Cardio-strength training modes I use…

Cardio-strength training modes I use…

In the last post I talked about the science behind cardio-strength training.  In this post I’ll talk about the different modes of this type of training I use on a regular basis as I found them to be the most efficient and effective way to burn fat but keep lean muscle mass.

There are many ways you can incorporate cardio-strength training or high-intensity interval style training into your workouts.  Remember this style of training is intense by design as it taxes you whole system and creates a metabolic disturbance that causes the burning of fat even AFTER the exercise session is complete.  In fact you’re burning fat up to 2-3 days after one of these workouts.

Here are some examples of ones that I do:


I already touched on Tabatas in the last post.  Remember the repetitions performed during a Tabata are ALL OUT and fast as you can go without sacrificing form and safety.  You work for 20-sec and then rest for 10-sec and continue to do this for 8-rounds totaling 4-mins.  That’s 4-mins of intense work.  I typically will do a couple of these Tabatas every once and a while usually after doing my traditional strength training sessions (i.e. weights).  These are awesome because they don’t take much time and you can mix a number of exercises up into a Tabata.  You want to aim for 12-15reps minimum for each 20-sec work period.  Here’s an example of one:

  1. squat jumps
  2. pushups
  3. ice skaters (side-to-side skating movement pattern)
  4. burpees

So you complete 20-sec of squat jumps, rest for 10-sec, then move on to 20-sec of pushups…  continue this until the burpees then move back to squat jumps again.  You can also do Tabatas where you pick just one exercise and do it over again for the 8-rounds.  A good example for that is doing a shuttle run or a full out sprint around a track.

Engineered Bodies progresses in a systematic way to get clients up to this standard and burning fat quickly.


This is a very effective method of cardio-strength training that incorporates weights in either a repetition or a timed-set fashion.  The load that you choose is very important since you’re expected to handle it for an extended period of time or number of sets.  Complexes are essentially two or more exercises performed in back-to-back fashion.  Let’s say we choose three exercises: squat, push press, and bent over rows.  I would perform all the prescribed reps for the squat then, without putting down the weight for a rest, perform the same amount of reps for the push press, then finally performing all the reps for the bent over row.  All that equals 1-set.  I always try to aim between 8-10 reps for each exercise and I do them as fast as I can without compromising proper form.  This is ridiculously hard.

Here’s one complex a friend of mine and I did for 10-reps for each exercise performed back-to-back without putting down the olympic-bar once.  The load I chose was 95-lbs.  We did this for three sets.  This was brutal and I nearly passed out after this one…

  1. power cleans
  2. front squats
  3. push jerks
  4. straight leg deadlifts
  5. bent over row
  6. rest 1-min

The total time to complete the entire complex (including rest) was 6-minutes.  I was soaking in sweat and laid-out on mat gasping for air.  Let me repeat…  The entire workout was 6-mins long!!  I was totally done.  If a workout like that doesn’t cause a metabolic disturbance, I don’t know what will…

Of course you wouldn’t start out with a complex like this if you’re a beginner.  We at Engineered Bodies put clients through safe progressions when we introduce complexes into their workout program.

Density Circuit:

The last mode I use is called density circuit training.  I use this style of training when we’ve got teams working on strength and conditioning.  Typically I’d choose 5-exercises and have each of them choose their workloads so that they’re doing rep-ranges between 8-10 for each exercise.  They then perform each one, moving through in circuit-style for a set time (say 20-mins).  They can rest as much as they want to throughout but the idea to get through as many rounds as possible in the allotted time (1-round is completing all 5-exercises in the circuit).   Here’s an example of one of my favorites:

  1. bench press
  2. squat
  3. wide-grip pull ups
  4. dumb bell straight-leg deadlifts
  5. push press

So those are the modes I typically use.  I don’t use all of them in the week nor do I do them all the time.  It’s all about variety and mixing it up.  That’s the thing about this style of training.  It’s not only ridiculously effective and efficient at burning fat while keeping on the lean muscle, but it never gets boring.  Give it try and let me know how it goes.  Also feel free to comment on each post or ask any questions.  We’ll get back to you with an answer usually within a day of receiving it.

That’s it for now.

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