Beyond Athletics

Easy Guide to Summer Cardio for Student-Athletes

runner works out summer cardio on treadmill
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(Flickr – E’Lisa Campbell)

Summer days – especially for those of us who live in changing climates – are best enjoyed outside. June, July and August are our only small window of longer days and warmer weather. While it seems to make the most sense to take advantage of moving our workouts outside, too, sometimes breaking a gym routine isn’t a desirable idea, no matter what the temperature.

Maybe you like being in the gym. Maybe you have issues with increased temperatures (I totally get you) or the potential havoc a new terrain could bring on your joints.

I personally love being outdoors, but when it comes to a workout regime – and this may be due to the fact that I do live in a cold weather climate – even in the summer months, I like to keep a pretty steady rhythm going to the actual gym, with an outdoor run mixed-in here and there.

I know there are a lot of student-athletes out there with similar feelings on this topic, so I wanted to take some time to offer a few ways to keep gym cardio – treadmill, track, bike, elliptical – fresh and effective.

Below are two simple yet challenging routines to try. The first can be done on any of the above devices and can be tailored to your particular level of fitness. The second is specific to biking.

45-minute summer cardio

Warm-up: 3 minutes at an easy pace

Round 1
  • 2 minutes: Full throttle! Push yourself as hard as you can go, (this should be challenging and uncomfortable) to hit your max heart rate.
  • 1 minute: Medium Pace – an aggressive run.

*Repeat this round 9 times!*

Round 2
  • 1 minute: Power Walk
  • 1 minute: Full Throttle!

*Repeat this round 5 times!*

Cool down: 5 minute walk

Bike Busting

Warm-up: 5 minutes at steady pace

  • Ride 2 Miles
  • Hop off bike: 25 squats, 10 push-ups
  • Ride 1 mile
  • Hop off bike: 1 minute plank, 25 crunches
  • Ride 1 mile
  • Hop off bike: 20 lunges, 20 bench dips (or push-ups if no bench)

*Repeat three times!*

Cool down: 5 minute slow ride

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About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.