If you like to lift weights more than run, like I do, then cardio bursts are an ideal way to get cardio done while you spend time doing what you love – pumping iron.

Cardio Burst: performing short, high-intensity bouts of cardio in between sets of resistance training exercises.

Cardio bursts  give you all the benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), minus the mental battle of pushing yourself to the limits for 10-20 minutes straight. Also, if you like the benefits of circuit training (high intensity, increased heart rate throughout, time-efficient, etc.), adding cardio bursts to your lifting days can be an awesome way to make time fly by and accomplish two goals in the same workout.


Perform one set (10-12 reps) of each exercise within each group of exercises, followed by your choice of one cardio burst (adjust time based on personal conditioning). Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat 2-3 times before moving to the next group of exercises.


  • Back squat
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Lat. pulldown


  • Dumbbell walking lunge
  • Military press
  • Barbell bent over row


  • Barbell deadlift
  • Incline bench press
  • Single-arm dumbbell row


Cardio Burst Examples: Jump rope for 30-60 seconds; sprint for 20- 30 seconds on a spin bike, track, or treadmill; treadmill resisted sprint for 15-30 seconds (leaving a treadmill off, use your legs to push the belt as fast as you can); tuck jumps for 20-30 seconds; jumping jacks for 30-60 seconds; etc.

If you’re new to this type of high-intensity training, make sure you allow enough time for your heart rate to recover before starting the next set of resistance training exercises!