In my opinion, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the way to go if you want to get stronger and burn some major calories. Combining strength moves with cardio bursts in between is my favorite approach. Keeping your heart rate up throughout the workout allows you to burn calories in a way that say, running would. Strength training throughout the workout means your body will continue to burn calories even after your workout. So, basically it’s a win-win situation!
I really like that format, but I still like to mix up the cardio and strength exercises within that format so I continuously shock my body.
There are tons of ways you can do this to mix up your workout. You can choose body weight exercises only (they can be super hard), you can add weights, use stability balls or bosu, have timed workouts or count reps, etc. Lots of options out there to mix it up!
Here’s what I usually do to build a workout:
- Pick 1 cardio move, for example, jump squats. Jump squats are great because not only are they cardio, but strength as well. I usually do my cardio moves timed so for either 30 seconds or 1 minute.
- Next, I pick 2 strength moves. I move onto these moves right after the cardio. You could focus on just upper body or lower body or you can do total body. For the sake of this example, we’ll say I’m doing total body. I’ll choose pushups and triceps dips. Depending on the moves, sometimes I do them for time, other days I do like, 15 to 20 reps. So, with these, you could do like, 30 seconds worth of pushups and triceps dips but try to do as many as you can.
- Cardio time! You don’t necessarily have to use plyometric cardio moves, I just like them because I find them effective. You could also run over to the treadmill and do sprints in between your strength moves. For this example, I’m going to choose lateral bench hops-harder then they seem!
So, just to explain that picture a little more if you were actually interested in doing these- when I do bench hops, I place my hands on the bench with both my legs on one side. Then, I jump up over the bench, keeping my hands on it, landing on the other side. So, you’re basically hoping back and forth. They get pretty tough! You could do these for 30 seconds or 1 minute.
- 2 more strength moves– For example, deadlifts and split squats. 15 reps of each or 30 seconds of each trying to complete as many as you can.
- Cardio! How about some burpees? Can’t go wrong with those!
So here’s what that workout would look like:
- Jump Squats– 30 seconds
- Pushups-15 reps
- Triceps Dips- 15 reps
- Lateral Bench Hops– 30 seconds
- Deadlifts- 15 reps using some amount of weight
- Split Squats- 15 reps on both legs using weights.
- Burpees– 30 seconds
If I were doing this workout today, I’d probably try to go through it 3 times. You could also add on 2 more strengths and 1 more cardio to make it an even 10 exercises that you perform. Like I said before, to make the format easier, you could do every exercise for a minute, or 30 seconds or break it up so it fits your fitness levels.
Here are some cardio and strength ideas to get you started:
- Jump Squats
- Split Squat Jumps
- Ice Skaters
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumps onto Bench
- High Knees
- Butt Kicks
Here are some strength exercises:
- Pushups- regular, on a swiss ball, knees on the ground, etc.
- Side Lunges
- Sumo Squats
- Lunge with Twist
- Curtsy Lunge
- Calf Raises
- Wall Balls
- Squat on Bosu
- Medicine Ball Chop
Here are some ab exercises:
- Swiss Ball Pike
- Russian Twist
- Bicycle Crunch
- Dead Bug
- Side Plank with Leg lift
So, if you’re ever in a workout slump, try this method out! I like it: it’s tough and easy to put together. I also have more exercises listed with videos at 321Sculpt.com if you want some more guidance.
How do you plan your workouts for the day?