Wellness Wednesday: “The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max” Guide

By: Sarah Loftus

I did “The Biggest Loser Workout: Cardio Max” workout video with my roommate a month ago. In spite of twisting my ankle during the video, the rest of my body felt great the next morning, better than it does after a workout at Southwest Recreation Center. So I decided to take the plunge and spend $15 to get my own copy. Yup, I bought it online, and it was really that cheap.

The video workouts are exactly as they sound- cardio intensive, so use it if you’re looking to burn fat and tone up.

Photo Credit: www.rodalestore.com
Photo Credit: http://www.rodalestore.com

Here’s the lowdown on the video.

Once I started doing it regularly, it honestly wasn’t as great as I thought would be, but I’ve quickly learned how to maximize the workouts.

First off, the video offers a warm-up and cool-down and three levels of cardio workouts. You’re supposed to do the first level of cardio for the first two weeks, level two cardio for weeks three and four and finish the last two weeks off with level three. But that’s definitely not the best way to do it.

I quickly discovered that level one cardio doesn’t work your arms out well. You don’t want to only do that, unless you feel like you need to progress slowly, in which case, the program’s original design will probably work for you.

Otherwise, start the first few days with the 5-minute warm up, 20-minute level-one cardio, 10-minute level two cardio and cool-down. When you feel you’re ready, pump it up.

If you have the time, do all three cardio levels with the warm-up and cool-down, which will make the workout 50 minutes. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry: Just do level two and three; the workout will be 30 minutes.

If you’re still really pressed for time, like maybe you have three midterms to study for,  just do level two. I’ve found that level two is the best workout. Your arms, legs and abs all get an equal workout. Every level is supposed to exercise all three of those areas equally, but level one doesn’t have a lot of arms, and level three just isn’t as intensive as level two.

Benefits of the video

  1. Your heart rate gets so high. For me, it feels better than doing the elliptical for an hour. I even think it’s better than running. Plus, it’s shorter. Always a plus as a busy college student.
  2. It’s a different kind of a cardio workout than you can get doing any cardio machine at the gym.

For the best results

  1. There’s not much strength training. Because of that, you still should go to the gym and lift. Remember: Muscle burns more calories than fat does, so you always want to be strength training.
  2. The video offers intense, short amounts of cardio.  Pair it with less intense cardio, like walking. Walking works your core more than running does, and it’s a great way to work your butt and slim your legs.
  3. Instructions on the video say you’re supposed to do it every day, but if you’re just not feeling up to it or don’t have the video, don’t worry about it. Do another workout. It will just make it harder the next time you do it and will be an even better workout because of that.
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