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Get It Up, Your Heart Rate That Is: TV Commercial Interval Workout

The other day I was on the treadmill and I just couldn't muster up the energy to both workout and create my own routine. Paying attention to the numbers on the screen seemed overwhelming, but the television was on and I decided to use the TV programming to my advantage. I did a TV commercial interval workout and this little routine got the job done.

Here's how it works: Turn on a TV while doing cardio on a machine. During the programming go at a RPE (rate of perceived exertion with 1 being a super slow stroll and 10 being a full out sprint) of about 5-7, during commercials try and keep your RPE around 8-9. Since most commercial breaks are about 3.5 minutes long, this gives you a few good bursts of high intensity cardio every 10 minutes or so. This cardio variation is definitely not something I could (or would) do each time I'm on a cardio machine, but it was a nice change of pace (sorry for the pun) and nice to focus all my attention on timing my intervals. Plus, since I don't really care about the commercials, I was able to really focus on pushing through the 3.5 minutes of high intensity and I didn't miss a word Joey just said on that great rerun of Friends.

You can do this "commercial intervals" using any cardio machine really, so try it out and let me know what you think.


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Great idea! I sometimes do this when I get bored with my other elliptical machine routines. It really gets my heart rate up! And it IS really a toughie, so I'd recommend doing this only once or twice a week.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 9 years
What drives me crazy about this is that I have to turn up the tv super loud because I can't hear over my bike!
nancita nancita 9 years
I like this idea! Much easier to follow that some of the more complex interval routines.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
Don't EVER do this during Oprah, cuz she has a commercial like every two minutes! lol.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
When I moved into my first single apartment, I couldn't afford rent, because I was still in school, but there was NO WAY I was missing Project Runway, so I would go to the apartment complex's fitness room and get on the treadmill. I would briskly walk during the show, and run during the commercials!!
jossfan23 jossfan23 9 years
that's exactly what i do on the elliptical when i go to the gym!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Hahahaha I like this idea...
courtney422 courtney422 9 years
Too bad I don't have a cardio machine! lol
ChelseaGirl ChelseaGirl 9 years
I love interval workouts like this! They're completely manageable and, I find, totally rewarding, both physically and emotionally.
millarci millarci 9 years
I never thought about doing that. That's a really good idea!
imLissy imLissy 9 years
I wouldn't wanna try that during American Idol X(
wren1 wren1 9 years
This is a really good idea. I like the short, structured bursts concept. I can be motivated to do it for 3.5 minutes! :)
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