The World’s Hardest Workouts: David Beckham’s Cardio Gauntlet

While he’s still a global icon, it wasn’t that long ago that David Beckham was widely considered one as one of the best soccer players in the world. I alway respected Beckham, but it wasn’t until I interviewed him in 2008 and tried his cardio workout that I realized what it takes to be a professional soccer player.

This cardio workout (most of which are sprints) left me needing about 24 hours of sleep and 72 hours of recovery. And if you’re looking for an abs workout, sprints are the secret weapon of all athletes. Don’t be deceived by the lack of crunches. This will burn fat as well as any high intensity interval training workout.

Before you begin, determine your maximum heart rate using the equation: 220-your age. The percentages below refer to maximum heart rate (max HR).

Each sequence is it’s own workout. Either try at the end of your weight training session or as a standalone workout. Whatever you do, do not underestimate the degree of difficulty.

My personal favorite: Challenge #3. Good luck with that.

Beckham’s training challenge 1: 5-minute run at 80% of your max HR. Rest 4 minutes. Repeat for 5 sets.

Beckham’s training challenge 2: 2-minute intervals running at 95% of your max heart rate. Rest 1-minute between sets. Repeat for 8 sets

Beckham’s training challenge 3: Run a 20-second sprint as fast as you can. (Think running for your life.) Rest 1-minute. Repeat 30 times. (Yes, 30 times.)

Beckham’s training challenge 4: Run 60 yards and return back 60 (120 yards total). Complete each set within 20 seconds. Rest 100 seconds and complete for 10 sets.

Beckham’s training challenge 5: Sprint 60 yards. Rest 10 seconds. Repeat for 8 sets.

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