Fat-eliminating Cardio variations


By Danna Stinson, Personal Trainer, Fitness First Uptown Mirdif Mixed

We’ve all been there. It’s time to do cardio and you’ve allotted yourself 30-40 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical or bike with the goal of increasing your cardiovascular level or burning those extra calories in hopes of shedding excess body fat. This long steady state cardio routine is definitely necessary at least once a week for multiple health benefits like recovering from intense intervals and building a strong aerobic system but it can be repetitive and downright boring! If you’re not training for a specific race or event and the long slow cardio is dragging you down, why not try mixing it up and spending less time on those cardio machines?

Two cardio training techniques, incline running and tabata will provide the great benefits of fat burning, increased metabolism and increased cardiac output, which helps the heart become stronger and more efficient, along with steady state training. These styles will save time on the long cardio sessions so you can say goodbye to the boredom, get more done in the gym and see results faster!

Incline running on the treadmill (Total time=20mins)

While running, choose a speed 0.5-1km/hr slower than you would normally run with no incline. Today, we will examine an average runner who normally runs at speed 10 for 30 minutes.

Walk 2mins @ incline 1, speed 5.5-6.5 (to warm up)
4 rounds @ speed 9.5/10/10.5/11 of:
Run 1min @ incline 3
Run 1min @ incline 5
Run 1min @ incline 7
Walk 1min @ incline 1, speed 5.5-6.5
Walk 2mins @ incline 0, speed 5.0 (to cool down)

Each round, increase the running speed by 0.5, keep the inclines the same. This runner will end at speed 11.0. After you finish 4 rounds, start the 2min cool down. When your fitness level increases, start the running speed 0.5km/hr faster and keep challenging yourself!

Tabata style training

Typical tabata training consists of 20s:10s, work:rest ratio x8 rounds for a total of 4mins at a 170% of VO2 max. You will not be training at that intensity as it is designed for developed athletes, so for fitness sake, during the 20sec work period you must push yourself as hard as you possibly can. Then you rest for 10sec.

You will experience an immediate increase in heart rate. This is an advanced training technique and requires repetitive muscle work that will sometimes result in the muscle(s) becoming burned out and fatigued quite quickly. This is a great way challenge yourself to try something new outside of your comfort level. You can add these as intervals in-between your weight lifting routine or try them all the same day for an intense cardio session.


4 rounds of:
Rope 20s, rest 10s
Burpees 20s, rest 10s

8 rounds of:
Rope 20s, rest 10s
8 rounds of:
Burpees 20s, rest 10s

8 rounds of:
Rope 20s, rest 10s
4 min rest period
8 rounds of:
Burpees 20s, rest 10s

Set rower for Intervals for time. Enter 20sec work, 10sec rest. Start. Repeat for 8 rounds.

Happy training!