One-Hour Killer Cardio and Strength Training Workout

In an ideal world, you would have time to do cardio and strength workouts separately. In the real world, you're lucky if you can fit in exercise at all. One way to do that is to combine cardio and strength in the same workout.

This workout is just one way to set up a cardio/strength routine. It starts with about 30 minutes of interval training, followed by high-intensity strength exercises that will hit every muscle in the body.

You'll do a circuit of those strength exercises once for a 45-minute workout or, if you want a full hour, repeat the circuit one time. This is a tough workout, so be sure to modify any exercises that cause pain or discomfort and see your doctor if you have any medical conditions or illnesses. Begin with a dynamic warm-up that incorporates lateral and/or rotational movements.


30-Minute Cardio Interval Workout: Sprints and Hills

Close up of man's feet on a treadmill
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Choose any cardio machine or activity of your choice for this high-intensity interval workout. This can include a treadmill, stationary cycle, elliptical trainer, or rowing machine. This type of workout involves changing the settings throughout the workout to keep things interesting, burn more calories, and build endurance.

This workout uses a perceived exertion scale (RPE) from 1 to 10, with 1 being easy and 10 being maximum exertion.

  1. 5-minute warm-up: Moderate pace; RPE 3 to 4.
  2. 2-minute baseline: Increase incline or resistance and speed to just above your comfort zone; RPE 5.
  3. 2-minute pyramid up: Increase incline or resistance by 2% every 15 seconds; RPE 7.
  4. 2-minute pyramid down: Decrease incline or resistance by 2% every 15 seconds; RPE 7.
  5. 1-minute sprint: Move as fast as you can; RPE 8.
  6. 2-minute baseline: RPE 5.
  7. 2-minute pyramid up: Increase incline or resistance by 2% every 15 seconds; RPE 7.
  8. 2-minute pyramid down: Decrease incline or resistance by 2% every 15 seconds; RPE 7.
  9. 1-minute hill sprint: Increase incline or resistance by 8 to 10%; RPE 8.
  10. 2-minute baseline: RPE 5.
  11. 2-minute sprint: Go as fast as you can; RPE 9.
  12. 2-minute baseline: RPE 5.
  13. 5-minute cool-down: RPE 3 to 4.

Strength Circuit: Squats With an Overhead Press

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

After the cardio intervals, begin the strength circuit. Move quickly from each exercise to the next.

  1. Holding weights just over the shoulders, lower into a squat, sending the hips back.
  2. Push into the heels to stand up and, at the same time, press the weights overhead.
  3. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Push-Up Plank and Row

Young man performing dumbbell row exercise lifting 12 pound weight
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  1. Get into a push-up position on a step, raised platform, or on the floor with hands gripping dumbbells about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower into a close-grip push-up, keeping the back flat and the abs in.
  3. Press up into a push-up and pull the right weight up into a row.
  4. Lower and repeat for 60 alternating rows on each side.

Squat Curl Press

  1. Stand with feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Curl weights up in a biceps curl and then hold that curl as you squat down.
  3. Use your legs to power the weights overhead as you push to a standing position.
  4. Lower the weights and repeat the move for 60 seconds.

Reverse Lunge With Double Arm Row

  1. Hold weights in each hand.
  2. Tip from the hips, keeping the back flat, and pull the elbows up to torso level (into a row).
  3. Lower the weights and step back with the right leg into a reverse lunge.
  4. Step back to starting position and repeat on left side.
  5. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Core Kickbacks

  1. Start in a tabletop position with a weight in the right hand.
  2. Pull the right elbow next to the ribcage.
  3. Squeeze the triceps to extend the arm, keeping the elbow in the same position.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Hammer Curls With Power Squat

  1. Stand with feet about hip-width apart, abs engaged as you hold weights with the palms facing in.
  2. Curl the arms up as you lower into a squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep the arms curled up as you stand back up and slowly lower the weights for 4 counts.
  4. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Side Lunge Row

  1. Hold a weight in your right hand and lunge out to the left side, taking the weight towards the left foot.
  2. Row the weight up and in, focusing on the back.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Dips With Leg Extensions

  1. Sit on a step or chair with the knees bent and the hands next to the hips.
  2. Push up onto the hands and keep the hips close to the bench.
  3. Bend the elbows into a triceps dip and as you press up, extend the right leg, reaching for the toe with your left hand.
  4. Repeat the move on the other side.
  5. Repeat for 60 seconds.


Plank on Elbows and Toes

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

  1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor into plank position, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels and try to keep from sagging in the middle.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, rest briefly, and repeat.

Bridge With Leg Drop

  1. Get into a bridge position and lift the right leg off the floor, extending it straight up until it's perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Keeping the foot flexed, slowly drop the right leg out to the side a few inches without moving the rest of the body.
  3. Bring the leg back to center and repeat.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Standing Crossover Crunch

  1. Take the hands behind the head and bring the right knee up and across the body as you rotate through the torso, bringing the left shoulder towards the right hip.
  2. Return to start and repeat before switching sides.
  3. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

Rest for 1 minute and repeat the circuit for a full hour of exercise. Or stop here if you are out of time.

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Biddle SJ, Batterham AM. High-intensity interval exercise training for public health: A big HIT or shall we HIT it on the head?. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2015;12:95. doi:10.1186/s12966-015-0254-9

  3. Gabbett TJ. The training-injury prevention paradox: Should athletes be training smarter and harder?. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(5):273-280. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-095788

  4. Opplert J, Babault N. Acute effects of dynamic stretching on muscle flexibility and performance: An analysis of the current literature. Sports Med. 2018;48(2):299-325. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0797-9

  5. Arney BE, Glover R, Fusco A, et al. Comparison of RPE (rating of perceived exertion) scales for session RPE. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2019;14(7):994-996. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2018-0637

By Paige Waehner, CPT
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."