How to Mix Hypertrophy Training & Cardio in a Time-Efficient Way?

@EyeDentist - great way to re-frame it. Thanks

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I’m with Atlas. Supersets are kind of a no-brainer to keep the heart rate elevated without seriously compromising, and potentially increasing, the muscle-building potential of a workout.

But… since you’re doing the Best Damn plan, that changes things since it was designed a specific way for a specific reason that doesn’t lend itself to supersetting. I’d stick with the advice in the Part 2 article and tack on 10ish minutes of loaded carries. The sessions are already low volume so the lifting shouldn’t be taking a ton of time as-is.

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I’ve been training like this for close to a year now and love it. Highly recommended.

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Having said all of this, isn’t the act of lifting weights regularly, regardless of whether it’s hypertrophy focused, enough to provide a minimum healthy dose of cardio?

Granted I won’t run a marathon on it. But isn’t it enough to be healthy?

If one trains like some powerlifters do–sets of 1-3 reps performed every 5-10 minutes–then the aerobic benefit will be minimal. So the answer to this overly-broad question has to be ‘no.’

This question is too nebulous to answer. What, exactly, does “healthy” mean? Is it VO2 max of a certain value? Is it keeping BF below a certain level? Is it reducing CV disease risk? Is it prolonging one’s lifespan?

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Honestly my suggestion would be to see what you can do with your kids outside the gym then. It seems like an hour or so a week can maintain a decent base. If they’re stroller age, run that thing up a hill. Otherwise, do “mommy boot camp” workouts with them. They’ll like it, it really is quality time, and it’s probably enough to meet your goals without you feeling guilty for being away.


I’m not even remotely experienced enough to lay out a specific program, let alone tweak someone else’s program - but CT does have a subforum here and he might give you some hints about how to adapt his program to your needs, if it’s working right now and already has techniques such as rest pause, dropsets and similar, I wouldn’t go batshit crazy trying to cram them all together with super/giant sets and so on. Sounds like asking for trouble.

I also don’t think the notion of “cardio” is some kind of absolutely generic standard you can refer to. I think a person’s conditioning applies mostly to the effort being made and to some degree it has a transfer to other efforts that are somewhat similar, but the magnitude of that transfer is very variable.
I know I had a “gas tank” when I boxed at 17 but I was decent at best running medium distances. I know a guy who could pretty much breath underwater while swimming, but couldn’t run for shit, he’d gas immediatly. The conditioning required for a football match, a soccer match and a basket match is very different even if in all three sports the players spend most of the time running, a marathon runner can go 26 miles without stop but he’d gas anyway doing a short dash at maximum effort, and so forth.
So it really depends on your goal, I think all forms of weight lifting and almost any form of physical activity have a favorable impact on quality of life, overall health and “feeling good”, unless you do something terribly wrong/stupid in the way you train, and weight training (regardless if you train for mass, strength, power or whatelse) does seem to have a good transfer to everyday stuff and you shouldn’t worry too much about it

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Play a sport once a week and go for a walk whenever you can. No need to make cardio any more complicated than that. If you don’t like sport then throw a steady state jog with a spurt of HIIT in instead.

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@atlashrugged - thanks

I ended up with good cardio/endurance accidently about ten years ago. I was climbing lots for six months, climbing itself does little for general cardio but walking around with a heavy rucksack does. After the six months I started playing 5 aside footy (soccer) and I was one of the fittest on the pitch. Why this happened is now backed up by my fitness watch which shows that after strength training my heart rate is much higher when I walk. Walking with my kid to school after deadlifts can have my heart rate at 120! Not sure if all of that is any use to you.

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You have such a way with words, ED.

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@atlashrugged - I found this morning that the 350 method integrates nicely with the plan I’m following. And it made for a great workout.

@tails1 - walking with a back pack sounds great. It would definitely get me fit. But it would compromise the program I’m following. Maybe I’ll introduce it in a training block later in the year. So I can cycle my training.

Sprints are very time efficient & or run a mile as fast as possible or finish all your work-outs with a tabata or even 10 mins of circuit training or complexes…many options here really.


If your goal is hypertrophy why so much concern with getting in cardio? Especially HIIT which may interfere with your weight training.

@lucasmon - I’m concerned than I’m going to lose a lot of cardiovascular fitness. I don’t want to die running for a bus.

After reading all of these messages I accept I can’t do it all. I’ll do training blocks throughout the year where I’m focusing on different goals.

For now it’s hypertrophy so that’s what I’ll stick to

I think you’re way overthinking it.

You’ve got 40 minutes to train? Ok, so half an hour lifting weights and 10 minutes of sprints afterwards.


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The Best way to get conditioning from lifting weights is to use the EMOM (every minute on the minute) on a couple big, compound moves. Nothing else comes close. Dudes on this site decreased run times without even running using this approach. I surprised myself, not getting tired hauling buckets of water up a big-ass hill with no “cardio” or running or anything.

This may not be the best method for Mass, but lifting weights is certainly better for muscles than running around or doing some kind of HIIT general exercise.

An easy way to cut rest times and not sacrifice quality of “work” is to pair up smaller exercises. A set of exercise one, then a set of exercise two. You can rest briefly whenever you need to, but time spent doing exercise 2 is time resting for exercise 1. There is less standing around, so it takes less time but you still get all the gains. I have a reference for that one somewhere.

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Going out and running mile makes little sense.

Kenny Croxdale