10 Cardio Workouts at the Gym: From Easy to Intense



Have you ever ever felt bored or sick of the identical cardio routine? Shedding pounds or getting in form is not probably the most enjoyable course of. Between restrictive diets and the identical boring, monotonous cardio exercises, it may be difficult to remain motivated. Operating on the treadmill or driving the bicycle aimlessly could be brutally boring and sometimes would not produce the outcomes you had been hoping for. Discovering the proper mixture of depth and effectiveness is crucial when selecting a cardio routine. Relying on one’s physique composition and targets, individuals can select high-intensity cardio (HIIT) or low-intensity cardio (LISS). On this article, we’ll offer you the ten greatest cardio exercises on the fitness center, from best/beginner-level to most tough. 

Desk of Contents

  • Cardio Exercise Fundamentals: Excessive-Depth vs. Low-Depth
  • 10 Cardio Exercises
  • Different Cardio Exercises
  • Advantages of Cardio
  • Cardio Suggestions
  • FAQs

Cardio Exercise Fundamentals: Excessive-Depth vs. Low-Depth

Cardiovascular train and cardio exercises usually fall into two classes: high-intensity interval coaching (HIIT) or lower-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio. Your health targets will decide which cardio exercises to make use of in your health routine. 

One examine in contrast the caloric expenditure of power coaching, high-intensity interval coaching, and lower-intensity cardio exercises on the treadmill and biking for a similar length. The outcomes confirmed that HIIT exercises burned considerably extra energy than power coaching, working, and biking.¹ Excessive-intensity exercises with intervals of relaxation look like probably the most environment friendly solution to burn energy shortly. 

sprinting on a treadmill

Prime 10 Cardio Exercises: Simple to Intense

An efficient cardio exercise ought to have a warm-up, primary exercise, and cool-down parts. On this part, we provides you with ten exercises ranked from best to hardest. 

1. Brisk Strolling/Gentle Bike Trip (Low Depth)

Maybe probably the most simple cardio exercise of all – strolling! You may substitute the brisk stroll for a lightweight bike experience, leisurely swim, or different low-intensity train. A brisk stroll, or roughly 3.5 miles per hour, burns roughly 260 energy per hour for a 150-lb particular person. 

  • Stroll briskly (or gentle bike) outdoors or on a treadmill (or bike) at a gentle tempo. 
  • Give attention to sustaining the identical velocity the entire time. 
  • 30-60 minutes
  • Add an incline on the treadmill (or different resistance), or select a tougher strolling route with hills/inclines for a sophisticated or tougher possibility. 

2. Newbie Body weight Circuit

There are a couple of extra superior circuits beneath, however this newbie body weight cardio exercise is straightforward and efficient. The nice half about body weight workouts is that you are able to do them wherever, not simply within the fitness center. After the warm-up, you full one set of every train, then repeat two occasions for a complete of three rounds. To make this system tougher, attempt including weights to the workouts, including a further train, or including rounds to the circuit. 

  • Heat-Up

    • 5 minutes of brisk strolling on a treadmill (2-3 MPH)
  • Exercise

    • Leaping Jacks: 3 units of 10-15 reps
    • Hindu Squats: 3 units of 10-15 reps
    • Mountain Climbers: 3 units of 10-15 reps
    • Burpees: 3 units of 5 reps
  • Cool-Down

    • 5 minutes of static stretching (full physique)

3. Treadmill Intervals 

A primary treadmill interval exercise is a superb introduction to HIIT. It is a straight-forward HIIT formatted exercise that alternates gentle strolling intervals with bursts of all-out sprints. 

For a mean treadmill, the next speeds ought to be used:

  • 2-3 MPH = warm-up and cool-down velocity
  • 4-6 MPH = average jog
  • 6-8 MPH = average/quick job at roughly 8-10 minute mile
  • 8-10 MPH = HIIT goal velocity 
  • 10-12 MPH = extraordinarily quick, for superior runners
  • Heat-Up

    • 5 minutes of sunshine strolling on a treadmill (2-3 MPH)
    • 2 minutes of dynamic stretching (leg kicks, strolling toe touches, knee grabs, trunk rotations, and many others.)
  • Exercise

    • Run for two minutes at a tempo you’ll be able to comfortably run for five minutes. 
    • 1 minute of sunshine strolling. Maintain your abs engaged, and take deep breaths to get your coronary heart fee down.
    • Repeat for 5 rounds and enhance velocity every spherical by 2-3 ranges (2-3 MPH)
  • Cool-Down

    • 5 minutes of sunshine strolling

Rowing cardio

4. 10-20-30

The ten-20-30 exercise is a standard cardio template that may be adjusted for varied issue ranges. It entails 30 seconds of low-intensity train, 20 seconds of moderate-intensity, and 10 seconds of max-intensity, due to this fact “10-20-30”.

