Workouts

3 Heart-Pumping Routines

February is American Heart Month—so here are three workouts from Gold’s Gym Fitness Expert Robert Reames that are guaranteed to get your blood flowing in 31 minutes or less.

http://strength-exchange.goldsgym.com/wp-content/uploads/archives_assets/2013-02/images/workout-hed.jpg

workout-reamesAccording to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2,200 people die every day due to cardiovascular diseases—that’s 91 people per hour, more than one person per minute. And while it’s common knowledge that moderate exercise helps prevent heart disease, many researchers now believe that high-intensity training is even better. Studies show that this type of training helps the body transport and use oxygen in a more efficient way than traditional exercise does. The evidence is so strong that many doctors and researchers are introducing interval training into the rehabilitation routines of patients recovering from heart failure and bypass surgery.

So this month, we challenge you to take your cardio routine up a notch with some high-intensity interval training. Robert Reames, a Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute Member and head trainer on the Dr. Phil TV show, is a longtime proponent and gave us three routines that take varying lengths of time.

“These are great for your heart, but also great for building muscle,” explains Reames. “They add intensity to any workout and guarantee a healthy calorie afterburn when you’re finished.”

Tools for the Heart

To really nail down your heart rate and track your progress, think about investing in these fitness gadgets.

• A heart rate monitor not only tracks your heart rate, but it also helps you figure out when you’re at maximum exertion levels, tracks calories burned, and lets you know if you hit fat-burning zones. It’s a great tool no matter your fitness level, and you can purchase a dependable one for as little as $35.

• The new Pear Training Intelligence system is a high-tech motivator that combines a heart rate monitor, a smartphone app and a virtual trainer. You can listen to your favorite tunes while the virtual coach guides your workout, increasing or decreasing the intensity based on your heart rate. The initial kit costs $149 for a Pear Bluetooth® Wireless Heart Rate Monitor, Pear Stride™ Earphones and Earlock™ Earpieces (smartphone not included).

• The Instant Heart Rate smartphone app lets you measure your heart rate by gently placing your finger over the camera lens on your smartphone, and you can store the information for future reference. And it’s free.

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Below you’ll find three speed interval workouts. The level of intensity varies between 1 (lowest) and 10 (highest). “Remember that everyone has their own pace. Your Level 5 might be someone else’s Level 7,” says Reames. “This is also a great time to get a checkup with your doctor and discuss your heart rate zone.”

Where can you do these workouts? These workouts can be done on a track, a treadmill, an elliptical or a stationary bike—or even outside your office building.

Workout 1: The Quick Fix

Length: 8 minutes
Reames says: If you’re stuck in an airport or have only a little time at lunch, this short routine helps you get in some activity. You can power walk through terminals or find a set of empty stairs. It can also be a nice complement to a strength-training session.

Warm-up: 3 minutes starting at Level 1, then working up to Level 3

+ Speed Interval: 2 minutes at Level 8

Cool down: 3 minutes starting at Level 3, then decreasing to Level 1

workout-1

Workout 2: The Steady Race

Length: 21 minutes
Reames says: This interval session is great for people who can get in a cardio session four or five days a week. Remember to really use the rest intervals and maximize your speed intervals—this is how sprinters train.

Warm-up: 4.5 minutes starting at Level 1, then working up to Level 3

+ Speed Interval: 30 seconds at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 2 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 30 seconds at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 1 minute at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 30 seconds at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 2 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 1 minute at Level 10
- Rest Interval: 2 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 30 seconds at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 2 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 30 seconds at Level 8

Cool down: 4 minutes starting at Level 3, then decreasing to Level 1

workout-2

Workout 3: The Big Push

Length: 31 minutes
Reames says: If you really want to push yourself or lose weight, this is a perfect interval training session for you. Try to replace your normal cardio routine with this session two or three times per week.

Warm-up: 5 minutes starting at Level 1, then working up to Level 3

+ Speed Interval: 1 minute at Level 7
- Rest Interval: 3 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 2 minutes at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 3 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 3 minutes at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 3 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 2 minutes at Level 8
- Rest Interval: 3 minutes at Level 2
+ Speed Interval: 1 minute at Level 8

Cool down: 5 minutes starting at Level 3, then decreasing to Level 1

workout-3