People don’t typically think of throwing high-intensity cardio right in the middle of their weight training, but in my experience, it’s a great way to work multiple athletic skills at the same time. In this rapid-fire no-rest workout, your cardiovascular endurance will be tested, expanded, and you will work on your strength, too.
Each exercise, from pull-ups to planks, is meant to be all-out, no holds-barred. There’s no rest between exercises and none between sets. Just keep moving. You can make it in 25 minutes!
FOUR ROUNDS, NONSTOP
If you know me at all, you know I’m not lying when I say this is going to be a tough workout. But that’s excuse to half-ass your warm-up. Since there is no rest in this workout, you’ll need to have your blood pumping before you dive into the four rounds I’ve outlined below. I prefer to jump rope as a warm-up, because there’s pretty much no better way to engage your entire body quickly and efficiently.
Workouts like this are really about throwing your body a curveball. When you come off the cardio round and you go right into the shoulder-triceps-biceps round, your body is still trying to recover from the cardio. It’ll be asking “what the hell?”—and don’t be surprised if those words come out of your mouth, too.
Go as hard as you can—in fact, harder than you think you can on the cardio rounds. It’s just six exercises, 20 seconds each. You should be extremely winded when you’re done with those rounds, but you’ll get more out of those two minutes than anything you can do on a treadmill or Stepmill for 40 minutes or longer.
For the strength rounds, you will be tired, so check the weight you use. I want the body to be tired so it has to work harder on the dips and curls, recruiting more muscle and building real strength. Going to a high rep range—up to 30 reps in the first strength sets—pushes your muscles past where they’re comfortable and floods them with blood, encouraging that full look everybody wants.
When you get to the last round, your body is going to want to rest, stop, and sit down. That’s not what you’re going to do. If you don’t have that same intensity, if you can’t explode off the ground like you were in Round 2, that’s OK. The most important thing is that you give it all you can for those 20 seconds, and then immediately move on.
When you finish this workout, that power that you found in yourself can be applied to every other area of your life.
25-MINUTE TIME-SAVING WORKOUT
- Round 1: Chest, Legs, Back
- Round 2: Cardio
- Round 3: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps
- Round 4: Cardio
Perform one set of each movement, then move to the next one without rest. Perform three rounds of this circuit.
Perform one set of each movement with no rest in between.