A new year always provides a fresh slate to work with. This year look to kick it up a notch with your cardiovascular workouts in order to melt fat and refine your body into the best one yet. You’ll be boosting intensity, moving in new ways, and looking to shake things up a bit. You can’t go wrong with any of the next five workouts!

1. Circuit Training with Weights

Lifting weights has a host of benefits that include fighting against osteoporosis, building muscle, improving injury resistance, and releasing key hormones that impact body composition. It is a necessary activity in a fitness lifestyle.

Creating a circuit with your weight training can take the benefits to an even higher level. Removing rest periods and stringing together multiple exercises will dramatically increase oxygen consumption during and after your workout, a key indicator of fat utilization.

Build a circuit of 3 to 6 exercises that challenge different movement patterns and muscles in order to maximize the training effect. Bouncing between upper body and lower body movements is an excellent way to ramp up the metabolism and avoid overworking any particular muscle group. Mix up all the other details such as repetitions, sets, and load to keep the circuits feeling fresh.

2. Kickboxing

Combat athletes may be the best conditioned athletes in sports. They must possess elite endurance in order to last a full fight, a flexible body that remains loose enough to move fluidly, and strong muscles to give and take powerful strikes.

Now, you don’t have to have anyone fighting you back to benefit from combat sports. In fact, simply attending a kickboxing class, hiring a trainer, or rocking the bag on your own is an outstanding workout that will shred fat and reveal amazing definition.

Aim to complete 3, 6, 9, or 12 rounds of one to two minutes. Integrate a variety of upper body strikes such as crosses, hooks, jabs, and uppercuts with your lower body kicks. Mix it up, throw some combinations, work hard, and most importantly, have fun!

winter bike riding

3. Indoor/Outdoor Bike Ride

Spin classes are an outstanding cardiovascular workout, especially when the instructor throws together an amazing playlist and designs an incredible ride flow. Riding outdoors provides the freedom of two wheels on the pavement, a beautiful sky, and the challenges of navigating the real world.

Regardless of what method you choose to lean on you are sure to enjoy the benefits of stronger legs, and a leaner body. Riding provides a mixture of two cardiovascular realms: steady state and interval training.

The ride, whether it is the mileage traveled or the length of a class, is an execution of steady state cardio. You are working at an elevated rate for an extended period of time. However, the ride will provide periods of increased resistance, whether it comes from elevation or the knob between your knees. These intervals will force your body to elevate its performance, drive harder into the pedals, get out of the saddle, and overclock your metabolism.

The merging of these two worlds does a number for boosting fat loss by addressing all of the necessary aspects that impact it.

4. Tabata

A classic group training format, tabata pushes the limits of local muscle endurance by alternating timed working sets with rest periods that are half the duration. The most popular format is twenty seconds’ work with ten seconds’ rest for as many as eight sets.

The benefit to tabata is twofold. Firstly, a tabata workout typically takes thirty minutes to an hour to complete, which puts the body in an elevated state for an extended period of time. A steady state of sorts, a tabata workout can burn an incredible number of calories due to the length of time you are training in an aerobic state.

The other benefit is the high frequency training for specific muscles or movements that completely fatigues energy stores and challenges the anaerobic metabolism. The intervals of loaded movements, such as squats or shoulder presses, challenge the body to create incredible amounts of energy in a short period of rest – which requires significant calories to replenish and recover.

This format burns any incredible number of calories that come from both fat and carbohydrates. Over time you’ll torch body fat, build muscles, and redefine your entire physique.

5. Fastest Mile (1,3, or 5)

Distance running has a place in every fat loss program. The benefits of steady state cardiovascular training include better vascularization of muscle tissue, better fat metabolism, improved oxygen transport, and increased recovery from weight training.

There does come a point, however, when adding miles becomes more harmful than it is helpful. Once you can comfortably run 5 miles it is worth asking yourself why you are running. If it is for a race, then keep running and preparing for your event. Yet, if your goal is fat loss, then you don’t necessarily want to keep adding more miles.

Instead, look to improve your times in the one, three, and mile splits. Go harder, rather than going further. Focus on improving your stride quality, picking up the pace, and maintaining a powerful stride through changes in terrain.

Every improvement you make on the road will correlate with an improvement in your physique. Run hard and watch the fat melt from your body.

Head into the next chapter of your life with intent to go harder than you’ve gone in the past. It doesn’t matter which one of these workouts you choose, or if you choose to do all five. It just matters that you give it your all and try to get better every time!

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