Here’s The Most Effective Cardio Workout You Can Do In 15 Minutes

Here’s The Most Effective Cardio Workout You Can Do In 15 Minutes

Cardio is lame. At best, you’re forced to trudge along some winding route only to end up where you started. At worst, a machine makes you manically swing your limbs in vague arc-like motions for 30 minutes. But it’s also good for you, so what’s the best cardio workout you can get if you only have 15 minutes?

Picture: RLEVANS/Flickr

According to bodybuilder, researcher and trainer extraordinaire, Dr Layne Norton, “good” cardio fulfils three main requirements: it burns the maximum amount of fat in the shortest amount of time, doesn’t affect your gym performance, all the while retaining as much muscle as possible.

With this in mind, Dr Norton came up with the following workout:

1. Use a stationary bike (this is important) and start out by warming up for 5 minutes at half of the bike’s max resistance.

2. After 5 minutes, pedal as fast as you can for 10 seconds.

3. Then, increase the resistance to the max and still pedal as fast as you can. Continue this for 20 seconds.

4. Go back to an easy pace and resistance for 90 seconds.

5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you hit 15 minutes.

You might notice that this is similar to classical “high intensity interval training” (or HIIT), but there are a few specific nuances to Layne’s routine that make it optimal to your normal run-of-the-mill HIIT routine.

Firstly, according to Dr Norton, cycling is far more conducive to muscle retention — even hypertrophy — than other forms of cardio, like running or walking. Second, unlike many HIIT recommendations, which can often be arbitrary, the specific recommendations of intense vs easy durations has been optimised for the best cardio you can get in 15 minutes. If you’re interested in the science behind it, Dr Norton explains the workout in detail at the link below.

Best Damn Cardio Humanly Possible in 15 Minutes [Arnold Schwarzenegger]


  • If you’re interested in fitness, particularly strength training guys like layne norton and jim stoppani are the people you should be listening to, not the bros who are using those special supplements

    • Yep agreed, have followed a few of Kris Gethins plans and finally stumbled onto Stoppani. They all seem to be pretty genuine… I mean yeah they’re spruiking their own supps to make a living but the plans and science behind it are solid.

      • I don’t know that the science behind any supplements being sold could be called ‘solid’.

        I’m a wuss though, if I set the bike to maximum resistance, pedalling as fast as I can pretty much means I am standing still not moving 🙂

        • Ahhh sorry I meant:
          – Gethin & Stoppani each have supplements
          – They also both create plans which are solid !

          I mean I’ve watched videos on their supplements and of course they’ll give you 50 reasons why theirs are effective…. but the “science” behind their workout plans seems legit. There’s few people that I’d say that they know what they’re talking about…. those two are up there in my books.

          My two cents for anyone is “Think about what you want to achieve (weight loss, better cardio, muscle mass etc) and read up as much as you can about attaining that. Once you get on a path to achieve that, put in some measurements to make sure you’re hitting your goals week to week (or fortnightly/monthly)”.

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