Let’s face it, very few people really enjoy spending endless hours on a treadmill or elliptical, but as much as nutrition plays a vital role in fat loss there is no denying that results will usually be lackluster without some form of cardio.

If you’re sick of performing boring low-intensity, steady-state cardio then we’ve got three great solutions that will whip your butt into shape in less time.

Disclaimer: Be sure to bring your puke bucket along because these workouts are not for the fainthearted!

Hill Sprints

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: Find a hill, sprint up it as fast as you can, walk back down, repeat.

There are many people who complain of joint pain caused by running, so if you find that traditional running on a flat surface wreaks havoc on your ankles, knees, or joints then sprinting up hills might be the solution.

Uphill running works your leg and posterior chain muscles differently to flat running, enabling you to lean into the incline and really give it your all.

What’s more, you can easily add an element of progression from one workout to the next by increasing the number of times you sprint up the hill – simple but not easy!

Barbell Complexes

A complex is a sequence of exercises performed with no rest between each one.

Complexes can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells, or with your own bodyweight depending on the equipment you have available.

If using weights for a complex we prefer to stick with a barbell as it offers greater stability and overall simplicity so that you can focus on cranking out each rep.

Here is a sample barbell complex to get you started:

  • Deadlift x 8
  • Bent-over barbell row x 6
  • Front squat x 8
  • Overhead push press x 5
  • Back squat x 10
  • Rest for 1 – 2 minutes and repeat

This may look simple or even easy but be sure to start with a weight as light as 20 – 30lbs if you want to complete more than a couple of circuits.

We recommend going for 3 – 5 rounds, and once you can easily perform more it will be time to use a heavier barbell.


High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a great alternative to traditional cardio that can be performed either in the form of sprints or on a piece of cardio equipment.

All you have to do is perform an all-out maximum effort phase followed by a rest or ‘cruise’ phase.

A common example would look something like this:

  • 10 seconds all-out sprint
  • 50 seconds jog / walk
  • 10 seconds all-out sprint
  • 50 seconds jog / walk
  • 10 seconds all-out sprint
  • Repeat

If you want to make things more challenging you can simply make your sprint phases a little longer.