Spice Up Your Indoor Cardio Routine

Are you sick of your cardio routines dragging by at the gym?


With the cold Wisconsin winters, most people don’t like running or walking outside, but running on the treadmill every day can get monotonous. The same routine every day may not be the most effective way to improve fitness or lose weight for you. To benefit your cardiovascular health and increase your calorie burn during exercise. It is important to include variation in your cardio program to create new stimuli for your muscles and allow for adaptation and progression. Here are some tips to spice up your indoor cardio routine, and hopefully make the time go by faster!


Add Interval Work

  1. Adjust the speed, incline, and/or resistance (depending on the machine) every few minutes to break up the total time.

  2. Below are some example workouts for the different cardio equipment available at RCW!

Cycle Speed Interval Workout (60 minutes)

  • 10 min warm-up

  • 4x (1 min pick-up/1 min recovery pedal)

  • 4x (2 min pick-up/1 min recovery pedal)

  • 4x (3 min pick-up/1 min recovery pedal)

  • 1x (5 min pick-up/1 min recovery pedal)

  • 10 min cool-down.

Treadmill Incline Workout (60 minutes)

  • 10 min warm-up

  • 10x (3 mins at 15-20% incline/1 min at 0% incline)

  • 10 min cool-down

Stair Climber Speed-Builder Workout (30 minutes)

  • 10 min warm-up

  • 5x (2 mins of increasing the speed every 30 seconds)

  • 10 min cool-down.

Elliptical Incline Buster Workout (30 minutes)

  • 3 min warm-up (7% incline, 9 resistance)

  • 3:00-6:00 minutes at 9% incline and 12 resistance

  • 6:00-9:00 minutes at 12% incline and 10 resistance

  • 9:00-12:00 minutes at 10% incline and 13 resistance

  • 12:00-15:00 minutes at 13% incline and 11 resistance

  • 15:00-18:00 minutes at 11% incline and 14 resistance

  • 18:00-21:00 minutes at 14% incline and 12 resistance

  • 21:00-24:00 minutes at 12% incline and 15 resistance

  • 24:00-27:00 minutes at 15% incline and 13 resistance

  • 3 min cool-down (7% resistance, 9 incline).

Rowing Speed Interval Workout (25 minutes)

  • 5 min warm-up

  • 3 sets of 5x (45 seconds maximum effort/15 seconds recovery) with 1 min rest between each set

  • 3 min cool-down


This may seem complicated but adding in intervals to your workout can be as simple as alternating between walking and running every 2-3 minutes on the treadmill!

Mix Up Your Machines

  1. Try using a different cardio machine – treadmill, cycle bike, elliptical, stair climber or rower each day or split up your time on 2 machines.

  2. Try jumping rope or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – we offer group exercise HIIT classes!

Ditch the Music

  1. Listen to a podcast or audiobook instead of music

  2. Watch a tv show or movie on your phone

  3. If you do listen to music, find a playlist that has songs set to a certain cadence (ex: 90-95 RPM for cycling or 170 spm for running)


Recent Posts

See All