If you’ve ever lifted weights before, you’ve used the pyramid method—start with a higher number of reps and then add weight and decrease the reps. The same idea can be applied to cardio, too. The crucial difference here is that you won’t be adding weight. Rather, you’ll be forced to do fewer reps as you fatigue. As the sets you’re doing take their toll, you’ll ease up just enough to keep the work-out going and the calories burning instead of stopping to take long rest periods that lengthen your training time.
Perform one set of each exercise in turn, resting as little as possible (aim for 10–30 seconds, but you can take more time if you need it). That’s one round. Repeat five more times, decreasing the reps. Your reps for all six rounds are 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2.
1. Battling Rope Slam
Use a 1&1/2 to 2-inch diameter battling rope. Hold an end in each hand and get into an athletic stance with knees and hips bent. raise both arms overhead and explosively whip the ropes into the floor. That’s one rep.
From standing, squat down and plant your hands on the floor. Shoot your legs behind you so you end up in pushup position, and then reverse the motion quickly to come back up to standing.
3. One-Arm Kettlebell Swing
Stand with feet shoulder width and hold a kettlebell (or dumbbell) in one hand. Bend your hips back and then your knees so the weight hangs between your legs and your lower back is flat. Explosively extend your hips and let the momentum help you swing the weight up to shoulder level.
4. Slalom Jump
Set up a small hurdle— about six to eight inches high—or load 10 or 25-pound plates on a barbell and place it on the floor. Stand to one side of the hurdle and jump over it laterally. Immediately jump back. Each jump is one rep.
5. Full-Range Mountain Climber
Get into pushup position and jump your left foot up to the outside of your left hand. Your shin should be vertical and your right leg straight so that you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip. Hold it for a second. Jump your left foot back and the right foot forward. That’s one rep.