  • Carry out every train for 30 seconds at a average tempo, then 20 seconds at a quicker tempo, after which 10 seconds at most effort. Relaxation for 30-60 seconds between workouts. Repeat for a number of rounds.
    • Superior Possibility: 40/20 (40 seconds work, 20 seconds relaxation)
  • You may select one train or do a circuit. 
  • Pattern workouts: Soar squats, plank jacks, bicycle crunches, leaping lunges, skaters, and high-knees. 
  • Heat-Up

    • 5 minutes of dynamic stretching
  • Exercise Circuit

    • Low-intensity: 30 seconds of a lightweight jog
    • Average: 20 seconds of a average run
    • Excessive: 10 seconds of max-effort dash
    • Repeat for 5-10 cycles
  • Cool-Down

    • 5 minutes of sunshine strolling

5. Energy Coaching/Cardio Exercise Circuit (and 30-30)

This routine combines body weight workouts with cardio workouts for an excellent exercise. The examine we referenced above confirmed that combining resistance coaching with cardio is the easiest way to burn energy. This beginner-level exercise could be made tougher by including extra train, utilizing weights, or doing extra rounds. Carry out every train for 30-60 seconds with minimal relaxation between workouts. Repeat for a number of rounds.

The 30-30 possibility is a sophisticated HIIT model of this exercise. The 30-30 plan consists of 30 seconds at max effort of every train, adopted by 30 seconds of lively relaxation, akin to jogging in place or wall-sits. Repeat for rounds. 

6. Rowing Machine 1500 M Intervals

The rowing machine is likely one of the greatest cardio machines accessible, because it combines cardio with resistance coaching. The consumer grabs a bar from a seated place (like a cable row) and pulls their physique in direction of their chest in a rowing movement. This works your entire physique, together with arms, again, core, and legs. Make sure you maintain your chest up and toes hip-width aside, and interact your total physique by means of the motion. The most important mistake individuals make is attempting to solely use their arms. 

  • Heat Up

    • 5 minutes of light-moderate cardio on a treadmill/row machine
  • Predominant Exercise

    • 200 M rows as quick as potential
    • 100 M rows low-intensity resting interval
    • Repeat for five cycles
  • Cool Down

    • 5 minutes of sunshine cardio on a treadmill/row machine
    • 5 minutes of static stretching (full physique)

assault bike workout

7. Bike/Burpee Ladder

This exercise follows the ladder format, which is whenever you climb upwards or down in weight/reps/units. For this exercise, you begin on the prime of the ladder for distance traveled and reduce (go down) every spherical. On the identical time, you begin on the ground for burpees and climb up the ladder by doing extra reps. 

  • Heat-up
    • 5 minutes of light-to-moderate biking
    • 2 minutes of decrease physique dynamic stretching
  • Exercise
    • Spherical 1: 500m stationary bike as quick as potential, then 2 burpees
    • Spherical 2: 400m bike as quick as potential, then 4 burpees
    • Spherical 3: 300m bike as quick as potential, then 6 burpees
    • Spherical 4: 200m bike as quick as potential, then 8 burpees
    • Spherical 5: 100m bike as quick as potential, then 10 burpees
  • Cool-down
    • 5 minutes of sunshine biking
    • 5 minutes of static stretching

8. Tabata (HIIT)

Tabata is arguably probably the most well-known HIIT exercise, nevertheless it’s not for the faint of coronary heart. It entails one full-body exercise divided into four-minute blocks that blend maximum-intensity spurts of cardio and power coaching with relaxation intervals.

After you full a four-minute cycle, take a break for a couple of minutes, after which you are able to do one other Tabata cycle. The common Tabata exercise burns roughly 14.5 energy per minute, which leads to roughly 280 energy for a twenty-minute exercise. 

  • Carry out every train for 20 seconds at most effort, adopted by 10 seconds of relaxation. Repeat for 8 rounds (4 minutes per train). 
  • You may select one train or alternate between completely different workouts.
  • 4 minutes is the usual, however you’ll be able to work as much as 10 minutes. 
  • 10 minutes = 20 units complete = 6.6 minutes of high-intensity work complete
  • Different workouts you should utilize:
    • Squat jumps
    • Push-ups
    • Burpees
    • Mountain climbers
    • Sprinting
    • Excessive knees
    • Soar rope
    • Field jumps
    • Pull-ups
    • Hindu squats

Tabata Exercise: Repeat 8 Rounds

  • Body weight squats

    • 20 seconds of squats
    • 10 seconds relaxation
  • Push up

    • 20 seconds of push-ups
    • 10 seconds relaxation
  • Burpees

    • 20 seconds of burpees
    • 10 seconds relaxation
  • Mountain Climbers

    • 20 seconds of mountain Climbers
    • 10 seconds relaxation

9. StairMaster HIIT Intervals/Pyramid

The Stair climber machine is likely one of the greatest within the fitness center, as few can rival the whole physique sweat it produces. The stair climber can be nice for sculpting muscle by working the calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hips. It is a extremely superior exercise I’ve used for chopping with wonderful outcomes. Honest warning – you may be dripping from each pore in your physique, together with your knuckles. 

