The two biggest parts of a typical gym workout are cardio and weight lifting. Some workout purists keep these separate. Some won't even do them on the same day. However, if you merge them together you can get one heck of a workout.
Cardio and strength-training workouts each present your body with different challenges. Cardio focuses on your heart and lungs while working your muscles. Strength training works primarily your muscles while lightly training your heart and lungs.
Interval training is the best style to accommodate cardio and strength training in the same workout because you can alternate between cardio-specific and weight-specific exercises.
Saving Precious Time
The most common reason people don't work out is a perceived lack of time. When you learn about all of the different types of workouts you should do, such as strength, cardio and plyometrics, it seems like you have even less time to do them.
Condensing your cardio and weightlifting workout into the same day makes sense for someone who's having trouble fitting their workouts into a busy schedule. It saves time because you're working both aspects of fitness at once, instead of in two separate workouts. When you add in the fast-paced nature of interval training, you cut down even more time.
Interval Training Basics
For an interval training workout that combines weights and cardio, do two groups of four exercises. Each group of exercise should have two cardio exercises and two resistance exercises. Do each exercise for 30 seconds, then take 15 seconds to rest before starting the next exercise.
After you complete one group of exercises, take a minute-long break before repeating the same group. Then, perform two rounds of the second group of exercises — with a one minute break between them — to complete your workout.
Group one consists of four exercises, three of which target the lower body.
Hold a dumbbell between your palms at chest-height and squat down until your elbows touch your knees, then stand up.
Jump rope with two feet or one foot for 30 seconds.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell with both hands. Allow the weight to hang in front of your thighs. Using your arms, pull the weight up to the height of your collarbones. Keep your elbows higher than the weights at all times.
Squat down slightly then jump up as high as you can. Land back in the squat. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Rest for one minute, repeat this group, then move on to group two.
Although all of the exercises in group two target multiple muscle groups, they require specific activation of your core for stabilization and power.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Find a bench or box that's around knee-high that can support your weight. Step up onto the box one foot at a time, then step down. Alternate legs until 30 seconds is up.
From a push-up position, drive one knee up towards your chest. Then, switch legs. Try to add a hop as you alternate so that only one foot ever touches the ground.
Dumbbell Curl and Press
Standing tall, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, then press them straight up in the air until your elbows are straight. Then, bring them back down to your sides and repeat.
Give your legs a break by using rope slams for an upper-body cardio workout. Grab the handles of a battle rope and slam the rope for 30 seconds. If you don't have access to a battle rope you can do medicine ball slams, where you lift a medicine ball over head and slam it down on the ground repeatedly.