Doing cardio training can be an important part of getting in shape for your Wedding Day.
Although, it isn’t always 100% necessary.
But if you are using cardio as part of your training, it can become very boring, very fast!
So when I was posed the question the other day…
“Matt, I need to make my cardio training less dull. What would you recommend?“
I wasn’t one bit surprised.
So today I am here to share with you…
First off, let’s look at why people become bored of cardio and then we can dig in to how to switch things up.
Why Brides Find Cardio Boring…
I often find that Brides, and many other clients, tend to find cardio boring for the following reasons:
1 They see cardio simply as running, rowing, swimming or cycling
These are all ‘traditional’ forms of cardiovascular activity, but if you think these are the only ways to do cardio, you are missing out my friend!
2 It doesn’t challenge them
If you work out at a level described as your ‘Fat Burning Zone’ (typically 60-65% max effort) you can find it fairly easy to maintain and not very challenging either physically or mentally.
Your mind starts to wonder, you start thinking about all the other things you have to do today/tonight and before you know it you are thinking about all the things your training was meant to distract you from.
3 There’s no progression
Many Brides view cardio as just something they ‘have to do’ and not necessarily something they can get better at.
Regardless of your background or exercise history, we all like to feel like we are getting better at certain tasks, especially if we are dedicating time to it on several occasions a week.
Exercise is no different.
If you go in and just do the same machine, on the same setting, at the same speed, for the same amount of time, each and every time you enter the gym – then guess what?
…You’ll literally feel like you’re stuck on a treadmill and aren’t getting anywhere!
How To Make Cardio More Interesting…
In order to make things more interesting, or less dull, we need to counteract all of the things above.
Here’s how I like to tell the Brides I work with to go about doing this…
Rather than sticking to traditional forms of cardio training, like the ones mentioned earlier, I challenge the Brides I work with to try something new.
Joining a running club, playing a sport, taking part in a gym class, using different equipment and using intervals or circuits (see below) are all things I recommend.
One of the women I work with plays Tennis twice a week for her cardio.
Another one does Zumba & Spin Classes.
Yvette joined a local running club.
And they have all worked really well for each individual.
After all, we all enjoy trying something new and finding something to enjoy about exercise!
I mentioned earlier that cardio can be boring if it isn’t challenging enough.
My favourite way to reverse this is to use interval training as a form of cardio.
Simply put, this is cardio that involves short bursts of ‘max effort’ followed by slightly longer periods of recovery at a much lower intensity.
Unlike working at a constant effort, interval training makes your workout more challenging, which for many, is much more enjoyable.
In it’s simplest form, interval training can be as straight forward as…
- Run/Jog for 30-60 seconds
- Walk for 60-120 seconds
The repeat 5-10 times, are as many times as your exercise session allows.
However, you can get a lot more creative than this and involve different body parts and exercises as part of an interval to make it more interesting and more challenging.
Here’s a breakdown of my interval workout last week…
Jump Lunges x20
Rope Slams x20
Jump Lunges x15
Rope Slams x15
Jump Lunges x10
Rope Slams x10
Rest for 60-90 seconds and then repeat a total of 3 times.
This definitely fell under the category of ‘Challenging’ for me and may require some building up to if you’re new to interval training or you could allow yourself longer rest periods in between.
But I hope this example shows you that there’s much more to just running on a treadmill when it comes to doing cardio.
The final reason I mentioned cardio can become boring is because of a lack of progression.
I track every session a client does with me and love it when they see themselves progressing both in the mirror, and in the tracking of workouts and stats we do.
If you make your cardio progressive and trackable, it can become a lot more enjoyable.
One way I like to do this is to use circuit training.
…And I particularly like this form of training because it is very easy to involve resistance based exercises as a form of cardio, which is perfect for busy Brides who don’t necessarily have time to do both separately.
Here is one of the circuit training plans straight out of my Big Day Body Plan that Brides get access to who are using the program…
You can grab a downloadable version of this workout plan at the bottom of this post so that you can print it off and use during your next training session.
Using circuits like the one above is great because you can track several factors and keep progressing them, such as…
- Reps completed
- Sets completed
- Amount of rest between sets
- Weight used (if applicable)
- Number of exercises per circuit
…and the list goes on!
If you can see the amount of reps, sets, rest, weight and exercises were used in the last session then all you need to do is increase one of these variables (or decrease it if it’s rest) and you next session will have involved some form of progression.
If over time you can see your reps, sets, weight and exercises increasing – or your rest between sets decreasing – you will feel good about completing that circuit and the amount of progress you are making.
You can take a similar approach to traditional cardio and progress it, but there are much fewer variables to play around with and not as much flexibility as there is with circuit training.
Free Circuit Plan Download…
You can download a PDF version of the circuit session above, that can easily be printed and taken with you to your next workout, by clicking the button below.
You will also receive a free 14-Day guide for Brides as an added bonus to help you get started.
Give It A Go…
Give some of the ideas I have suggested above ago this week.
Try something new, switch things up, or just challenge yourself in a new way
…Then come back here and comment on how it went!
I would love to hear how you are mixing up your cardio training to make it more exciting.