  • Heat Up

  • Predominant Exercise

    • 1 minute of Degree 10
    • 30 seconds of Degree 7
    • 1 minute of Degree 11
    • 30 seconds of Degree 8 
    • 1 minute of Degree 13
    • 30 seconds of Degree 9 
    • 1 minute of Degree 14
    • 30 seconds of Degree 10
    • 30 seconds of Degree 15
    • 1 minute of Degree 10
    • 30 seconds of Degree 14 
    • 1 minute of Degree 9
    • 30 seconds of Degree 13
    • 1 minute of Degree 8
    • 30 seconds of Degree 12
    • 1 minute of Degree 7
    • 30 seconds of Degree 11
  • Cool Down

10. “Craziest Cardio Exercise” (EMOM)

The “craziest cardio exercise” was revealed in Males’s Well being and went viral in 2015. It entails an intense circuit containing almost all the most effective cardio exercises. Every train within the circuit targets a distinct muscle, leading to a complete physique exercise. For the workouts that contain weights (or kettlebells), use a heavy weight that’s difficult to finish.

The routine makes use of a standard approach often called EMOM (each minute on the minute). That is whenever you begin a brand new train firstly of every minute and use the remaining time for relaxation, then repeat for a lot of rounds. 

cardio on an elliptical

Different Cardio Exercises

The ten exercises above can be utilized precisely as is or as a template with varied workouts. Another cardio exercises embrace:

  • Dancing: Dancing is likely one of the most enjoyable methods to get your coronary heart fee and blood pumping. Most gyms supply a wide range of enjoyable dance courses as a solution to incorporate cardio into your health routine. Some in style courses embrace Zumba, Jazzercise, and Hip-Hop Abs. There are numerous issue ranges and speeds, so there’s an possibility for everybody!
  • Swimming: Swimming is likely one of the greatest cardio exercises as a result of it has a low affect on the physique and works your entire physique simply by preventing gravity. One minute of quick swimming burns roughly 15 energy. It is also one of many extra enjoyable and stress-free choices!
  • Leaping Rope: We included this in some circuits, however leaping rope is a whole exercise. There’s a purpose why boxers and different athletes swear by it – it is easy to do, and it is efficient. 
  • Elliptical Machine: One of the in style machines within the fitness center, the Elliptical is a good low-impact different to working. It was designed to be an efficient full exercise with out placing stress in your knees, hips, and ankles. A median 180-lb male can lose roughly 500-600 energy per hour on an Elliptical. 
  • Kickboxing: Kickboxing and different types of boxing or martial arts are nice methods to burn energy. These exercises could be satisfying and helpful as a result of they educate self-defense whereas losing a few pounds!

Advantages of Cardio

A few of the well being advantages of persistently doing cardio exercises embrace:

  1. Cardiovascular well being: The time period “cardio” is derived from the Greek phrase for coronary heart. Any sort of cardio train will increase respiratory and coronary heart fee, in addition to blood and oxygen circulation to the muscle tissues. Keep in mind, the center is a muscle, so cardio exercises assist to strengthen the cardiovascular system, making it simpler to pump blood. 
  2. Endurance: Cardio exercises enhance your VO2 max, which is the speed at which your physique makes use of oxygen throughout train. This implies your physique can soak up and use oxygen extra effectively throughout cardio, so you’ll be able to exercise longer. The improved oxygen effectivity and elevated lung capability lead to larger endurance general. 
  3. Weight administration: Individuals do cardio exercises primarily to burn energy and attempt to shed extra pounds. Cardio additionally helps increase metabolism, which permits the physique to burn extra energy at relaxation. That is why bodybuilders nonetheless carry out cardio. 
  4. Improved temper: Cardio exercises set off the discharge of endorphins and different hormones that make you are feeling higher. Cardio exercises are a good way to alleviate stress, anxiousness, and melancholy. That is additionally why individuals discuss with “runners excessive,” which is the euphoria of the endorphins. 
  5. Extra vitality: Common cardio train helps enhance circulation, permitting extra oxygen and vitamins to journey by means of the physique. Cardio additionally tires the physique, which makes it simpler to go to sleep and permits for a extra restful sleep, which permits the physique to get well higher. 
  6. Mind/Psychological well being: Research have proven that common train improves cognitive perform on account of improved blood stream and synaptic exercise.² Cardio exercises additionally assist to enhance reminiscence and focus whereas additionally defending from neurodegenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s.
  7. Total high quality of life: If you persistently do cardio exercises, you’ll slowly discover an improved high quality of life. On a regular basis actions, like climbing the steps or unloading the groceries, develop into simpler as you enhance your health degree. Issues like improved sleep, extra vitality, and improved mobility make day by day life simpler, whereas staying match additionally helps stop accidents, diseases, and illnesses.

