Interval Knockout is a 15-Minute Cardio Workout HIIT

Can you really get an effective cardio workout in 15 minutes? With the right interval training, absolutely. Today we’ll show you how to bump up your next treadmill workout with some sweet boxing moves.

Interval Knockout, one of the interval training treadmill programs we created for Koko FitClub’s fall series, pays homage to the sound science and ancient sport of boxing.

(Boxing? On the treadmill? What’s up with that?)

Boxing works the whole body and requires coordinated footwork, core stability, shoulder and upper body strength. So it’s a perfect formula for a cross-functional cardio workout.

Boxing matches typically consist of 3-minute rounds (work), followed by 1-minute breaks (rest). Therefore, boxers often train in a 3:1 work-to-rest ratio interval format.  A typical boxing match lasts 12 to 15 rounds, which equates to about 48 to 60 minutes.

Because we’re all about higher intensity, shorter duration cardio training here at Koko, we had to get a bit creative with the intervals in order to do an effective cardio workout in 15 minutes. We stuck with the traditional boxing style 3:1 ratio, but switched around the work and rest times. So, instead of recovering for a minute, we have you do some speed work, boosting the treadmill speed up to get the heart rate pumping.

During our 3-minute rounds, we keep the speed and incline a little bit lower, but keep the intensity up by adding extra core and shoulder work styled after an old boxing drill called the Irish Jig.

To try it the Irish Jig boxing moves on your next treadmill workout, here’s how it works:

  • Walking strong on the treadmill, start with your arms by your sides, core engaged (as always)
  • Bend both arms at the elbow to form right angles
  • Next, raise both arms up from the shoulders, maintaining that right angle at the Koko 15 Minute Cardio Boxingelbow, until the back of the upper arm (triceps area) is parallel to the floor. Your hands should be slightly higher than eye level. Now you have your guard up.
  • Maintain this position for a full 3 minute round, and you will surely feel the burn in your shoulders and abs.
  • Throw some light punching in there too, just to keep things interesting.

If you’re trying this for the first time, make sure you take it easy and keep the speed as slow as you need to until you get comfortable walking and keeping those hands high at the same time. It’s a bit like walking and chewing gum — but much healthier — and definitely works the abs and shoulders much more effectively.

Here’s a short video that Koko Chief Fitness Officer Michael Wood and I shot to demonstrate proper arm position for your 3-minute rounds. Stay focused, keep those abs tight, put up your dukes, and have fun.

– Paul Romeo, Certified Personal Trainer, Koko Master FitCoach


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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

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