Try My 8-Minute Workout "Finisher" to get Super-Lean

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer
Author of best seller: 
The Truth About Six Pack Abs 

I wanted to share with you a really cool "finisher" to my workouts lately that has been awesome! 

Now as you probably know from reading my book and my newsletters, I'm NOT a fan of steady state cardio...in fact, I think it's practically worthless for most of us.

And as you may have read in this anti-cardio machine article of mine, I haven't even stepped foot on a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike in about 7-8 years. I train mostly with weights, bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, outdoor sprints or hill sprints, or recreational stuff like mountain biking, hiking, and skiing.

But I've finally found a good use for the treadmill! 

Here's how I do my 8-minute workout "finisher":

First, I do my normal 30-45 minute weight training session (which might be supersets, circuits, density training, etc).

At the end of my weight training workout, I recently came up with this 8-minute "finisher" which really gets me drenched in sweat and feeling like I really challenged my body.  And it can really "jack-up" your metabolism too!

The 8-minute workout "finisher"

My 8-minute "finisher" basically involves doing some intense fast incline treadmill walking using a weighted vest for extra resistance (awesome workout by itself too!).

My gym has options for 15 or 30-lb weighted vests hidden away in a storage closet. Ask the trainers at your gym if they have weighted vests hidden away somewhere, or just simply buy your own weighted vest on amazon  or elsewhere, and bring it with you for your workout.

I use the 30-lb weighted vest for a little extra challenge compared to the 15-lb vest. 

Then, I start the treadmill, and I set the pace to about 4.0 mph, and the incline to 8.0 incline.  This is my starting point, which I'll increase the incline level as the workout goes on.  I mix in 30 second rest periods where I step off the sides of the treadmill during this workout, in order to make the intensity levels more varied and higher intensity during the work intervals.

Here's how I do this:

  • First 2 minutes:  speed 4.0, incline 8.0
  • 30 second rest (I step off side while letting treadmill keep running at same speed and incline)
  • Next 2 minutes:  speed 4.0, incline 9.0
  • 30 second rest (step off side while letting treadmill keep running)
  • Next 2 minutes:  speed 4.0, incline 10.0
  • 30 second rest (step off side while letting treadmill keep running)
  • Last 1 minute:  speed 4.0, incline 11.0

Progression:  on the next time I do this workout, I'll try to increase the incline level a bit more on each interval, such as 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5, instead of 8, 9, 10, 11.  Each time I try this, I'll include some sort of progression by doing a higher incline or slightly higher speed.

All total, this workout finisher takes 8.5 minutes including the three 30-second rest periods.  Keep in mind that the 30-second rest periods are critical to being able to maintain the high intensity fast walking with the weighted vest during the non-rest intervals. This is crucial for getting the maximum metabolic effect from this workout "finisher".

These 30-second rest intervals also gives your heart a lot more benefit by incorporating more heart rate variability combined with recovery intervals, which we already know is important for strengthening your heart maximally and one reason why steady state cardio is inferior to varied intervals. 

Now keep in mind that this type of 8-minute "finisher" doesn't necessarily replace sprint workouts (either hill sprints or wind sprints).  It's a great variation to mix into your workouts, but sprint workouts have their own benefits and different hormonal benefits too.  By the way, make sure you've tried out Shaun Hadsall's awesome 14-day Stubborn-Fat Protocol here  (it's FREE) if you want to get max benefits from a unique sprint style of training and lose that last bit of lower abdomen fat. 

If you notice, the exertion intervals in this 8-minute "finisher" are 1-2 minutes in length, whereas maximum exertion sprint intervals (wind sprints, hill sprints) which I love to do as well, are typically only 10-20 seconds in duration and are "all-out" in intensity. 

There's benefits to incorporating both styles into your workouts, but max intensity sprints are best for only advanced trainees.

Want some more cool ideas for unique workouts?

Try out a NEW fat-burning, body sculpting 7-minute workout here

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