To inspire and encourage those who have made a resolution to amp up their exercise, I thought I would do a post about my latest favorite kind of workout. First, some background. In a typical week, I spend about 12-15 hours exercising. It’s a lot, I know – but believe it or not it is an improvement over 5 years ago. AND, it is not all out, all the time – my joints just can’t take it. As I discussed in an earlier post, I have added HIIT workouts to my regimen as a way to do more in less time… but clearly I have a ways to go. One thing that I have cut almost entirely is cardio machines at the gym. For years I logged miles and miles on ellipticals, treadmills, and stepmills – I just can’t stand it anymore. If I’m traveling and there are no classes or alternatives, I’ll reluctantly put in my 30-60 minutes, but I avoid them whenever possible. I find especially as I’ve gotten older that strength training is critical to weight maintenance and generally feeling good and strong. Despite a bad lower back, I have been pretty consistent for the last 20 years or so with cardio and strength training, and hope to continue into old(er) age.
Lately I’ve become hooked on a routine that incorporates cardio bursts into a more traditional weight circuit. The downside of this kind of workout is that it can take a lot longer than a straight up weight routine, tacking on up to 30 extra minutes. But it is so much more effective. And, it keeps me from getting bored.
Here is one version of this latest favorite. It consists of 6 push-pull circuits (and a few leg exercises thrown in) with cardio segments attached. The cardio can last as long as you want – I typically shoot for at least 30-45 seconds. Or, you could count reps instead. If you don’t like the plyo moves I’ve included here, jump rope instead, or if you are at the gym, hop on the treadmill or any machine of your choice. Each push-pull + cardio burst circuit is performed three times through before going on to the next. I typically do 15 reps per set, but it depends on the weight. The trick with the cardio bursts is to seriously kill it each time, 10 out of 10 exertion. Enjoy!
Pull-up, chest press, squat, burpees
Bicep curl, pushup, split squat, lunge jumps
Bent-over row, dip, leg press, squat jumps
Seated cable row, rear delt lift, sumo squat, burpees
Incline bicep curls, overhead tricep press, chest flye, lunge jumps
Shoulder press, tricep kickback, hammer curls, squat jumps