After trying The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max DVD, my thighs were never the same. And neither was my gym routine, which I realized was just not challenging enough. When you canâ€™t afford to work out with a trainer, itâ€™s easy to get lazy at the gym. I would spend 30-40 minutes on weights and 35-45 minutes doing cardio, but I didnâ€™t really get that sweaty or exhausted. My body had become accustomed to my workouts and it wasnâ€™t making much of a difference anymore.
One solution would be to do The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max routine every day (or several times a week), but I canâ€™t just stay in my house all the time – and like a lot of exercisers, I need some variety. I also donâ€™t want to waste the gym membership Iâ€™ve already paid for, and I notice that my muscles are firmer when I do the cool Hoist weight machines at my gym.
So hereâ€™s my new solution: circuit training that combines both The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max workout AND my beloved weight machines. Instead of sitting around and zoning out between sets, I took a pair of 5-pound weights and did the lunges, squats and other aerobic exercises I knew from the DVD routine. My heart rate shot up and I started sweating a lot! If I was on a leg machine, I would incorporate some arm work â€“ and vice versa. The more muscle groups you work, the harder your heart has to work, and the more calories youâ€™ll burn. I also threw in some challenging yoga poses, like a long chair pose, and some of the weights-plus-yoga moves from The Biggest Loser: Weight Loss Yoga DVD (what can I say, I love Bob Harper). Why not do some bicep curls while youâ€™re already working your quads in the warrior positions? If you get too tired during the circuits, you can always drop the weights or take a few seconds to catch your breath.
The best part about adding some new exercises in between your weight reps is that youâ€™re burning more calories in less time. After a 30 or 40 minute routine, you wonâ€™t need to spend an hour on the elliptical. A half-hour of really huffing and puffing is more beneficial than an hour of too-light cardio (aka zoning out) that wonâ€™t make you break a sweat.
Here are some examples of my workout. For all weight machines, I did 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Between sets of Lat Pulldown, I did lunges without weights. Raise your arms to the sky at the beginning, then swing your arms around and down as you step forward, hands angled toward the ground on either side of your lunging leg.
- Between sets of hip abductor and adductor: since these machines are all about legs, get your arms moving between sets by going into Warrior 2 and then doing bicep curls. You might also do lunges with weights in hand, raising your weights into shoulder presses as you lunge.
Take a look at this video for more examples of the small exercises you can add into your weight routine: