At some point in the last 20 years, the term “cardio” became synonymous with light jogging. Jogging leads to 5-hour marathon times, adult participation medals, and “running” injuries from a body locked down from sitting all day. Instead of chasing that Triple Crown of mediocrity, busy guys should approach a 15-minute power cardio workout by aiming to improve power, speed, and endurance.
We’re going to take this workout outside, where many guys waste a lot of time jogging. (Or, worse yet, staring at a smartphone at their kid’s sports practice, where there’s a perfectly good training area around that soccer field or baseball diamond.)
By getting in the fresh air, you’ll find you can shake off the stressors of modern life, and push yourself hard without letting annoying people at the gym get in your way. You’ll also do some resistance training as well, which is essential for building lean muscle and improving your basal metabolic rate. A higher metabolism translates to more calorie-burning—and that’s how you burn more fat.
The 15-minute Cardio Workout: How It Works
In this 15-minute workout for busy guys, we’re going to redefine cardio by pushing through six exercises to make the most of your time.
You’ll notice that one of the exercises is a half-mile run. If you can’t make it outside—because of weather or space constraints—you can replace running with an equivalent bout of high-intensity cardio, like rowing.
Pete Williams is a NASM-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.