Cardio Workout Plan: Best Cardio Workout Plans

City running couple jogging outside. Runners training outdoors w Most people do not do cardio because they want to…I know I don’t.  Instead, a majority of exercisers incorporate cardio into their workout routine with the hopes of burning calories or blasting away fat from their problems areas in the most effective and fast manner possible.

If you are looking for the best cardio workout routine, we have some great and easy strength and cardio workouts that you can do on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or using no equipment at all. Enroll in this course for a complete at home cardio workout without the excuses, and read on to for more ideas for the best type of cardio workout plan to fit your lifestyle.

Exercise 1:  60 Minute Cycling Hill Workout

Instead of coasting on your next biking excursion, try this stamina-building cycling workout.

  1. Find a hill that will take about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to climb.
  2. Warm up for 15 minutes using moderate effort.
  3. For your first hill climb, stay seated on your bike and use moderate resistance.  Recover by pedaling downhill in an easy gear.
  4. For the second hill climb, stay seated and increase resistance.  Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear (RPE 2).
  5. During the third hill climb, sit halfway up the hill, and then move into a stand using moderate resistance.  Recover by pedaling downhill in easy gear.
  6. In the fourth hill climb, sit halfway up the hill, and then stand using hard resistance.  Pedal downhill in easy gear.
  7. For the fifth hill climb, stand the entire time with moderate resistance.  Pedal downhill in easy gear.
  8. For your final hill climb, stand the entire way up using hard resistance.  Pedal downhill in easy gear.
  9. Finally, ride with moderate effort for about a half hour, and then cool down for 5 minutes applying easy effort.

Exercise 2:  Walking Workout

  1. For 5 minutes, walk at a comfortable pace to warm up
  2. For 3 minutes, increase your speed or incline until you are working harder than your warm up pace.  This should be harder, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation.  This will act as your baseline pace
  3. For 2 minutes, increase your speed or incline until you are working slightly harder than baseline pace.
  4. For 3 minutes decrease you speed back down to your baseline.
  5. For 2 minutes, increase your speed once again.
  6. For 5 minutes come back down to a comfortable pace.

Exercise 3:  Stair climber Workout

If you are interested in getting the most out of a stair climbing machine, consider this calorie-burning cardio workout.  While performing this workout, remember to keep standing upright with your abdominals firm, and do not lean into the side rails.

  1. 0:00-5:00                      Warm up with an RPE of 4-5.
  2. 5:00-10:00                    Pick up the pace using an RPE of 5 to 6.
  3. 10:00-15:00                  Feel your body getting warmer by using an RPE of 6 to 7.
  4. 15:00-18:00                  Now go all out with an RPE of 8 to 9.
  5. 18:00-21:00                  Recover using an RPE of 5 to 6.
  6. 21:00-51:00                  Now repeat minutes 15:00-21:00 five more times.
  7. 51:00-60:00                  Finally, cool down at an RPE of 3.

Exercise 4:  Elliptical Fat-Burning Workout

Run, walk, or hop onto the elliptical for this 40 minute fat-burning workout.

  1. 5 minutes:  Warm up at an easy pace on the elliptical, reaching up to an RPE of 5.
  2. 30 minutes:   Complete eight 1-minute sprints at a fast pace with an RPE of 8 or 9.  Between your sprinting bursts, return to an RPE of 6.  Do this for a span of 30 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes:  Cool down with an RPE of 3.

Exercise 5:  20 Minute At-Home Cardio Circuit

Here is a fun cardio workout plan to do at home.  This workout packs some classic PE movies that are ideal living-room exercises.

  1. March in place for 3 minutes (or take 360 steps)
  2. Do 60 Jumping Jacks
  3. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  4. Do 60 Jumping Jacks
  5. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  6. Do 30 Squat-Thrusts
  7. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  8. Do 30 Squat-Thrusts
  9. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  10. Do 30 Squat-Thrusts
  11. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  12. Do 30 Squat-Thrusts
  13. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  14. Do 60 Jumping Jacks
  15. March in place for 1 minute (or take 120 steps)
  16. Do 60 Jumping Jacks
  17. March in place for 2 minutes to cool your body down

Exercise 6:  30-Minute Run/Walk Workout

If you enjoy running and walking, consider mixing the two up with this run/walk cardio workout plan.  All you have to do is walk or jog, and then really kick it up a notch for one minute.

  1. Walk for 3 minutes to warm-up your muscles
  2. Jog for 1 minute
  3. Walk for 2 minutes
  4. Jog for 1 minute
  5. Walk for 1 minute
  6. Jog for 1 minute
  7. Walk for 1 minute
  8. Run for 1 minute.  You can choose to alternate between a run and walk or and run and jog, depending on your level of fitness, for intervals of 12 minutes (6 sprints in total).
  9. Jog for 1 minute
  10. Walk for 1 minute
  11. Jog for 1 minute
  12. Walk for 1 minute
  13. Jog for 1 minute
  14. Walk for 3 minutes

For 10 hours of fitness workouts, including a new “walking energy” workout technique, check out this course!

Exercise 7:  Rowing Machine Workout

If you are interested in trying the rowing machines you see at the gym, try out this cardio workout plan on a rowing machine.

  1. With medium resistance, do four to six 10-minute sets of high-intensity rowing on a rowing machine.
  2. Rest for 2 to 3 minutes in between each set; this will allow your heart rate to come down a bit so you can regroup with intense effort.

For your form, remember to create a fluid motion with your strokes.  You can remember to be fluid in your motions by counting 1-2-3 and 3-2-1.  On 1 count, push with your legs; on 2 count swing up your body by leaning back; and on 3 count, draw your arms down towards the bottom of your rib cage.  Then, reverse it: on 3 count, extend your arms; 2 count, swing your body forward from your hip area; and on 1 count, bring your legs up after the handle passes your knees.

Group of people running on treadmills

Exercise 8:  Treadmill Workout

In this 45 minute workout, you can stay slim on the treadmill all season.

  1. Warm up: Walk easily and then pick up the pace into a brisk walk for 3 minutes
  2. Power walk for 2 minutes
  3. Run fast (but do not sprint) for 2 minutes
  4. Repeat Steps 1 & 2 ten times
  5. Cool down: Walk easily for 2 minutes

Exercise 9:  Invisible Jump rope

This fun and traditional exercise can also be used without any equipment.  It will on conditioning, core, and ankle strength and stability.

  1. Start in an upright position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Imagine that you are holding a jump rope in your hands.  Keep your elbows at your sides.
  3. Start jumping and push off the floor on the toes while swinging your arms in a circular motion.
  4. Repeat for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Cardio On Up

With these cardio workout plans, you will be able to make good use of your gym, living room, bike, and the outdoors.  For a 6 week fat-blasting challenge, enroll in this course here to stay healthy for life.