Cardio is one of the main cornerstones of any well-rounded fitness routine. When people think of cardio, they might picture spending hours jogging on the treadmill. While jogging is a great way to get some cardio in, doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom and plateauing. 

A great way to keep things fresh and hit your fitness goals in 2024 is to mix it up. There are many fun and different ways to do cardio that will target different muscle groups and keep your body guessing. In this article, we’ll go over five cardio workouts at the gym you can try in 2024 that will have you burning calories in no time!

1. HIIT Treadmill Workout

Equipment: Treadmill

Goal: Improve Endurance and Speed

Treadmills are the tried-and-true cardio machine you’ve seen a million times. Running for a set amount of time on the treadmill is great, but adding different levels of intensity throughout your session is an awesome way to ramp up the difficulty. 

Using a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) structure on the treadmill will have you feeling great and having fun all at once. HIIT training combines high levels of intensity in small sections of time, followed by a recovery period you’ll repeat until the workout is finished. For example, a treadmill sprint workout might combine HIIT principles by having you run at your highest speed for a minute and then switch back to walking for another minute, with this pattern repeated over a 20- or 30-minute period.

A sample beginner HIIT treadmill workout could look something like:

  • 5 minutes of walking
  • 1 minute of running at 80%
  • 1 minute of recovery walking
  • Repeat running and recovery walking for 30 minutes

2. Elliptical HIIT Workout

Equipment: Elliptical

Goal: Strengthen Lower Body Muscles and Improve Cardiovascular Health

Ellipticals are great for people who are looking for something that is a little more low impact than treadmills. You can increase the resistance and incline on ellipticals to make the workout more challenging if you really want to feel the burn in your legs. Increasing the resistance can also help during elliptical workouts for weight loss, as it will add a bit of challenge and burn more calories.

As you try elliptical HIIT workouts, it’s important to keep good posture and foot placement on the elliptical in order to get the most out of your workout and reduce the risk of injury. 

A sample HIIT workout on an elliptical might look like:

  • 5 minutes of warming up at a low resistance
  • 30 seconds of high-resistance movement at a fast pace
  • 30 seconds of low resistance movement at a slow pace
  • Alternate between the above 2 for 15 minutes
  • A 5-minute Cooldown

Jumprope and jumprope sneakers

3. Jump Rope Circuit

Equipment: Jump Rope

Goal: Enhance Agility and Coordination While Burning Calories

Jump rope circuits are a great choice for people who either don’t have time to hit the gym frequently or would like a workout with more simple equipment. Most gyms have jump ropes available for members, and due to its ability to burn calories and increase agility, it can be one of the best cardio workouts at the gym, according to a a widely cited study.

Jump roping for cardio is very different from the games you might have played as a kid in gym class. If you give your max effort the whole time, you’ll be shedding pounds before you know it.

A sample beginner’s jump rope circuit might look something like:

  • 30 seconds of standard jumps
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • 30 seconds right foot hops
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • 30 seconds left foot hops
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • Rest for 10 seconds 
  • 30 seconds of standard jumps

4. Rowing Pyramid

Equipment: Row Machine

Goal: Whole Body Muscle Targeting While Burning Calories

If you’re looking to build muscle while shedding pounds, rowing pyramids might be just what you’re looking for. Rowing targets a huge amount of muscle groups in the body, such as the legs, back, and core.

Rowing is also a great way to switch up your workout from the normal elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike circuits that people normally turn to when they’re trying to get some cardio in. If you’ve never used a rowing machine before, take some time to look up the proper technique, as the movement is a little different than what you might be used to when you think of cardio. 

A sample rowing pyramid might look something like:

  • 30 seconds of light rowing
  • 30 seconds of hard Rowing
  • 1 minute of light rowing
  • 1 minute of hard rowing 
  • 2 minutes of light rowing
  • 2 minutes of hard rowing
  • 3 minutes of light rowing
  • 3 minutes of hard rowing
  • 2 minutes of light rowing
  • 2 minutes of hard rowing
  • 1 minute of light rowing
  • 1 minute of hard rowing

Zumba at Physiq Fitness in Salem Oregon

5. Dance Party

Equipment: None!

Goal: Have Fun While Burning Calories and Improving Coordination

Dance classes are an awesome way to burn calories while having a great time! You don’t need any equipment or a huge amount of space to get a great workout in for a dance workout, and it’s a fantastic way to up your coordination and balance.

Our gyms offer Zumba and Cardio Dance classes! View our class descriptions and schedules here.

Up Your Cardio Game at Physiq Fitness

If you live in Salem, Keizer, Albany, or Lancaster, Oregon, and want to level up your cardio workouts, Physiq Fitness has you covered. Our gyms are filled with everything you need to maximize your workouts and keep your body guessing. When you’re more of a class person, QFIT Team Training is our cutting-edge small-group fitness program that offers five different styles of HIIT classes. We also offer many larger group fitness classes to ensure all of our members’ fitness needs are met.

Learn more about QFIT Team Training and our membership options today! With five convenient locations in the Salem area, we’d love to help you on your way to a happier, healthier lifestyle. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and ask!