Doing steady state cardio is about as appealing to me as watching paint dry, sitting in the worst rush-hour traffic ever, having a private ''toning'' session with Tracey Anderson, or watching endless Donald Trump coverage on CNN (or quite frankly ALL coverage of US politics). In other words, I find it painfully boring, soul zapping (maybe a little over-dramatic) and irritating.
Don't get me wrong, if you love doing steady state cardio, all the more power to you, keep doing it. Steady-state cardio is beneficial if you are new to exercise (or are returning from a layoff/injury), or are using it as a recovery workout between tougher workouts. But for me, I steer clear of it at all cost.
Here is a workout that is more to my liking. This workout was a cross between steady cardio as I was constantly going for the 30 minutes, but also interval training as the bike sprints were more intense than the rowing intervals.
30 consecutive minutes of:
10 second sprint (about 80-100% of my max) on the Airdyne bike followed by a 15 calorie row (approx 60 seconds to do). Originally the row was going to be more of a recovery between sprints but I was feeling good so I pushed it a little more. Other than the occasional 5 second water break, I was on the move the entire time, and the 30 minutes flew by. After I was done, I felt incredibly empowered and motivated.
Soccer Specific Benefits
This workout is very specific to the conditioning that is needed in soccer as you are required to perform countless sprints (unless you are lazy :)), and must recover quickly but while rarely remaining completely idle. In this workout, my recovery intervals (rower) were more intense than your average rest interval, as I was imagining that I was playing in a very tough game, which will likely be the case at Nationals in a few weeks:).
I took this video when I was done so the intensity was a little lower than what I did for the majority of the 30 minute workout. A little bit of renos were going on in the background:)
Once again, there is nothing wrong with doing steady state cardio, especially if you really enjoy doing it. However, if you hope to improve your overall fitness level, once you have built up your aerobic base, and your body is strong enough to tolerate the intensity, performing high intensity interval training or metabolic conditioning will be highly beneficial.