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Keep your Cardio and Conditioning Fun!

We all know that Cardio and Conditioning Training are important components in our exercise regime as it decreases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It makes you feel better, sleep better, and is a great stress reliever.
Yes, working out is important, but most of all, it has to be fun and enjoyable and not something on your to-do list. It’s amazing what difference that approach to exercise makes! In this blog, I list the basic components of cardio and conditioning and also some fun ideas you can incorporate into your exercise routine.

Before beginning any exercise routine, always make sure you foam roll and do dynamic mobility drills to properly warm up your body (check out our website for some great foam rolling exercises).

Aerobic Training (Cardio):
Aerobic (oxygen) Training is endurance training that lasts for a long period of time. Typically, a workout will last 20-60 minutes. Examples of aerobic training include exercises like rowing on our Indorowers, incline walking or hiking, walk /jogging, jogging, running, biking, and swimming. The intensity of your workout is based upon your own heart rate and we reference this as a percentage of your maximum heart rate. This percentage is a basic calculation that any of our trainers can help you with at any time.

There are 3 heart rate zones that you can achieve during your exercise routine, which you should personalize with the help of a personal trainer, as we are all different. In general, my favorite tool that takes care of this for my clients and me is the Polar FT60. Zone 1 is 60-70% of your total heart rate, Zone 2 is 71-80%, and Zone 3 is 81-90%. Typically, my fit clients are exercising 5 or more hours a week, training through all three zones, but spending the most time in Zone 2 and the least amount of time in Zone 3 during cardiovascular training. Zone 2 training is a great way to maintain or lose weight depending on your nutrition plan and the amount of time you spend per week on cardio. We typically hit Zone 3 on the strength floor during heavy lifts, and during conditioning drills like Tabattas, High Intensity Training circuits, 1 and 2 minute drills, etc.

Anaerobic Training (Conditioning):
Anaerobic (without oxygen) Training is high intensity training for a short period of time. This type of training ranges anywhere between a few seconds to less than 3 minutes like sprinting, medicine ball throws, heavy kettlebell swings, etc.

Zone Training with the FT60:
The FT60 is an awesome tool that tracks your workouts, progress, calories burned and much more. The FT60 has 3 training zones: zone 1= 60-70%, zone 2=70 to 80% and zone 3=81 to 90%. It tells you exactly how much time you spent in each zone and depending on your fitness goal it tells you how much time you need to spend in each zone. Measuring your intentional exercise behavior with a tool like this can be priceless, so if you’d ever like to borrow one for a week, just let me know, we have demo models for any of our clients to try out anytime.

Here are some fun ideas to add to your workouts:

1) Upward Pyramid using RIP Training:
RIP Training is a multi-faceted approach to strength and cardiovascular conditioning, challenging the body in all 3 planes of motion during every workout. It is amazing what a 20-minute RIP workout can do!

  • A) Hockey Stick Slap Shot
  • B) 90 degree Jump Squat
  • C) RIP Punch

A, B, C 10 reps; A, B, C 20 reps; A, B, C 30 reps.
Make sure you work both sides.

2) Downward Pyramid:

  • A) Kettlebell Swings
  • B) Plyometric Box Jumps
  • C) Burpees

A, B, C 25 reps; A, B, C 20 reps; A, B, C 15 reps.

3) 5 minute Conditioning Circuit (as many rounds as you can):

  • A) 10 push ups
  • B) 10 Medicine Ball slams
  • C) 10 heavy Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts


  • 1) Walk, Jog, Walk combo:  5-minute walk at 3 to 4 mph, 20-minute jog at 5 mph, 5-minute walk at 3 to 4 mph
  • 2) Run, Row combo:  500-meter row, 20-minute run at 8 mph, 1000-meter row, 10-minute run at 8 mph
  • 3) Climb the hill:  Start at incline 5 at 3 to 4 mph, every 10 minutes you bring the incline up by 5 degrees and decrease your speed.

* * * It is important that you set fitness goals that are realistic and achievable. Start with setting small goals and every time you achieve your goal, reward yourself. This will keep you going and motivated.***

When to mix things up?
There are many reasons to change up your workout routine. Many people hit a plateau, they feel their routine is becoming boring or it’s no longer challenging their body, or their fitness goals have simply changed. Either way, exercise does not need to be boring or disengaging. There is always something new you can try. Now, go out there and have some fun!