Cardio Machine Boredom Busters
Hi friends! Thank you all so much for your kind comments about my 4 year anniversary with Chris!
I just have to share with you some pics that I captured of Zoey yesterday when she was attacking the pillows on my bed. I was cracking up :).
Pounce into the pillows #1 –
Pounce into the pillows #2 –
And coming out on the other side –
Such a silly little kitten :).
So as much as I enjoy lifting, running, and interval workouts, some days just I want to do steady state cardio on a machine- elliptical, cross trainer, stepmill, or bike. That being said, I also have a tendency to get bored easily so I have found ways to keep myself working hard and focused that tricks me into thinking the time to goes by much quicker! Plus, these keep me from zoning out and thus I am always able to feel like I am using my gym time effectively. I thought I’d share some of my “boredom busters” with you that I do on several machine :).
On the elliptical, I like to change the direction of motion of my legs and the incline. A 30 minute workout will look something like this, with my resistance set at 9:
- Minutes 0-10: incline of 6; first 5 minutes pedaling forward; second 5 minutes pedaling backward
- Minutes 10-20: incline of 8; 5 minutes pedaling forward; 5 minutes pedaling backward
- Minutes 20-30: incline of 10; 5 minutes going forward; 5 minutes going backward
My reason for using those 3 inclines are because according the machine the incline of 6 works all of the leg muscles, the incline of 8 works the upper half of the legs, and the incline of 10 mainly works the quads and butt. It’s nice because I can actually feel the difference in what is being “worked” at each of those inclines. Going backward and forward for equal amounts of time means that I’m hitting all areas as well. And finally, changing things up every 5 minutes keeps me from getting bored.
With the cross-trainer you can’t change the incline so I like to change the resistance around a lot. I usually like to start with an easier resistance and then go higher and alternate back and forth. A 20 minute workout will look something like this:
- Minutes 0-1:30 – resistance 8
- Minutes 1:30-3 – resistance 9
- Minutes 3-4 – resistance 10
- Minutes 4-5 – resistance 12
- Repeat 3 more times
Again, I like the “5 minute” increments. You build up the resistance for 5 minutes and then start over at the easier one again. Since you are changing the resistance every minute or minute and a half the time seems to fly by because you’re not focusing on the overall time, just the time for that increment (if that makes sense).
Oh the stepmill…a machine I love to hate ;). This thing can give you a great workout, but I definitely always need a way to make the time seem like it’s going by a little faster. Not only will I alternate my step rate, but I’ll alternate how I do the steps. A 15-min workout often looks like this:
- Minutes 0-1: 85 steps/min, stepping normally
- Minutes 1-3: 85 steps/min, walk up sideways for 1 min on each side (if you’re facing the left, step up with your right foot and then cross your left foot in front of your right to step to the next stair, and repeat)
- Minutes 3-4: 78 steps/min, stepping normally
- Minutes 4-5: 78 steps/min, taking 2 steps at a time
- Repeat 2 more times
I do several different things in a matter of 5 minutes and then repeat that twice. Trust me- those 15 minutes go by pretty quickly! Also, I try to never put my hand on the rails. If I must in order to keep my balance, then I’ll barely touch them so that I’m not putting my weight onto them.
I usually don’t ever use the bike for that long, but sometimes it’s great for 10-15 minutes. On this machine, in order to keep myself from getting bored I try to change my rpm and the resistance during the workout. A 10 minute workout can look something like this:
- Minutes 0-2: rpm 90-100, resistance 8
- Minutes 2-2:30: pedal as fast as I can, resistance 12
- Minute 2:30-4: rpm ~85, resistance 9
- Minute 4-5: rpm ~75, resistance 10
- Repeat 1 more time
The combo of changing my rpm, pushing myself really hard for a short period, and adjusting the resistance makes 10 minutes seem like several.
So, there are some of the ways that I keep myself focused on my workouts when doing more steady state cardio. Granted, it’s not completely steady state because I’m not just getting on the machine, selecting a setting, and then forgetting about it for 40 minutes. I think if I did that I would zone out and probably wouldn’t be pushing myself very hard.
Hope you all have an awesome day!
Do you like doing longer, steady state endurance workouts on cardio machines?
How do you keep yourself from zoning out and getting bored?