At KDR, we like to use something called cardio strength training. It’s a blend of strength training movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, etc. done in a circuit fashion with minimal to moderate rest between movements. We have found that this is THE BEST WAY to get our members strong AND improve their cardiovascular health…in the least amount of time.
If you are crunched for time but still want to torch fat, build muscle and improve your overall health – this is exactly how you have to be working out.
Give me a little bit more details, please?
Ok, you got it. Generally speaking, training is broken up into two parts:
– Strength – this is usually your free weight or machine based training.
– Conditioning – this would usually be your cardio machine, running, etc. based training.
The goal of strength training is to improve strength and build muscle while the purpose of conditioning is to improve your cardiovascular fitness. They are thought to be exclusive, i.e. you can’t do both at the same time. However, what we have found is that you can combine both to reap benefits of each. By taking large full body movements performed for 5-20 reps or 15-45 seconds with minimal rest in between exercises, you can stoke the metabolic furnace and reap the benefits of both strength training and conditioning. Think HIIT (high-intensity interval training), with weights.
Why is this form of training superior to keeping my conditioning and strength training sessions separate?
Listen, not all of us have 6 hours to spend in the gym working on chest one day, biceps another day, back on a third day, etc. And then STILL have to get in some cardiovascular training for our heart. Looking good is great, but if you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, then what good is looking good!
By doing cardio strength training, you can get all of the work you need…in only two sessions 60 minutes sessions per week! By taking two days and hitting your entire body with compound full body movements you can drastically reduce the time in the gym as well as significantly improve your results.
Show me the data!
Ok, first of all, the research is ALWAYS behind the times when it comes to training people. That’s just the nature of the beast. I can go out into our gym and conduct any number of tests that will never see the pages of a peer-reviewed journal. However, it’s always nice to be validated in what you’re doing!
In one study conducted at East Tennessee University conducted in 2001 looked at two groups of obese women. One group did steady state aerobic training for eight weeks three times per week. The other did perform HIIT 3 times per week for the same eight weeks. Both groups worked until they burned 300 calories during their workouts.
Conclusion – ONLY the interval group improved their body composition, and ONLY the interval group improved their resting metabolic rate (a number of calories you burn at rest, the more you burn, the better!). To reiterate – the two groups worked out three days per week for eight weeks and until they hit 300 calories, with the difference being the intensity of the workout.
In another study, Dr. Martin Gibala from McMaster University in Canada looked at a steady state group and a HIIT group. The hit group did four to six 30 second all out sprints on a cycle with a 4-minute rest interval (total work out time each session was under 20 minutes), while the steady state group did 90-120 minutes of continuous moderate cycling.
Conclusion – The researcher found NO DIFFERENCE between the two groups in terms of benefits. So, I have to work out hard for about 20 minutes, and that gives me the same benefits of working out moderate for 3-4 TIMES the amount of time? Sign me up for the 20 minutes, please!
What about the argument for calories burned? Well, here’s a study that was published in 1994 by Tremblay et al. They took two groups, one completed 20 weeks of steady state endurance and the other completed 15 weeks of HIIT. When all was said and done – the SS group burned 28,661 calories vs. only 13,614 in the HIIT group.
Conclusion – The HIIT group burned 900 percent more subcutaneous fat then the SS group…with five weeks LESS commitment and by burning over 14,000 calories LESS!
Sold yet?! GREAT! Here’s a sample work out:
This is a density based work out – your goal is to do more work in the same amount of time, that’s density training.
DB Front Squat = 10 reps
rest 20 seconds
Push Up to Row = 10 push ups and 10 rows alternating hands
rest 20 seconds
Jump Deadlifts = 10 reps
rest 20 seconds
Chops = 8 each side
rest 20 seconds
Front Plank = 30 seconds
Rest 90 seconds
Repeat as many times as possible in 20 minutes.