How to Improve Your Workout
I wanted to take some time today to talk about mixing cardio movements with resistance exercises. This can be very beneficial for a number of reasons. Let’s dive in, shall we?
How to Improve Your Workout: Avoiding Autopilot
If we are doing too similar workouts consistently, the body can become bored and the mind disengaged. When this happens we tend to not be as present and not pay as close attention to form, which can lead to a heightened risk of injury.
Furthermore, when we are checked out from what we are doing, it’s unlikely we are pushing ourselves as hard as we usually would.
Lastly, we want to find fulfillment in whatever we are doing, including exercise; it shouldn’t feel like we are solely going through the motions on a consistent basis.
With all this being said, putting different types of exercises together can help avoid this type of autopilot mentality that I’m describing.
Essentially, this can help keep the mind sharp and on its toes-unless, you’re doing the same mix of cardio and weights day in and day out, which should be avoided.
Caters to Toning/Shaping and Calorie Burning
One great thing about mixing cardio and resistance is that it can cater to multiple goals in one workout.
The cardio aspect can help with weight loss and the weight training can help tighten and tone.
Mixing and matching movements can be a great way to efficiently reach your goals while keeping the workout diverse and fun!
Quickens Metabolism and Fills Rest Time
Cardio is a great way to keep your metabolism going strong. Also, in between lifting sets doing some plyos, jogging, rowing on the rower, using the stationary bike, etc (as long as it’s safe for you to do so) can be a great way to fill your rest time.
Even if you need to take an active recovery, it can be way healthier to do some light cardio instead of just standing around waiting to recover enough to complete your next set. This can avoid complete cool down during a workout, which should be avoided.
This also can help with maintaining/quickening your metabolism and caloric burn while making the most of your workout time.
Lastly, cardio often can induce an endorphin rush, which can uplift mood and esteem, which can lead to overall improved mental health and motivation.
Structuring These Kinds Of Workouts
Now that I have gone over some of the benefits, I would like to discuss how to structure these types of workouts.
In all honesty, you can structure them however it feels best for you, and whatever makes the most sense for your goals and fitness level.
Furthermore, everyone defines cardio differently based on the above factors. An advanced athlete might say that 40 burpees is great cardio while other folks might say that 5 minutes of brisk walking is more than enough for them.
In short, cardio is whatever is going to get your heart rate up/get you sweating for a fixed amount of time. There are more specifics that I could go into about what is cardio but for the general population, the above definition will suffice.
With cardio, it shouldn’t feel like you can’t breathe or are going to pass out either.
Find movements that feel good, are a healthy challenge, and fit in well with the other resistance movements.
Rest times and amount of time given to cardio should vary by individual too. Cardio and resistance movements can go for reps or time as well.
If you are newer to fitness, I recommend circuit style training (5-8 exercises) done 2-3 through with giving yourself ample time to recover between movements and circuits.
If you are more advanced, trisets and supersets can be a great way to go!
Below is a sample cardio/resistance circuit training workout
- Jumping jacks
- Flutter kicks
- Knee ups
- Bent over rows
- Bench press
- High knees
- Squat to press
Below is a sample cardio/resistance triset workout. Please note, that I usually recommend doing two trisets three times through if possible.
- Deadlift to upright row
- Split squat with curl
- Sumo barbell squat
- Plank hops
- Lateral lunge with oblique twist
****Please note, that these are mere suggestions that should be modified to do what is going to be best for the individual.
AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Before I sign off, I wanted to touch on AMRAP that can be used in tandem with the above workouts or by itself.
As stated above, this stands for as many reps as possible.
Basically, pick a fixed amount of time and do one or more exercises for that amount of time.
For example, you could decide to do skull crushers and jump squats back to back for ten reps each exercise for six minutes straight.
Please allow yourself to rest if needed during the interval if you choose this structure of workout.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to improve your workout. I hope it has given you some ways to expand your workout repertoire.
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out to me here.
As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned!
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