Cardio Home Workouts: The Key to Fat Loss in a Bad Economy

It’s time to throw your gym membership out the door. In a bad economy, you need to cut back where you can. Exercising at home is probably the best way to save a whole bunch of money and get into great shape!

What are my Cardio Options?

Performing cardio at home is very easy. You don’t need to purchase any fancy equipment at all. The following are some cardio activities you can perform with limited to no equipment:


This is an activity that professional boxers use to train for their fights. It requires standing in front of a mirror and basically boxing yourself. They usually practice footwork and punching. However, you can shadowbox practically anywhere just by throwing some punches in the air while bouncing side to side.

Jump roping

A jump rope shouldn’t cost you more than $15. Just the way you were when you were little, just start skipping rope. Eventually, you want to learn some techniques such as doubleunders and crossovers. These techniques will really get your heart rate up and give you a great cardio workout.


Running is the basic cardio choice for most people. Now, I’m talking about running, not jogging. This shouldn’t be an easy run. If you’re only going to run a while, then really run a mile. Try to run that mile as fast as possible.


Calisthenics are those exercises you used to do in your school gym class. They include jumping jacks, windmills, and a variety of other heart pumping movements. You can do circuits of jump roping and running in place for an intense cardio workout.


Sprinting is running all out within a short distance. You can start out by just sprinting from one end of the block to the other. Repeat this 10-12 times for a great fat burning workout. Steadily increase the distance until you can do an all out sprint for approximately 400 meters.

In-Home Cardio Workouts for Beginners

Beginners should ease into their in home cardio workouts. You can set up a very basic 3 days per week, 20 minutes per day routine that will help you lose weight. And because I do not want you to become bored with the routine, I want you to choose 3 separate activities for each day.

Make your Cardio Workouts Harder

After a while, basic cardio will become very boring. You can only shadowbox for so long until your body becomes used to the movement. I am against increasing the time of the movement and prefer increase the intensity of the workout.

The following are some of my favorite cardio intensity techniques:

Descending Reps

This technique works great with shadowboxing, jump roping, and calisthenics. Choose two exercises such as jump roping and jumping jacks. What you want to do is create a workout where the repetitions are steadily decreasing after each round.


Tabata intervals are where you perform 20 seconds of high intensity training followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is performed best with sprinting, but can also be performed with high intensity jump roping or shadowboxing.

Traditional Tabata is performed for a total of 8 intervals, so the workout lasts 4 minutes long. You can perform just one exercise per day, or include other exercises. Beginners should start off by just performing one exercise per day.

If Tabata Intervals are too hard for you, then you can start off with easier intervals such as 30/60, or 30/30. Start off slow, because Tabata intervals are one of the most brutal exercises out there.

One of the best ways to help you with your intervals is to use the GymBoss Interval Timer. It costs just $19.95, and you can program it to help you keep track of any sort of intervals you may use. Click here to grab yours today.

Alternate with Strength Training

Performing cardio movements in a superset fashion with bodyweight or free weight exercises is another great method to help you drop fat really quickly. You get both the cardio and strength benefit with these workouts.

Setting up this workout is very easily. All you need to do is choose one cardio movement, and one bodyweight or dumbbell exercise and alternate between them the way you would perform regular supersets.

Doing Cardio without Doing Cardio

Now it’s time change your mind set. That last technique there, alternating with strength training and cardio is only scratching the surface when it comes to creating cardio workouts without doing cardio. The thing that most people don’t realize is that Cardio is short for the word “Cardiorespiratory.”

In short, you’re training your heart. So as long as you keep your heart rate up, in a way, you’re performing cardio. The cardio effect disappears when you rest too long and let your heart rate return to normal. If you rest for a very short time between two or more strength training exercises, then you will never need to do actual cardio ever again!

Remember one thing: no matter how great a fitness program is, you will never get results from it if it’s not fun. You workouts need to be exciting and challenging. So you need to choose something that you truly enjoy doing.

6 Ways to Transform your Boring Workouts into Intense MMA-Style Workouts

I just love how MMA fighters train. They train with full intensity and are some of the best athletes out there. They need to have combination of a lot of different aspects to become the best in their sports.

MMA fighters need to be strong, powerful, and must have an incredible level of stamina. They also need to have a high tolerance for pain. Over the years, I’ve incorporated MMA style training into my training routine.

