How lifting weights can turn into a serious cardio workout

If done right, lifting weights can get your heart going

Stock image. Ivan Samkov (Pexels)

Many people who love to work out tend to do cardio for heart health and weightlifting to build muscle.

But, as some might know, there are ways to get a good cardio workout in by weightlifting -- without having to jump on a treadmill, bicycle or elliptical machine.

Here are some tips to get the heart going while weightlifting.

Take short rests in between weight-lifting sets.

Instead of doing one set of bench press or bicep curl, then waiting three minutes or so to do the next set, time it out to where the next set is done with less time in between. Basically, take a few deep breaths and power on through to the next set.

If quickly plowing through keeps you from maximizing the amount of weight you lift, it’s actually causing you to burn more fat, and this will feel a little more like being on a cardio machine while lifting.

Circuit training, all-body workouts are great.

Circuit training is defined as endurance training or resistance training using high intensity, and it develops muscle endurance while also providing cardio.

All-body workouts that use multiple muscle groups are a big part of circuit training, which often gets the heart pumping well.

Such exercises are:

  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Bench press
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step-ups
  • Stomach crunches
  • Lat pull-downs
  • Kettleball lifts
  • Medicine ball throws

Try short bursts of cardio while weightlifting.

During a weightlifting workout, another way to add an element of cardio is to do some short bursts of cardio in between sets.

Doing activities such as jumping jacks, jump rope, mountain climbers or something that keeps you going while getting ready to do the next set keeps the heart rate up.

This story was first published in 2019. It has since been updated.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.