The Bottom Line
- An excellent interval workout perfect for beginners or those new to interval training
- Inspirational (but not annoying) pep talks keep you moving and push you a little harder
- The beat of the music keeps you pumped and working hard, even when you're tired
- Makes boring cardio machine workouts a thing of the past
- New users may have trouble adjusting the settings in time for the high intensity intervals
- Author: Sean O'Malley with music by Todd Washburn
- Workout Length: 35:29
- Equipment: Any cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc.)
- Price: $19.95 for CD, $14.95 for MP3 download
- Fitness Level: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced
Guide Review - Cardio Coach Volume 1
This review covers the revised Volume 1, the first in the Cardio Coach Guided Workout Series. This series offers audio workouts that take you through high intensity challenges (using speed, incline or resistance) with steady state recovery phases, on any cardio machine of your choice. There's music to keep you going and Sean, your cardio coach, will give you detailed instructions for each part of the workout.
This 35-minute workout includes a warm up and 3 challenges (one is optional), each separated by recovery phases. The music in the revised volume is much improved over the original version and has a definite beat that will get your energy up.
The first challenge involves 6 hill climbs, each 20 seconds long and followed by 40 seconds of rest. During the 20-second intervals, you'll increase incline/resistance high enough to reach level 3 exertion. The intervals are short but tough!
After a rest, challenge 2 includes three level 3 sprints with a minute of rest in between. Here, you work on raising intensity in a different way from challenge 1, with speed instead of hills.
An optional third challenge involves using both speed and incline to hit level three for 3 minutes. This challenge is longer and harder but, the music, as well as Sean's encouragement, help you reach the finish line.
Overall, this workout has everything -- hills, sprints and a longer endurance challenge, all of which will tax your energy systems. Beginners will like the short intervals and extra instructions, while more advanced exercisers will like having a short, effective, workout available when they're short on time.
The music is awesome, providing a funky beat that changes from fast to slow and from intense to relaxed right along with the intervals. Sean is there for the whole workout, pushing you just when you need it most and making the workout fly by.