exercise bike workout

Cardio Suggestions

On this part, we provides you with some essential suggestions to assist maximize your cardio exercises. 

  • Heat-Up: A correct warm-up is vital to a profitable exercise freed from accidents. Your routine ought to encompass dynamic stretching (lively actions) that mimic what you may be doing (like arm swings should you’re doing rows). You can too use train machines just like the treadmill or stationary bike, however work at a leisurely tempo. 
  • Begin Small: In case you begin with a too tough exercise, you may be setting your self up for failure. If you cannot full the complete exercise, make changes (much less time, simpler degree, and many others.) and slowly work your means as much as the end. 
  • Give attention to Eating regimen: Eating regimen is arguably probably the most crucial think about losing a few pounds as a result of your physique needs to be in a caloric deficit. Eat a balanced weight loss program and check out chopping further energy, like iced espresso or sugary snacks. This does not imply ravenous your self – your physique wants the correct gasoline to get you thru your exercises. 
  • Get a Fitness center Buddy/Coach: Having a fitness center accomplice or private coach to maintain you motivated and push you thru the times whenever you really feel like giving up. A fitness center buddy also can maintain you accountable for reaching your targets. 
  • Keep Hydrated: Like every athlete, staying hydrated is important for fulfillment and general well being. You have to be sweating an honest quantity with these exercises, so changing that and staying hydrated is crucial.


On this part, we reply among the mostly requested questions associated to cardio exercises on the fitness center. 

Moreover working on the treadmill, what different varieties of cardio can I do?

The perfect cardio workouts embrace swimming, biking, leaping rope, kickboxing, dancing, rowing, and the stair stepper. 

How a lot cardio do you have to do every week in case you are attempting to construct muscle? To shed extra pounds?

If you wish to acquire dimension and add muscle, it’s best to do low-impact cardio two to a few occasions per week, at the least six hours aside from lifting weights. To shed extra pounds, you could discover a solution to do cardio every single day. 

What’s the single greatest cardio machine for weight reduction and burning energy?

Research have proven that working on the treadmill burns probably the most energy in comparison with an Airdyne air bike, stationary bike, rowing machine, stair stepper, and cross-country snowboarding simulator.³

What’s the greatest cardio train for constructing muscle?

The Stair Grasp is a good cardio train that builds muscle. Stair steppers work the calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. You can also make it tougher by carrying a weighted vest or holding gentle dumbbells.

hiit workout


Discovering the proper cardio exercise could require trial and error, however it will likely be extraordinarily rewarding whenever you do. Most gyms have a number of machines that can be utilized for cardiovascular train, so do not restrict your self to the treadmill or Elliptical. In case you have restricted spare time and should be as environment friendly as potential, HIIT exercises are the most suitable choice. In case you have joint points and wish to enhance endurance, promote restoration, and burn energy over an prolonged time frame, a low-intensity regular state (LISS) exercise is greatest for you. Bodybuilders will use LISS throughout the low season for general well being and to spice up metabolism, whereas they may use HIIT to chop weight throughout season prep. No matter the place you might be in your health journey, now we have a exercise plan possibility that can assist you attain your targets. 


  1. Falcone, Paul H., et al. “Caloric Expenditure of Cardio, Resistance, or Mixed Excessive-Depth Interval Coaching Utilizing a Hydraulic Resistance System in Wholesome Males.” Journal of Energy and Conditioning Analysis, vol. 29, no. 3, Mar. 2015, pp. 779–785, https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000000661.
  2. Ferrer-Uris, Blai, et al. “Can Train Form Your Mind? A Overview of Cardio Train Results on Cognitive Perform and Neuro-Physiological Underpinning Mechanisms.” AIMS Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 2, 2022, pp. 150–174, https://doi.org/10.3934/neuroscience.2022009.
  3. Zeni, A. I., et al. “Power Expenditure with Indoor Train Machines.” JAMA, vol. 275, no. 18, 8 Could 1996, pp. 1424–1427, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8618368/.


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