For a change of pace…

Instead of segregating weight training and cardio into two prolonged sessions spread out over the day – delaying recovery – combine your efforts through high intensity intervals.

Find a form of that cardio that allows you to reach or even surpass your maximum target heart rate as fast as possible (220 minus your age = MHR). Often, for me, it’s the plain-Jane upright recumbent bike.

The best time to do cardio for fat burning purposes is when you have burned the most glycogen, which is generally post-workout after a hard weight lifting session.

Warm up for a few minutes, and then cycle full out for 20-30 seconds, and by full out I mean pedaling as hard and fast as you possibly can grasping the handles for dear life with the resistance as high as it will go. Rest for a minute or two (depending on your conditioning), catch your breath, and hit it hard for 30 seconds again. Start with 5 cycles lasting maybe 10 minutes to start and slowly increase the time every couple weeks. Do two sessions a week in conjunction with your regular weight lifting, add in a third after a few weeks to a max of four in the fourth week. Continue that until you feel your joints getting burnt out, take a week or two off, and repeat the cycle.

A typical shift on the ice in hockey is 30 seconds at max HR. Logically, this form of cardio prepares you for that.

If you get bored of the bike, go hill sprinting in the same fashion (20 seconds up the hill, 1-2 minutes slowly back down) or my personal favourite, car pushes, as the video below depicts. Make sure you have lots of road to work with!


Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.