Ask any woman her ideal body type and the vast majority will most likely answer, “Long and lean,” or “toned and sculpted.” This is how it has been for the past two decades. Though the desired results are the same, methods have changed dramatically. Long, low-impact cardio workouts may not be the most strategic or successful way to attain results.  Instead, short, high-impact interval cardiovascular training has proven to burn more calories during exercise.

Interval training is anaerobic exercise, meaning without oxygen. This increases the lactic acid in your muscles, which your body then needs to use energy to get rid of. The aerobic system is using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy. The end result? This training not only burns more calories during your sweat session, it actually increases your metabolism so your high calorie burn is prolonged throughout the day.

Perform this interval cardio routine three times a week on non-consecutive days. For even faster results and more energy throughout your day, try to fit in this workout right when your sleepyhead wakes up, yes, before breakfast. Then do toning exercises later in the day.

You can perform this routine on your favorite cardio machine or add extra calorie burn by taking it outside and hit some hills!

Burn Baby, Burn Cardio Interval Routine

Warm up for 5 minutes at a level 3 (level 1 would be equivalent to strolling down the street with very slow friends and 10 would be equivalent to sprinting in a race). Then sprint at a level 8 for 60 seconds and back off at a level 4 for 3 minutes. Repeat this sequence. On the third and fourth sequence sprint at a level 9 for 60 seconds and back off at a level 4 for 3 minutes. On the fifth and sixth sequence sprint at a level 10 for 60 seconds and then slow to a level 4 for another 3 minutes.

Go ahead, put on those skinny jeans today!


-Emily Freeman

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