Getting fit is a grand journey filled with thrills and spills, learning ghood habits and unlearning bad ones.
In order to harness the potential of your body, there are traditionally two paths we value the most in terms of pillars of fitness.
Those are strength training and cardio.
Often seen as two opposites of the fitness spectrum, both are valued for their inherent health benefits, but are often seen as separate entities in the realm of fitness.
Let's take a close look at each and see where the differences lie
Strength or resistance training is when you place an above-normal amount of mechanical stress on your muscles and skeleton, forcing them to work under extreme tension in conditions where they aren't getting a comfortable supply of oxygen.
This type of training is anaerobic (without oxygen). It's a great way to build muscle and also push your metabolism for a sustained calorie burn
Low-intensity steady-state or LISS, also known as cardio is another form of training you’re probably familiar with.
Jogging, cycling and rowing at a medium pace all count as LISS.
This pace of training doesn't challenge your oxygen balance, which means its an aerobic type of training, stimulating your circulation and promoting endurance.
Both these training forms are essential to a balanced, healthy functional body. The thing is, cardio and strength training is often performed separate from each other.
One after the other in one session at best. But what if there was a way to combine them both at the same time.
This article will deal with just that, and look at exercises you can do that fuse both cardio and resistance training in one go.
This saves you time and will boost the overall training effect you experience.
Before we get into that, take a look at our Life Renu shop. We’re sure you’ll find something for you within our range of specially formulated health supplements.
With that said and done, let's jump into our workouts
6 Exercises that Combine Cardio and Strength Training
1. Kettlebell Swing
The good old kettlebell swing starts oof our list. This exercise is a cornerstone of functional training as it targets a combination of different muscle groups while also pushing your heart rate.
You hold a kettlebell between your legs with feet planted shoulder-width apart.
From here you dip the KB between your legs, then swing upwards and outwards, making sure to keep your arms straight and focus on clenching your glutes on the upswing.
2. Weighted Skater
This simple but exxective workout is a great cardio-agility trainer on its own, but with the addition of extra resistance, you get a trifecta of fitness.
To perform this move, from a shallow squat. Skip to the right, landing on your right leg. Swing your left leg behind to your right, and step down into a curtsey lunge. Alternate and repeat.
3. Wall Ball
The Wall Ball is a simple workout that involves explosive power training with cardio.
Simply cradle a medicine ball and slam it sideways onto a solid wall.
Try to slam it hard enough to get a rebound effect. Alternate sides for a balanced effect
4. Sled Run
The Sled is an awesome functional fitness tool. That's because it simulates a common everyday activity at an intensity level you can adjust easily.
Load it up with the appropriate weight and push as fast as you can over 20 yards, turn and repeat.
With the combination of resistance and heart-rate stimulating running, this is a great combo exercise
5. Weighted Box Jump
The box jump is already a great way to condition the legs and core during a cardio workout.
By adding a bit of weight, you’re also going to be giving your legs a significant power challenge.
Simply stand in front of a box and jump up. Land on top and perform a shallow squat.
From here, you can either hop off or step off.
In order to maximize your training effect, here a few tips you might want to follow up on.
Number of Reps
Your rep range should be around 8-12 reps over 3-4 sets. For any exercise with alternating sides, one rep is only counted after both sides are executed. For example, the weighted skater is only counted as one rep once both sides have been cycled.
Your resistance level or weight load should be between 50-60% of your 1 rep max.
1 rep max or 1RM is a personal measure of how heavy you can lift, push or pull in one maximum effort.
Consider your 1RM as your personal record.
Working in this zone of your 1RM allows you to challenge your intensity while having enough energy reserves to complete a workout.
Period of rest is usually indicated as a set timeframe, however, your intensity limit and rest requirements are unique to you.
The best rule of thumb is to rest just long enough that you feel you can go again, but not too long that you feel you have recovered from the previous effort.
So Cardio stimulation and resistance training can happen in the same exercise and provide the benefits of both forms of fitness.
Keep in mind that in order to do this, there will be some tradeoffs and compromises. You can have a full intensity resistance exercise that works together with a fully aerobic cardio engagement. The two aspects will blend.
You will end up with a more or less anaerobic cardio workout which places a larger amount of mechanical tension than normal.
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