T Nation

Cardio for Busy People

The title sums it up
I used to take 1 hour walks and that worked fine but now I’m too busy for such thing.Any 10-15 minute cardio idea to burn some extra calories?

30 sec on/30 sec rest, do as many reps as possible with KB swings 1 day, goblet squats the other.

First week: 4 rounds
Second week: 5 rounds
Third week: 6 rounds
Fourth week: 3 rounds, but go 45:45 intervals now
Fifth week: 4 rounds
etc., etc.

On an upper/lower split I like to add them to the end of upper workouts. Great for grooving the hip hinge and squat pattern an extra time without taxing the muscles too much and the extra fat burning benefits.

You can’t go wrong with a jump rope.

That’s a great idea
Do you think I could fit it later in the day as a mini workout instead of doing it as a part of my main one?

I love jump rope but I have no room in my home or in the gym I’ll be in a week

I second 30/30. It’ll put you in a world of hurt real quick.

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I used to do about 20 mins of bike intervals, alternating 30 second “sprints” with 2 minutes of coasting, and it worked quite well at only two sessions per week.


Max incline treadmill walk (as in walk, not even fast walk.). Crank the thing up to 12 or 15 or whatever the highest setting is and just walk with natural arm swing, don’t touch the handrails. 10-15 minutes is plenty for that.

Also, supersets/active recovery between sets when lifting. Even if you’re training for strength, sitting around doing nothing between sets is a waste of time. Mobility work or basic bodyweight exercises are a simple way to get more done with basically no additional time.

Wendler has talked about doing push-ups between sets of deads as one way to improve basic conditioning. This article has more ideas. Dan John has also talked about doing push-up position planks between squats.

That’s a nice idea too.Although I’d be better off starting with 10 minutes I think

What do you mean ‘‘2 minutes of coasting’’?

I’ll try either max incline or the bike thing mentioned above

As for doing some extra work between my sets,I’ve started doing pull ups after each set on upper body days and abs on lower body ones.I got the idea from Alpha

In 10-15 minutes of time;

Circuit Workout
10 KB swings
5 dips
5 chins

As many rounds as possible. Try to beat your record of rounds each time.

Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) Clean and press

That video captured a pretty subpar version of this, but it gets the point across. I did this with a 150lb sandbag once and was completely floored. Find the weight that works for you.

Additionally, check out all the workouts here

Medleys will kill your soul in short order

Other classics;

Anything tabata (yes yes, I know purist; it’s not tabata unless you’re measuring your VO2 max on a bike). I like burpees, clean and press, safety squat bar squats, pretty much anything you can do full body.

I do realize most of these cross into the realm of conditioning vs cardio, but they’ll still get your heartrate pretty jacked.

Simply an easy pace. For the Sprint portions, obviously you’re going balls out, teeth gritted, bike shaking, knuckles turning white, but then the coasting section can be more of a “cooling down” pace, to catch your breath, reset yourself, and prepare for the next impending sprint.


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Google Barry Ross fast walking. That’s a simple wee cardio number that’s not going to eat into the lifestyle.

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10 minute run? Run as far as you can in 5 minutes then turn back. Crazy simple.
Or how about a timed 1-2 mile run and keep chipping away at your time.


Wow.I didn’t expected so many responses.Now I gotta choose

Thanks guys for all the information

If you are gassing out early just pace yourself and do them slowly. It doesn’t really make them much easier. You will never adapt to this. 15 minutes of burpees will always suck
No equipment needed

Find a gf with a stronger sex drive


If you access to a heavy bag: beat the hell out of it for 3 minutes, rest 1 minute. do 5 rounds. Do it right and it will leave you exhausted.


All of these look great. One that I’ve liked with burpees is 100 reps as fast as possible. This way you can try to beat your time.

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That’s a good suggestion but even staying fat is better than burpees for me.I HATE THEM

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