8 Great Cardio Drills - Superhero Style!

by David Kingsbury

With the new Wonder Woman and Thor films out soon (and the actors’ body transformations making them look toned, sculpted and more gorgeous than ever!), it got us thinking ‘Why let the actors have all the fun?!’ so we’ve enlisted the help of A-List personal trainer David Kingsbury to show us how it’s done. With clients including Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Chastain and even Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, he’s definitely the man in the know.


‘Being strong in a land of superheroes isn’t enough. It’s endurance that will win the battle. A superhero has to have all round fitness and endurance. These eight exercises and sessions will not only increase your endurance prowess but also your energy pathways’ says David.


Here are his tip 8 cardio drills to help you get into superhero shape in no time:
 


DRILL 1: ROWER


5min easy row
200m sprint for 200m
200m easy row
5min easy row


Why? The rowing machine provides a total body workout and is therefore great for top end endurance.  

How To Use The Rowing Machine:

  • Secure your feet on the pads with the straps tight enough so your feet don't move around as you slide.
  • Pull the handle with you as you slide to the end of the machine. 
  • Use your legs to drive the movement.
  • Once your legs are fully extended, pull hard with your arms.
  • Lean back as you are pulling to get a full extension. 
  • Maintain a flat back throughout the movement and try to avoid excessive curving of the spine. 

DRILL 2: TREADMILL SPRINTS (30 MINS)
 

5min jog
4 x 15secs push sprinting
1min rest
3 x 1min hill sprint
90secs rest
2 x 5min hard incline runs
3min walk
5min cool down


Why? Treadmill sprints are deigned to improve a number of energy systems and maximum effort will provide T1000 running skills.


How To Do Treadmill Sprints:

  • Start your workout by jogging to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for your sprinting workout.
  • For the first sprints the treadmill will be not running but with the incline up and you will be using for maximum sprint to drive the belt round. 
  • For the other efforts use the treadmill settings to get the appropriate speed for maximum intensity for each effort. 

DRILL 3: SLED PUSHING


5min warm up
20secs sprint
10secs rest

8 rounds
5min cool down


Why? This is a really hard session and I actually feel bad writing it! Endurance is a physical and mental trait and this workout will test both your fitness and your metal determination.


How To Do Sled Pushing:

  • Lean forward and keep a stiff, neutral spine.
  • Place your hands low on the handles of the sled.
  • Placing too much force on the top of the sled will just work against you so be ‘light’.
  • Once you get going, do not slow down!
  • The hardest part is starting.

DRILL 4: JUMP ROPE
 

1 x 20mins


Why? Replace your steady state cardio with a 20min skipping effort to boost endurance. Skipping is a great superhero tool for fitness, rhythm and co-ordination.  


How To Skip:

  • Running in place with the rope is one of the easiest rope skipping patterns to learn.
  • Remain stationary, lifting the knees high with each turn of the rope.
  • You will essentially be running in place with high knees, with the addition of a fast spinning rope.
  • This style of rope work is easy to learn and excellent for conditioning.

DRILL 5: WATT BIKE / SPIN BIKE
 

5min warm up
4 x 6secs sprint
1min rest
3 x 1min effort
1min rest
1 x 12min max. sustained effort
5min cool down


Why? The bike is a terrific low impact cardio option for superheroes and this session will have your fitness levels soaring!


How To Use The Spin Bike:

  • Keep your head up, looking about 10-20 yards on the ‘road’ ahead.
  • When setting up, your knees want to be a couple of inches from complete lockout at the bottom of the movement so be careful not to have the seat to high or low.
  • Adjust your revolutions per minute and resistance to get the appropriate intensity for each interval. 

DRILL 6: BURPEES
 

50 or 100 reps as quickly as possible (time yourself)


Apologies in advance but superheroes love burpees! They do them all the time! Time your rounds so you can aim to get quicker each time and don’t forget that fitness is fun – right?!


How To Do Burpees:

  • Begin in squat position with your hands on floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back into push up position.
  • Return your feet to squat position.
  • Jump up as high as possible and reach your arms overhead.
  • Return to start position. Repeat for specified time.

DRILL 7: POWER WALK
 

60mins 


Why? Low intensity exercise should always play a part in any training plan, time permitting. It increases your aerobic capacity and improves fat metabolism but with low intensity movements.


How To Power Walk:

  • Walk fast
  • Aim for around 60-70% of maximum heart rate.

DRILL 8: RESISTANCE CARDIO
 

Pre-notes: 

  • Perform 15 reps of every exercise.
  • Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes

Bodyweight squats
Squat thrusts
Lunges (15 each side)
Mountain climbers (15 each side)

 





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