"The goal this week is to increase cardiovascular endurance, but really we've been working on this all along," says Sara Haley, of Sara Haley Fitness and the creator of our 90-day workout plan. "By working in intervals we can really push our limits and get the best results possible. Think about it if you knew you only had to do something for only 30 seconds or 60 seconds couldn't you give it all you've got? Let's make this our goal in April. No jokes when it comes to working out.
Monday: Cardio Session
You're taking this outside or jumping on a treadmill. Take 5 minutes to warm up with a nice walk or jog. We will be spending less time in your "comfortable" zone and more time in your "uncomfortable" zone. Whether you are walking, jogging or running you need to pay attention to how it feels in your heart and lungs. These are the muscles we are trying to get stronger. For 3 minutes find a pace you find challenging but manageable. Then for 30 seconds push to a place where you think you might lose your breath a place where you feel like you couldnt possibly do or give anymore(this is referred to as working anaerobically or without oxygen). Walk it out for 30 seconds and catch your breath. At the end of this 30 seconds you want to feel ready to go again (so if you nee a little more time at first, take it). Repeat the 3 minutes of "uncomfortable," then take it to 60 seconds of anaerobic work, followed by the 30 seconds of recovery. You are going to do this 2 more times increasing your anaerobic work to 90 seconds and then 120 seconds. Cool down for 3-5 minutes. This entire workout should take you just under 30 minutes.
Tuesday: Upper-Body Circuit 1
Although we will be working on your upper body today, the goal of the week is still to increase your cardiovascular endurance. After performing a 3 minute cardio warm up of jumping jacks, jogging in place or jumping rope (3 minutes of one or 1 minute of each), you will pick one to repeat between each upper body exercise (or you can alternate). The time you spend doing each will increase each round. In other words, go through the entire circuit of moves one time with 30 seconds of cardio (jumping jacks, jogging or jumping rope) in between each exercise. The second time you do everything increase it to 45 seconds of cardio, and the third time 60 seconds of cardio. Take 60 seconds of recovery before beginning the next exercise. Three times through the circuit should take you between 30-45 minutes. You will need a set of weights between 5-8 lbs.
• Upper Body Exercise 1: On your back with knees up and feet lined up with knees. Perform 12 chest flies with the Right. If the weight is too light, hold two weights in your Right hand. Repeat on Left. Targets chest.
• Upper Body Exercise 2: On all fours, perform 12 reverse flies on the Right. Repeat on Left. Targets back and shoulders.
• Upper Body Exercise 3: Cross-legged or on one knee, perform 12 front raises, followed by 20 bicep curls, followed by 10 combo bicep curls to front raise (think of a chugging motion). Targets shoulders and biceps.
• Upper Body Exercise 4: On chest with legs long and arms at sides with palms to the ceiling, lift palms, holding weights, up off floor to hold for a count of 2 ten times. If the weights become too much, drop them and perform with your own resistance, lifting palms to the ceiling. Targets triceps and back.
Wednesday: Cardio Circuit
Warm up by holding a 30-60 second plank. You will be performing this circuit 4 times through. Each exercise should be timed for one minute each. When you've done all six exercises, rest one minute before starting again. This workout should take you less than 30 minutes.
• Quick toe taps
• Shuffle right and left
• High knee runs get knees to hands
• Kick butt runs arms in the air
• Jumping jacks
Thursday: Cardio Session
Repeat Monday's Cardio Workout followed by Upper Body Circuit 1 without the cardio intervals.
Friday: Fitness Class
Challenge yourself with a fun new cardio class. Visit a kickboxing gym, take a Zumba class, or rent an aerobics DVD.