Should I Do Cardio Or Weights?| Put Them Together For Killer Work Capacity

Should I Do Cardio Or Weights?| Put Them Together For Killer Work Capacity

Should I do cardio or weights? It’s an age old fitness question and depending how you word it, Google returns 345,000,000+ search results. I get why so many people are asking this question and why there seem to be so many conflicting answers. The fitness world is the number one culprit for people asking these This Vs That, “Which is best” questions. The honest answer is always, “It depends!” Upon why you are working out, your goals, your sport and body type plus myriad other factors. Talking of honesty, 99% of us are not full time athletes. We do the best we can with the time we have. To be as fit and healthy as possible and maybe look good naked too. With that in mind, I will show you how to put cardio and weights/resistance training together for exceptional fitness.

Gain Amazing Work Capacity

You know that feeling towards the end of a workout when you are running out of juice? Commonly around 45 minutes into a gym session or tough run/rowing workout. It’s like someone has pulled out the plug and you’re running low on fuel. This happens because you are coming to the end of your work capacity. This is how long you can keep up a hardish workout without flagging. When you increase your work capacity you can get more done in the same time, great if you have limited time. Or, even better, you can keep going for longer and become an absolute machine. This is particularly good if you are a games player like football, rugby, netball, hockey or CrossFit. You can do this by challenging your body to resist fatigue and recover more quickly. This is very exciting.

interval running

PHOTO CREDIT: James Carnegie | 400m On The Track

How To Combine Weights & Cardio

We are going to do two things. Intermittent cardio efforts that are intense but only around two minutes long. We combine this with Rest-Pause style resistance exercise where you perform a tough lift followed by shorter repeated lifts with very short rests. The resistance lifts go as follows; One maximal effort for 12 repetitions (12RM) pause for just 10 seconds’ rest and then do 6 repetitions, pause again and complete four of these 6 rep. sets in total, each with a 10 second pause. So, 12 then four lots of 6 with 10 second breaks. Got it?

The Workout

Perform your usual warm up, this should involve at least 5 minutes of moderate intensity cardio that builds to a minute or two close to workout intensity by the end. Here’s some inspiration.

Run 400m
(1:30-2:00 ish)

Bench Press / Press Ups
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

Kettlebell Swing (KBS) / Squat Jumps
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

Weighted Sit Up / Slow Sit Ups
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

Row 500m
(1:35-2:00 ish)

TRX Body Row
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

Push Press / Downward Dog Press Up
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

High Plank Knee to Elbow -super slow-
(12, 6, 6, 6, 6 each with a 10sec rest pause)

Run 400m
(1:30-2:00 ish)

Cool down with at least 5 minutes of moderate cardio that reduces to easy intensity for the final two minutes. Complete a full static stretch routine of your major muscle groups.

Work This Into Your Routine

This is not a random bunch of numbers thrown together to make you suffer and throw up. The cardio intervals are great for improving your speed and recovery. The Rest-Pause resistance method gives you the strength and “toning” benefits of traditional heavy lifting without huge strain on tendons and in a third of the time. Work this into your fitness routine just once a week or twice every ten to fourteen days. Within three or four weeks you will start to notice your ability to keep going and recover faster.

Interval Running

PHOTO CREDIT: Taylor-Grimley | 2 minute Hill Surges

So, if you want to improve your marathon endurance, be sure to do plenty of pure endurance “cardio” for most of your training. If you want to be a 20st strongman/woman, do weights (a lot of weights) and just enough “cardio” to stay healthy. For the rest of us, here is a cracking workout that combines both cardio and weights for incredible fitness gains.

Have you tried any of this stuff before? What do you think? Give it a go for four to six weeks and let me know your thoughts.

As usual, I do not recommend that you do a workout like this every day. Don't even do it every time you exercise. Add it to your routine once a week or twice in every 10 days. The real path to fitness is in a full, rounded programme of varied intensity and duration of exercise.


  1. Teresa Grimley
    24/01/2019 / 19:45

    Very interesting and great advice. Thank you Liam 🤗

    • Liam
      25/01/2019 / 16:11

      Thank you Teresa. You are very welcome, as always x Thanks for your support.

  2. Meg - Gosia
    26/01/2019 / 08:02

    I follow your advices, great job Liam !

    • Liam
      29/01/2019 / 12:43

      Thank you Gosia, I am so pleased that you find my writing helpful. Your support means a great deal, Liam

  3. Tammany Knoesen
    29/01/2019 / 10:36

    Looking forward to giving this a go!!

    • Liam
      29/01/2019 / 12:44

      Thank you Tammany, please do come back and tell me how you got on. Liam

      • TjK
        31/01/2019 / 16:46

        Really enjoyed the workout but 2 days later am SO so stiff, think even my eyebrows hurt. .. a longer cool down and more stretching for me next time!!

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