You Heard It Right — This 10-Minute Resistance-Training Circuit Counts as Cardio
When ACE-certified personal trainer Jennifer Nagel is short on time, she says there is nothing better than doing workouts with dual benefits of resistance and cardiovascular training. It's her trick for keeping exercise boredom at bay, too.
Just as long as your heart rate stays at a moderate to vigorous level (50-85 percent of your max heart rate!) for at least 10 minutes during an exercise, Nagel says it counts as cardio.
"A quick way to calculate your approximate maximum heart rate is 220 [minus] your age," she explains.
Traditional strength training moves don't normally make the cardio cut because of rest periods that bring your heart rate down, Nagel says. But, a resistance-training circuit with little-to-no rests keeps your heart pumping while targeting multiple muscle groups — don't let the goal hinder you from taking breaks or modifying moves when needed, though!
"These types of workouts are effective when you include compound exercises that work large muscle groups such as legs, back, and chest, or even when you can combine multiple compound movements into one exercise," Nagel says. Think of doing a squat to an overhead reach, for example.
Every great workout is nothing without a warmup and cooldown. Before getting started on Nagel's circuit, she suggests walking in place or dancing around followed by dynamic movements like arm swings, torso twists, knee hugs, and air squats.
You'll be tired by the end of this sweat, but that doesn't mean you should skip out on Nagel's cooldown stretches: overhead reaches, chest openers, and quadricep stretches. These will keep your head above your heart until your heart rate slows to less than 50 percent of your max, she adds.