Incorporating Cardio Into Your Weightlifting
Cardio and Weightlifting don’t have to mean two separate things. Here’s a look at how you can incorporate both and minimize your time in the gym while maximizing your results.
It’s hard for people (particularly at commercial gyms or home gyms) to create an atmosphere for themselves where they can efficiently and effectively combine both weightlifting and cardiovascular conditioning. It’s typically not for lack of equipment; usually it has more to do with not understanding how to create HIIT circuits for themselves in an environment not typically associated with that form of training. HIIT circuits at commercial gyms/home gyms don’t have to be complicated—the circuits themselves can and should consist of SIMPLE MOVEMENTS (pushes, pulls and squats) that allow for quick transitions and can be executed at a fast pace. I’ve learned quickly that, not only is it possible to get an effective strength and conditioning workout at a commercial gym, but it’s also pretty easy. My tips are as follows:
1. Use lower percentages for your lifts (50-70%) to allow for less rest between sets.
2. Superset everything: combine barbell movements with bodyweight movements so that one muscle group can rest while the other works.
3. Use dropsets to decrease loading each set and allow for a cardiovascular response to lifting. This will also decrease rest time between sets.
4. Circuit Training: don’t focus on performing one exercise by itself. Bounce around and create circuits for yourself to allow for your heart rate to stay elevated.
5. Remember that EVERY movement is functional—a strong muscle is an effective muscle, so don’t focus too much on what exercises you’re doing, just that you’re doing them.
6. Stay active. Keep moving. Switch your me reality to a HIIT state and you’ll be successful anywhere!