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Your goal: Get in three cardio workouts per week, alternating between a steady 30-minute session (do your fave class, a clear-your-head jog -- you name it) and any of the speed-it-up routines below. "As with a car, you don't always want to gun the engine," says Masiello, who picked his most crowd-pleasing interval options for you. "Intervals are great for burning tons of calories, but your body also needs a dose of less-intense aerobics." The best part? The interval sequences are simple to remember, even without these cheat sheets.
Total time: 16 (advanced) to 29 (beginner) minutes
It's easy: Speed up for the number of seconds listed for your level, then go at an easy pace for a minute or two to recover. Repeat 8 times for a complete cardio session.
Warm up for 5 minutes: 3 minutes light walk or jog > 30 seconds at half effort > 30 seconds light walk or jog > 30 seconds at 75 percent of maximum effort > 30 seconds light walk or jog
Choose one of the levels below and repeat 8 times to complete your session.
|Beginner||60-second jog||120-second walk|
|Intermediate||30-second sprint||60- to 90-second walk|
Month 2: Repeat cycle 10 times.
Month 3: Repeat cycle 10 times and cut recovery 10 to 20 seconds.
If you're using a treadmill, there's a lag of 5 to 10 seconds that it takes the belt to reach your target speed. So the sprint time starts when the belt actually hits your selected mph, and the recovery starts once the belt returns to a walk speed.