This will help you to press your weight up as one fluid motion rather than two separate movements.
- What: Bulgarian Split Squat
- How Many: 8 Reps x 3 Sets for each leg
- Equiptment: 7.5 kg dumbell in each hand
- What to do: With one foot elevated behind you using a bench, step, chair, bed, cat, dog or whatever you’ve got that slightly raised…. (that last bit was a joke by the way, please don’t call the RSPCA on me) hop forward a little and then, holding a weight in both hands, descend into the squat by bending your standing leg to lower your body towards the floor. Then push back up using your quads and hamsting muscles to return to the starting position. Repeat and swap legs. Tip: To maximise results try controling the negative (on the way down) by moving slowly into the squat then hold the position for five seconds and then drive through your front heel in a more explosive movement to return to the starting position.
- What: Walking Lunges
- How Many: 6-8 lengths of the gym with 15 second rests between.
- Equiptment: 12kg kettlebell
- What I do: Step and lunge continuously down one length of the gym, pausing briefly in the lowest part of each lunge, then turn around and walk back. Rest for 15 seconds and repeat as many times as you want. I normally do this 5 times each way! Tip: When lunging try not to let your knee make contact with the floor, this is easily done and doesn’t seem like a big deal but in the long run can cause major joint problems.
Workout 2 will be in my next post so stay tuned!
If you liked this post drop me a comment for what you’d like next from Anna Vitality x