Strength + Cardio in One Workout

Strength + Cardio in One Workout

There are a lot of good reasons the CrossFit workout craze has taken the world by storm. The sessions are challenging, the format is simple and a typical workout can be performed in just about any gym. The training is so intense it helps you burn fat long after the workout is over, so it’s a great method for people who want to look good naked, but it’s not the best way to achieve your physique goals. I created my own CrossFit-inspired program that does it one better.

How It Works:
The box squat, deadlift, bench press and military press should play a major role in most programs. But it doesn’t pay to just randomly toss them into a circuit, as CrossFit workouts normally do. You need to repeat these lifts every week and strive to get better at them. The program that follows combines a simple strength training progression with the type of circuit training that CrossFit helped make popular. In six weeks, you’ll be stronger and feel more athletic. You won’t look too bad in your birthday suit, either.


Perform each workout once per week. Days 1, 3, and 5 are weight workouts, and Days 2 and 4 are cardio sessions.

Time Needed:
45 to 60 minutes per weight workout. 20 to 30 minutes for cardio.

How to Do It:
The first lift of every workout will be for strength, so you’ll take your time working up to the heaviest weight possible for the prescribed reps—your “rep max.” For most workouts, you’ll progress up to your five-rep max during Week 1. In Week 2, you’ll go heavier to your three-rep max. By Week 3, you’ll max out for one rep. Restart the sequence in Week 4. Complete the exercises that follow your main lift as a circuit doing one set of each exercise without rest. Afterward, rest 60 seconds, and then repeat for three total circuits.

How to work up in weight:
After a general warm-up, start with the bar and add weight with each set. There’s no limit to how many “workup” sets you can use. You want your muscles to be fully prepared for the heaviest load possible. Here’s an example of what ramping up to a five-rep max of 315 pounds might look like:
45 (empty bar) x5

The Workouts:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

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