Experts agree, never do steady-pace cardio all the time. You’ll get far better results and avoid boredom. Try incline or speed intervals. Stay at your same pace, but up the incline every few minutes or try it the other way. Keep the incline the same and continuously increase your speed.
Sprinting works wonders. You don’t have to do 30 minutes of it, but you’ll get a great workout in half the time if you alternate one minute at your maximum effort and two minutes at a slower speed or walking.
You can always slow your machine way down and do moving lunges for example or pick up some dumbbells and step off the treadmill for a minute or two and do bicep curls or shoulder exercises.
Always add resistance to your elliptical workouts even if it’s just a little bit. You should always be pushing against something and activating different muscles. Test a variety of speeds against changing resistances to mix up your workout.
Try going backward at various speeds and against different resistance levels. Remember, we’re talking about the elliptical, not the treadmill here! You will feel different muscles in your legs working, while incorporating more of your core because you’re working to balance even more.
Try progression intervals on the stair climber. Start at a lower level and work your way up, increasing the speed every few minutes.
Always incorporate multidirectional work into your stair-climber workouts. You can turn to either side or even go backward at a super-slow pace. You’ll work your full body trying to stay balanced, and the butt and legs will get an awesome workout.
High-intensity interval training (aka, HIIT training) is incorporated in many of our group cycling classes. Don’t use too much resistance and instead you push hard on sprints and then pull it back for a few minutes.
Practice different speeds and different resistances both in and out of the saddle. Set your bike to a certain resistance and do intervals at that level both standing and sitting.
Seated climbs on the indoor cycling bike is super effective. Crank the resistance all the way or most of the way up for a few seconds and push against it while in the saddle. This really sculpts and tones those legs similar to jogging on an incline on the treadmill.
Try doing intervals whenever rowing. Notice how fast you can get to 200 meters, and then I try to beat it going from 200 to 400 meters.
Try pyramid work to keep things interesting. Hit 100 meters, take a 30-second break, do 200 more meters, take another break, add 300 more meters, and take another break, etc. Keeping it progressive keeps it interesting.