The following are my favorite forms of MMA-style training:

“NO REST” Workouts

All my workouts right now involve no rest. For a long time, I trained with supersets, where I would perform 2 exercises back to back with no rest, then rest for 1 minute straight. This form of training gave me great results.

However, after seeing a lot of MMA fight videos, I noticed how little they rest between sets. So that’s when I began to really go all out and see how long I could keep going. At first, I had to reduce the weight on all my movements.

But eventually, I was lifting more than I used to, and feeling better than ever. “NO REST” doesn’t really mean no rest. It means that you keep going for as long as you can, through a variety of movements.

If you need to take a rest, then take a rest, but don’t rest any longer than you actually need to. So right now, I don’t count my rest periods. But they usually are less than a minute, and they’re certainly not planned.

Variety of Implements

I would rotate between bodyweight training, kettlebell training, and barbell training. However, one other thing I realized about MMA fighters is that they incorporate a wide range of exercise implements WITHIN the same workout.

Hence, I began to experiment with combining kettlebell and barbell moves in the same workout. Then barbell and bodyweight. Eventually, my workouts became a mish mash of resistance band, bodyweight, medicine ball, barbell, and kettlebell training.

I try to make my workouts as unique and as different as possible each time. This involves a lot of creativity and research. YouTube is great for coming up with new ideas. But, done for you workouts from a variety of strength coaches online, where you can see a list of unique movements and their descriptions, along with workouts you can use as samples, really helps.

Specific Warm ups

Most trainees have a warm up that they do each and every time. This is the same warm up they do, regardless of the workout they’re doing at the time. This will work for you, but eventually you will need to make your warm ups more specific.

Specific warm ups are important for any athlete, because every single day, you have a different part of your body that hurts more or requires more stretching than the others. In essence, my stretching routines and warm ups have become just as random as my workouts.

It’s a good idea to learn and study as many different stretches and warm up methods as possible. However, the most important thing is to listen to your body. Right when you wake up in the morning, take a mental note of what muscle are sore.

As you walk around the house, take a mental note of what needs to be worked on that day. Do your hips feel tight? Is your back feeling a bit funny? Maybe your lower back is extremely sore from those dead lifts you did the day before.

Bottom line is that you need to adapt your warm ups and stretching routines based on your workouts.

Heavy Strength Days

Because MMA fighting requires so many abilities, fighters train with both light weights and heavy weights. Most have a specific day in the week where they work on their strength. This routine closely resembles a Olympic Lifting or Power Lifting workout.

This is because multi joint lifts such as the snatch, clean, jerk, bench press, squat, and dead lift will help build strength throughout your body. Fighters don’t have time to isolate every single muscle group.

That is why most fighters focus on lifts that will give them the most for their results. However, I have seen a few fighters, such as Matt Hughes, perform isolation movements. You must realize that MMA fighters need to work on different things and different times.

Shadow Boxing

Fighters do a lot of work on heavy bags, focus mitts, and speed bags. They also spar with other partners. However, shadow boxing is another form of training that most people don’t recognize as being important.

Shadow boxing is preferred by many MMA fighters because it allows them to work on speed and coordination without having to hit a stationary target or worry about hurting someone. It’s almost like a lower intensity version of sparring.

I personally love shadowboxing because it’s great cardio. It’s certainly not as boring as running or cycling. You can pretend you’re beating up someone you’re angry at while you shadowbox. Turn up some loud music and go crazy!

Sledgehammer Swinging

Another form of cardio I’ve come to appreciate is sledgehammer swings. Sledgehammer swings are surprisingly fun and intense.

You can get a tire from your local mechanic. Don’t go to a chain tire store because they need to account for all their tires. On the other hand, a local privately owned garage will gladly give you a tire for free.

Sledgehammer’s cost around $30 at your local hardware store. You may need to place something to prevent the tire from bouncing around. I usually like to place a 35lbs weight plate in the center.

Perform your sledgehammer workouts as sets and reps or as timed sets. For example, you can do a 100 swing on one side, then switch to the other side. Or you can do a minute continuous swinging on one side, then switch to the other side.

Either way, you’ll get a great cardio workout.

Start using these methods and implement them into your regular training to transform yourself into an MMA warrior!