Combining cardio, sprints, and resistance training isn't something I recommend doing every day, but it's a great way to get a big fitness boost in a short amount of time.
In this video, I demonstrate how I use my stationary bike (the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22) along with the "manual workout" setting (on the iFit platform), combined with some adjustable dumbbells and a yoga mat to create one heck of a workout.
This is how it goes:
- Ride nice and easy for 30 seconds
- Increase the resistance on the bike and ride hard for 30 seconds
- Repeat the first two steps two to five times
- Get off the bike and do two to five ManMakers
- Get back on the bike and start from the beginning
- Repeat this sequence as many times and you have the energy or time for
Despite their mockworthy name, "ManMakers" are a great full-body, multi-joint exercise that also has the ability to crank your heart rate up to 11. ManMakers neatly combine a few elements of the burpy, rows, push-ups, squats, and the overhead press. There are a few versions of this exercise but I like this variation since it allows me to focus more time and attention on the renegade rows and doesn't require that I do as deep a squat and therefore saving my legs for the bike.
Benefits of combining strength and cardio
One of the big reasons for combining cardio, sprints, and resistance training is that when you lift weights, you get a release of growth-related hormones that help your muscles to grow or get stronger (insulin-like growth factor, testosterone, and epinephrine). Brief and hard bicycling bouts also have been shown to cause a very similar amplification of growth hormones. So why not get the best of both worlds and combine them?
And don't worry, you don't have to do this on a stationary bike. Nor do you have to do ManMakers. You could use an elliptical machine, a rowing machine, do running sprints on a treadmill, or even simply alternate between jogging on the spot and doing High Knees. Then do your favorite resistance training exercise (preferably one that employs multiple joints and body parts) and you'll get the same basic benefit.