If you had to pick a slogan to wear on a tee, would this be yours? Or is it that your dead-lift-loving friends cringe whenever you suggest going on a casual 5km together? Well, here’s the thing: there’s no need to pit strength training against cardio, because they are great – scratch that, they’re brilliant – as a pair.
In fact, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise right before weight-lifting can help maximise power to fuel you through your fitness sesh, according to Brazilian research. Better still? Rather than reaping the rewards of just one exercise, “melding the two offers you more bang for your strength and endurance-building buck”, says exercise physiologist Rondel King.
“It’s also time efficient – ideal for anyone with a busy schedule.” (Sooo, that would be all of us.) More boutique studios across the country are catching on and offering a strength plus-cardio doubleheader. From Barry’s Bootcamp – the Hollywood-born class-goers jumping from sprints on the tread to repping weights on the floor – to app fave Centr, which brings 20-minute high-intensity scorchers from Chris Hemsworth’s trainer Luke Zocchi straight to you, there’s no shortage of options.
And now you can get in on the trend, no matter where you like to work out: at home, in the gym or even in the great outdoors. We’ve teamed up with certified functional strength coach Jess Sims (check her out demoing the moves opposite) to create a killer full-body workout that mixes running with bodyweight exercises. Ready? Go, then plank!
Start with a warm-up (try a 1-min walk to a 1-min jog, followed by 1 min of a dynamic hip-opening movement, like lunges). Then hit it! You’ll do 1 treadmill segment, followed by strength circuit 1. Step back on the tread for a second cardio sesh before starting strength circuit 2. Repeat workout again from the top, for a total of 2 rounds.
1. T PUSH-UP
Start in a high plank, then lower towards the floor, keeping elbows close to your torso (a). As you press up, rotate your body and raise your left arm until your arms are stacked, your torso faces the side, and your body forms a T (b). Rotate back to the start, do another push-up, and then repeat on the right side. Continue for 30 secs. Oh, this is just the beginning!
Start in a high plank (a). Keeping your back flat, lower into a forearm plank starting with your right arm, followed by your left (b). Press back up to the start. That’s 1 rep. Continue for 30 secs, alternating arms.
3. SPRINTER SIT-UP
Lie on your back with arms above your head (a). Sit up and bring your right elbow forwards as you bring your left knee to your chest (b). Return to start; repeat on the opposite side. Continue for 30 secs. You’re getting stronger with every rep.
4. QUAD WALK
Start on all fours, back flat and core tight, then lift your hips slightly to raise the knees off the floor (a). Walk your left hand and right foot forwards (b), then right hand and left foot. Repeat for three paces, then reverse movements to return to start. Repeat for 30 secs.
1. CRAB KICK
Sit with feet flat on the floor hip-width apart, hands under shoulders, fingers pointed towards your heels, hips lifted off the floor (a). Extend your right arm straight out in front of your shoulder, then with your left toes flexed and leg straight, bring your left foot up to meet your right hand as fast as you can (b). Reverse the movement to return to the start, switch sides and repeat. That’s 1 rep; continue alternating for 30 secs and feel the burn!
2. REVERSE LUNGE TO HIGH KNEE
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then step your left leg back, bending both knees at 90 degrees to lower body into a lunge (a). In one motion, press through your right heel to stand, raising your left knee forwards to hip height (b). Pause, then lower back to the lunge. That’s 1 rep. Switch sides and repeat; continue for 30 secs. Don’t stop!
Lie on your back with legs lifted 45 degrees off the floor, arms extended overhead, biceps by ears, shoulderblades off the floor (a). Sit up to hug knees to chest, creating a ball shape and balancing on your tailbone (b). Lower back to start. Continue for 30 secs.
4. TEMPO BICYCLE CRUNCH
Lie on back, cup head with hands, elbows extended outwards (a). Pull chin towards chest and roll shoulders down and back. Engage obliques and bring right elbow and left knee towards each other while extending right leg straight (b). That’s 1 rep. Continue, alternating sides, for 3 reps. Pause for 2 secs, then do 3 reps. Continue this tempo for 30 secs. Aaand you’re done.