Cardio Machine Boredom Busters

Featured Article, Fitness
on February 6, 2012

It happens to even the biggest cardio machine connoisseur: The treadmill becomes tedious, the elliptical uninspiring, the stationary bike boring, the rowing machine repetitive. When your favorite indoor cardio routine goes stale, try these fitness pro-endorsed tricks.  

Cardio to-do: Spice it up with strength. “I limit myself to two-minute intervals on cardio machines. Between each, I do a set of resistance exercises, like push ups or lunges, and repeat until I’ve completed 20 minutes of cardio.”

–Damien Johnson, personal trainer at Sweat Training Studio in Paramus, NJ

Cardio to-do: Mix up your machines. “I use two to three different cardio machines to complete my workout. I’ll spend 15-20 minutes each on the stair climber, stationary bike and Cybex Arc Trainer. This breaks up the monotony, tricks the mind into feeling that the workout is shorter, and can provide the benefits of an interval workout.”

— Taisha Hayes, personal trainer in Washington, DC

Cardio to-do: Make media work for you. “I watch my favorite TV shows on my iPad, read Twitter feeds from motivating fellow fitness professionals, and update my music playlists on a monthly basis so I never hear the same old tunes.”

— Ashley W. Pettit, personal trainer and founder of Wellness in Chicago

Cardio to-do: Put your form first. “Pay attention to form instead of zoning out. Studies have shown increased muscular recruitment when people pay attention to their bodies during an exercise versus spacing out.”

–Eileen Loeb, personal trainer and founder of BodySmart Personal Training

Cardio to-do: Create your own circuit. “When on the treadmill, I create my own cardio circuit workout by doing the following:

·      Walk for 2 minutes at 3.5 mph pace

·      Jog for 5 minutes at 5.5 – 5.7

·      Sprint for 1 minute at 7.5 – 8.5

·      Turn to one side and shuffle for 1 minutes at 2.5-3.5, then repeat on the other

·      Walk for 2 minutes at 3.5 – 4.0

·      Jog for minutes at 5.5 – 5.7

Repeat the circuit again and you will have completed a 30-minutes calorie torcher!”

–Ashley Roth, fitness trainer in New York City and founder of Kick Ash Fitness

Cardio to-do: Make a positive playlist. “Record yourself as an mp3 saying positive affirmations, like, ‘I am awesome! I lost 10 pounds!’ and intersperse them with your regular music.While you work out, challenge yourself to stay with the beat of the music. During fast parts, go faster, and during slow parts, slow down and turn up the resistance.”

–Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and founder of Step it Up with Steph in Chicago

Cardio to-do: Intersperse intensity. “I love high intensity interval training (HIIT), for example, alternating the machine between sprinting for 60 seconds, then walking for 60 seconds. It takes much less time and continues to burn calories for up to 24 hours later.”  

— Marc Perry, personal trainer and founder of