How to Get More Out of the Cardio Exercise You’re Doing

Many hardcore weightlifters are not known for doing cardio exercise in or out of the gym. For those who do engage in it, the health benefits more than outweigh the time spent sweating away. With that said, keep in mind if weight loss is the goal, cardio exercise alone is not the best option. Why? Because it only burns only so many calories. When you walk or run a mile, you expend roughly one hundred calories. Yes, that’s it! The combination of doing cardio with strength training is the key. Add healthy nutrition into that mix and you have a recipe for success. This article will look at how to get the most out of doing cardio sessions, especially if you don’t really like doing it.

Be Efficient with Your Time

Like with anything else, you can go through the motions and really not get much out of doing cardio exercise. This goes for any type of exercise be it strength training or cardio exercise. When you spend 20 or 30 minutes in the gym or outside, make the most of the time. First, make sure you’re warmed up prior to the workout. Next, you should be sweating by the time you’re done! You would be amazed at how many individuals don’t even sweat when working out on a piece of cardio equipment. Finally, to be even more efficient with your cardio sessions, wear a heart rate monitor to see exactly how hard the workout is. Intensity is key in a cardio session, especially when time is limited. As your fitness level improves, work out at varying intensities. Mix up the mode of activity whenever possible.

Try Different Modes of Activity

We get it, if you’re a runner you like to run. Training the body, while using other training modalities, can actually help your running. Maybe try jumping rope as warm-up or a cardio session? Another great great cardio product is a rowing machine (or erg). It can work up to 85 percent of the muscle that cover your body when done properly. Looking for a wide back and big forearms? Have you seen a college rower lately? Let’s take a look at a few different cardio options that you may like.

Rowing Machine

There is a reason why every Crossfit box has plenty of Concept 2 rowing machines. They work! Have an experienced trainer or coach show you the ins and outs of the rowing stroke. Know going in that about 75 percent of the force you generate while rowing comes from the legs. For those who don’t want to send a lot of time rowing, try the following. Set your damping at a mid-level range and row hard for 500 meter bouts. For those who love to row, try a 2,000 row for time.

Jumping Rope

By far one of the best cardio exercises you can do. This along with rowing and assault bike has the potential to expend more calories than most cardio equipment in a short period of time. There is plenty of research demonstrating the many health benefits when you regularly jump rope. Read about studies here and here. In addition, the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance published a study in 2019 that demonstrated how jumping rope enhanced the reactive strength index (RSI) and overall performance of amateur runners. If you are not interested in that, just use it as a warm-up prior to your strength or cardio workout or add in a circuit program.

Assault Bike

The one piece of cardio equipment that some of the more hardcore individuals swear by. Why? Jump on one and give it a go, you’ll see quickly. It ties in the upper and lower extremity like the rowing machine and jump rope. This mode of activity, however, can expend more calories than rowing or anything else because you have to continually use both arms and legs to keep the equipment moving. You can also mix it up by using just the moving arms for 30-60 seconds followed by going with just the legs to pedal for another 30-60 seconds and repeat. At least with rowing you have a pause after each stroke to recover a bit.


Each piece of equipment mentioned can be used at most gyms but can also be found in many home gyms. They also offer the most bang for your buck when looking to build muscular endurance and increase work capacity. Ok, you won’t build muscle but you’ll work many different muscle groups in other ways. It is not just about building strength. The good news? You don’t have to spend a lot of time any of it to get results!

Stay Strong Together

Millions of members are having great success using our app. Jefit is a strength training app that comes with an advanced customizable workout planner, training log, and the ability to track data. Take advantage of Jefit’s 1400 exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members only Facebook group. Connect with like minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

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