These days there seems to be two approaches to cardiovascular work: High Intensity Intervals and Long Slow Cardio. Intervals have made a major resurgence as studies starting coming out showing that it can aid in fat loss much more than doing endless amounts of running. However, those hours of running/walking/biking are still going on and they definitely still have their merit.
Today I’m going to show you a different approach to what we call Moderate Intensity Cardio that takes you away from those dreaded cardio machines in the gym that most people gravitate towards. The goal with this specific type of cardiovascular work is to build a base and aid in muscle recovery. You can read more about this on the Girls Gone Strong page, they do an amazing job outlining the importance of this type of work and also the differences with interval training.
As you will see in the article, they talk about maintaining a heart rate between 120-140 to hit the moderate sweet spot and this is what you will accomplish doing today’s circuit.
The idea is to set a timer (I like sticking to 20 minutes if I’m only using 4-5 exercises and 6-8 if I’m doing 30 minutes of work) and repeat the circuit as many times as you can while still maintaining awesome form. In this example I’m doing 20 KB Swings, 15 Squats, 10 Lateral Bounds and 5 Pushups.
Here is the data from my Apple Watch:
My average heart rate is lower because I spent some time doing mobility work prior to starting the circuit. The area that I boxed in is where the workout actually occurred. That is a solid 20 minutes of my heart rate staying between 125-133! Mission accomplished!
The beauty of approaching cardiovascular work this way is that on a day when it’s raining, you could pick any grouping of exercises you want and just set a timer for the desired amount. Even if you went with bodyweight choices, your goal can still be achieved with constant movement. Hopefully those of you who dislike doing monotonous cardio like I do are jumping for joy right now! Yes, you have another option than that darn elliptical. And when programmed correctly with strength workouts and interval training, that equals a pretty complete fitness program that will set you up for great success.