Cheerleading tryouts will be here before you know it, and taking steps now to be tryout-ready in time will save you from stress and set you up for a successful day! You can learn chants and cheers closer to tryouts, but getting in physical shape is something you have to put in the time early for.

Doing cardio exercises will give you a solid foundation for the physical aspects of tryouts. This will help you function at high levels throughout the day and not fade toward the endplus, you don't want to be out of breath after just a few minutes of choreography!

When it comes to cardio, not all workouts are equal. Doing a longer, slower cardio session like a couple mile jog or a half hour on an elliptical or stationary bike doesn't pack all the benefits of doing a high-intensity interval workout. An interval workout is when you do parts of the workout  at a slower, easier pace, then increase the intensity for a short segment before dropping back down to your easy pace. This gets your heart rate up temporarily, then gives you a chance to recover before going hard again.

When you're trying to build up your cardio level, it's a good idea to do a few  interval workouts like this each  week along with with one or two traditional  cardio workouts where you keep the same pace. Here are some workout ideas to help you get your fitness level up for tryouts:

Interval workouts (3-5 times per week)

  • 5-minute slow warm-up jog, 10 minutes of running hard for 30 seconds and jogging for 1 minute, 5-minute cool-down jog

  • 3-minute slow warm up on stationary bike; 5 sets of 15 seconds fast pedaling, 30 seconds slow, 20 seconds fast, 40 seconds slow, and 30 seconds fast, 1 minute slow; 3-minute slow cool down

  • 6-8 laps around a track jogging or walking the curves and running the straight stretches

  • 5-minute easy warm up on the elliptical; 10 sets of 20 seconds on, 40 seconds off; 5-minute slow cool down

Traditional cardio workouts (1-2 times per week)

  • 3-5 mile jog

  • 1-hour outdoor bike ride

  • 30 minutes to an hour on an elliptical or stationary bike

Bring a friend along or listen to some music, and these workouts will fly by, giving you a solid fitness level for tryouts!

What are your favorite cardio workouts?