When Men’s Journal asked us what we do for cardio, we told them the truth - nothing different than what we normally do! We don’t believe in long bouts of cardio. Spending hours a week diddling at a slow and steady pace (i.e. - “working out” while reading!!) will only serve to frustrate because results will most likely not sync with amount of time spent. The article lays out 10 examples of how to get a nice hearty serving of strength AND cardio simultaneously, without the long bore-fests at the gym! We provided 6 of the 10 workouts.
Obviously, if you're training for a marathon, long distance runs have greater importance. But if you choose to rely solely on long distance cardio, we believe you are missing out on the benefits of strength training plus adding unnecessary stress on your joints.
Here are the non-cardio-but-cardio workouts we compiled for Men’s Journal. We provided several different structures and formats, all of which can be varied by using different movements and/or rep schemes. They also allow you to track results (which we highly recommend) so you can see progress over a given period of time.
JUMP ROPE ROUNDS
- 10 squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart and squat down as low as you can, keeping shoulders up and back flat. Press through heels to stand.
- 10 pull-ups: Start from a dead hang and pull yourself fully up to the bar, so it’s level with your collarbone.
- 10 push-ups: Keep the elbows snug to the body as you lower your chest to the ground and then raise back up.
After completing as many rounds of squats, pull-ups, and push-ups as possible in four minutes, jump rope for one minute, then complete the circuit four more times
(5rds, as quickly as possible; record time to complete)
- 10 dumbbell push presses: With the dumbbells in front of your shoulders, bend at the knee by a few degrees to drop your hips straight down. In one strong motion, extend the knees and hips and let the momentum travel into the dumbbells to press them overhead.
- 20 push-ups: Keep the elbows snug to the body as you lower your chest to the ground and then raise back up.
- 30 crunches: Laying on your back, curl your trunk so you're raising your shoulder blades off the ground.
- 40 lunges: Keep your front knee over your ankle and tap back knee to the ground, practicing balance and control throughout the movement.
- 50 unbroken jump rope turns.
(10rds, as quickly as possible; record time to complete)
- 10 overhead lunges: Hold the med ball overhead. Perform five reps on each leg.
- 15 thrusters: Holding a med ball at the top of your chest, drop down into a squat, then explode upwards, pushing the ball toward the ceiling.
- 20 medicine ball sit-ups: Hold the ball against your chest for the sit-up.
(24min countdown timer, complete as many rounds as possible)
- Round 1: 2 renegade rows, 2 thrusters, 2 weighted lunges, 2 weighted sit-ups
- Round 2: 4 renegade rows, 4 thrusters, 4 weighted lunges, 4 weighted sit-ups
- Round 3: 6 renegade rows, 6 thrusters, 6 weighted lunges, 6 weighted sit-ups
(15min countdown timer, complete as many rounds as possible)
- 15 push-ups: Keep the elbows snug to the body as you lower your chest to the ground and then raise back up.
- 15 squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and squat down as low as you can, keeping shoulders up and back flat. Press through heels to stand.
- 15 cross-body mountain climbers: Start in a plank position, keeping your body in line from your head to your toes. Then, lift your right leg off the ground and pull your knee toward your left elbow. Return to the stating position and repeat on your left side for one rep.
- 15 flutterkicks: Lie face-up on the ground with your hands resting under your glutes. Keeping your body flat and your abs braced, raise your feet a few inches on the ground and kick up and down with both feet, as if you were swimming in a pool.
(16min countdown timer, row as far as possible as a team)
- Person 1: Row at a hard, but sustainable pace
- Person 2: Perform 10 hand release push-ups, followed by 15 kettlebell swings
Switch when the second partner completes two rounds; continue for 16 minutes (or desired workout length), keeping track of the total distance rowed.
Want proof that these work? Check out this blog post about how Ryan trained for the NYC marathon.
Hope these workouts spice up your cardio routine. We think these ellipticals should remain empty!