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Simple & Quick Cardio & Upper Body Workout

Simple & Quick Cardio & Upper Body Workout
Emily Wilcock
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Emily Wilcock's profile

If you don’t know @racheljohn get ready. Rachel does it all. Weight training, cardio, surfing, kickboxing. She's a prime example of moving your body in the way that you want to because it feels good.

And some days there’s nothing like burning some energy off on the treadmill. And Rachel likes to do this before her workout. Why? Because she likes to. Simple as that.

Cardio is often the most neglected aspect of a gym-goers' routine. ‘Cardio is hardio’, or so I hear in the changing rooms. But sometimes it’s just a case of not being sure what cardio to incorporate. If that’s the case, give this routine a whirl.

Treadmill workout

  • 2min 5km/h
  • 2min 12km/h
  • 1min 19km/h

Repeat this routine 4 times.

Strength training

Seated cable rows

  • Get comfortable on the seated row machine with your legs on the platform in front of you
  • Sit back on the seat with your back straight
  • Grab the handles with both hands
  • Pull the handles towards you, keeping your elbows tucked into your waist
  • Slowly release the movement so your arms are straight in front of you

Perform this exercise as a dropset. In other words, complete 16 reps of a relatively low weight. Then 12 reps of a higher weight, then 8, and 4.

Lat pulldown

  • Sit down at the lat pulldown machine
  • Reach up to grab the bar ensuring your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width apart
  • As you sit back down on the seat ensure your knees are locked in place under the holders
  • Bring the bar down towards your chest while keeping your back straight and your chest up

Perform as a dropset. 16 reps, 12 reps, 8 reps, 4 reps.

Barbell bench press

  • Lie down on a flat bench with a bar resting above your eye line
  • Grab the bar with both hands, wider than shoulder width apart
  • Keep your elbows wide as you bring the bar down towards your chest
  • Then drive the bar back up until your arms are straight

Perform as a dropset. 16 reps, 12 reps, 8 reps, 5 reps, 1 rep.

Lateral raises

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and begin with them resting by your sides
  • Drive your arms out horizontally to either side of you until your arms are in a straight line
  • Bend your knees as you bring your arms out to your side
  • Slowly return your arms to the starting position

12 reps for 4 sets

Dumbbell shoulder press

  • Take a seat on a bench with the back of the bench at 90 degrees to the seat
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand, resting them on your knees
  • Use your knees to push the dumbbells up initially, then raise until they’re resting above your shoulders, elbows pointing out
  • Push the dumbbells up until your arms are straight, but don’t lock them
  • Return the dumbbells to the starting position with your arms at 90 degrees
  • Repeat to finish the set

Perform as a dropset. 12 reps, 8 reps and 4 reps to failure.

Take home message

Whether you skip the cardio altogether and focus on your weights session, delay your cardio to the end of your session, get it out of the way at the start, or focus entirely on cardio – hitting the gym is hitting the gym. Do what works for you, your goal, and keep this workout in the bank for when you’re looking to mix it up.



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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Emily Wilcock
Writer and expert
View Emily Wilcock's profile
Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.