This is a great workout I got in the other day and wanted to share. I completed 2 supersets, followed by a short HIIT circuit. Both types of circuits keep your heart rate elevated, increasing your calorie burn and muscle utilization. This workout got me thinking about how so many people do cardio before weight training. Unless it’s just a 10 minute warm-up to get your heart rate up, consider doing a cardio session after a weight training session.
The first part of my workout was 2 supersets. In each superset, I complete the exercises back to back and rested briefly between rounds. I made sure that my weights and machines are near each other, so that my rest time between exercises was limited.
The second part of the workout was a high intensity interval training circuit. I just threw this in because I wanted a little extra burn…but there’s a reason I got in my cardio post resistance training.
So…why weights before cardio?
Many people assume to do cardio before weight training, but that actually can be counterintuitive. If you knock out an intense cardio workout, you won’t have the glycogen stores to get an effective weight training circuit in. If glycogen levels are low, it affects our energy levels. If you use up that energy, it won’t be available when you need to lift heavy weights, making a goal of building muscle, increasing strength, or maximizing calorie burn through weight lifting compromised. Increased fatigue during weight training can also lead to injury.
Lengthy cardio also lowers the blood’s pH, because exercise causes increased levels of lactic acid. This acidic environment causes muscular fatigue and, in turn, performance drops. So besides using the energy you need for heavy resistance training, doing cardio first also makes it harder for you to contract the muscles…which is counter-productive.
So if you’re looking to build muscle and burn fat, consider hopping on that treadmill after resistance training, if you do decide to do cardio and weight training sessions both in one day. However, at the end of the day, the most effective workout is the one you will stick with.
So…here’s my workout
Complete each move in a superset back to back without rest. Rest 1-2 minutes between each round. Take a 2 minute rest and get your bosu ball and mat set for the HIIT circuit.
SUPERSET 1: 4 rounds
Lying Leg Curl Machine (10 reps) – Be sure to position the pad so that it is at the bottom part of your calf. *if you don’t have access to this machine use the sitting leg curl machine
Stiff Leg Deadlift (12 reps) – Use a moderately heavy weight. Increase your weight if you aren’t maxing out near the end of your reps..
Leg Press (10 reps) – I used 160lbs (80lbs on each side), but start at a manageable weight and work up with each round. Be sure to push through your heels, but not to lock your knees out. If you are more comfortable, or are a beginner, use the seated leg press machine with adjustable weights attached instead of a free-weight leg press.
SUPERSET 2: 4 rounds
Weighted Back Hyperextension (10 reps) – Hold a weight plate at your chest as you lower and raise, being sure not to over-extend at the top of the movement. When you bend forward, the pad should be at your hips, so that your lower body is stabilized. As you bring your body up, keep a straight back and stop when your body is at neutral. Use a weight that is comfortable and does not cause you to strain your back, and allows for a fluid movement.
Weighted Side Bend (12 reps/side) – Grab a moderate weight in one hand and hold it straight down at your side. (I used the same 25lb weight plate I used for the previous exercise). Place other hand on your hip and bend to the side so that you’re lowering the weight toward the ground. Come back up just past neutral and repeat. Complete reps then switch sides.
Standing T Bar Row (10 reps) – Adjust the leg height so that your upper chest is at the top of the pad. Lean against the pad and grab the handles. You can use a palms down, palms up or palms in position depending on what part of your back you want to work more. Extend your arms completely to start. Slowly pull the weight up and squeeze your back at the top of the movement. Do not lift your body off of the pad. Lower and repeat. If you don’t have access to this machine, you can straddle a barbell and grasp the end of it. With back straight and arms outreached, pull the end of the barbell up toward your chest.
HIIT Circuit: 2 rounds – 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest (ALL OUT!!)
Bosu Ball Mountain Climbers – Balance on a bosu ball with hands placed on the sides of the flat end. Quickly alternate bringing knee to chest.
Reverse Curl and Extend – Lay on your back with legs straight and arms at your sides. Bring knees to chest and then extend your legs straight up and slightly back, lifting your hips. Reverse the movement, bringing legs straight out in front but lifted slightly off the ground. Do these as quickly as you can.
Bosu Ball Low Side Steps – Place a bosu ball flat side down, and stand to the side with one foot in the the middle of the ball. Squat slightly, and remain low as you hop and bring the other foot to meet the foot on the ball, and stepping the other foot on the ground on the other side of the bosu ball. Repeat alternating sides, and keeping your body low.
Bicycles – Perform traditional bicycle crunches, keeping a steady but controlled pace.
Bosu Rope Climbers – Place a bosu ball flat side down, and sit in the middle of the ball, legs in front and knees slightly bent. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground. Hold this positions and you alternate extending each arm up and down in front of you, as if you were climbing a rope. Keep feet elevated throughout.
My Workout Playlist
Jay Z – Moment of Clarity
Eminem (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – Love Game
Lil Wayne (feat. Rick Ross) – John
Eminem – W.T.P
The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
Jay Z – BBC
Chris Brown (feat. Usher) – New Flame
BANKS – Waiting Game
Ed Sheeran – Don’t
Drake – 0 to 100
Maroon 5 – Animals
Kanye West – Clique