Endurance Workout for a Weights Girl

Today @Krazy_Kris and I swapped workouts – I gave her a full-body weights routineand she gave me a top-to-bottom endurance routine. We both went outside our comfort zones to do something we don’t normally do – she lifted weights and I focused on endurance. (See her post-workout results here.)

Here’s a blow-by-blow of how I did with her challenging workout!

Part 1 – A Circuit of 5 Exercises for Time

For each set, complete each exercise for 1 minute with no rest between exercises. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets. Do 3 sets total.

This part really worked my shoulders (and of course legs). I was so excited to try the kettlebell swings I almost forgot to do planks – went back and did them afterwards. On the last set I definitely did not do a minute of each of these. I got a substantial cardio workout with this part alone.

  1. Side lunge with medicine ball – A really great start to a tough routine. I decided to take it easy and used an 8 lb ball. Challenging!
  2. Wall ball – I couldn’t see the demo before I left so I did squats with ball overhead instead. I used the 8 lb ball again.
  3. Plank – Argh, tough after the other two exercises because my shoulders were tired!
  4. Walking lunges holding weight above head – Feeling the pain, I downsized to a 4-lb ball.
  5. Kettlebell swings – There were fun! I used a 10-lb kettlebell and graduated to 15 lb. I am definitely going to look at integrating more of these into my routines. (Of course I liked them – they’re weights!!)

Part 2 – Exercises for Reps

Do 3 sets of these exercises. The 1st set is 21 reps, 2nd set is 15, and 3rd set is 9 reps (that’s 45 reps total). Do each exercise without resting in between, and enjoy a short rest between sets.

I had trouble setting up this part exactly as described. So I used a triceps dip machine (haha – I managed to use a weight machine!) and substituted box jumps for mountain climbers.

  1. Tricep Dips – I shouldn’t have used so much weight – tough when paired with these other two exercises!
  2. Pushups to Side Plank – YIKES! These are so super tough! I absolutely did not get anywhere near as many as Kris specified. They actually were very hard on my wrists and shoulder. I just tried to do as many as I could and I didn’t count.
  3. Box Jumps – I substituted mountain climbers, again hard on my wrists and shoulder. Probably will do something different next time. Not sure if box jumps would be hard on my knee??

Part 3 – The Tabata Closer

Tabata is an interval approach which involves 20 seconds of fast/sprint movement + 10 seconds rest. This is repeated 8 times (for 4 minutes total). The idea is to go as fast and hard as you can for the 20 seconds while maintaining good form. Warning: 10 seconds isn’t long enough to get a drink of water….

  • Tabata of the Day? Body Weight SquatsUh, yikes again! After ALL the other exercises this is highly challenging. My legs were burning and it was an extreme cardio workout. I didn’t get through four minutes – no way. I may have done two. I forgot my stopwatch (convenient??) and just did as many as I could.

What’s my final verdict? I need to do more endurance work! I can work up to this routine in its entirety but I could very definitely not do it all perfectly the first time. I missed being in the weight room but I clearly see that endurance work is just as important. I’ll definitely be sore tomorrow! It was a great full-body workout and cardio all rolled into one. I think I’ll do this routine once a week in addition to my regular four days of weight training. It sure beats being on the elliptical machine for half an hour – and it was a quick workout (only 45 minutes). Thanks again Kris!

13 thoughts on “Endurance Workout for a Weights Girl

  1. Girlfriend! You rocked it! It is a super hard workout – deceptively hard since there is very little weight involved. Dang, I know you are strong – isn’t amazing how a medicine ball can be challenging? I KNEW you would love the kettlebell – I see swinging in your future! Oh dear – you put weight on the dips? You are strong! The pushup to side plank is hard – I got my boyfriend after about, uh, not nearly as many as you did – they are sneaky! Box jumps? Yep – hard – step ups are dandy too. And it’s great to swap & switch as needed – it’s the great thing about exercise – is everything is modifiable, eh? There’s an exercise for everything!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed (?) it and were challenged! Thanks so much for swapping this week – it was super fun!


    • I DID enjoy Kris and will do it again. People were looking at me like I was nuts! I’m so grateful that we did this because seeing outside my usual “box” always enhances my life. It was a hugely challenging workout! I prefer that over sissy btw! 😉


  2. PS Sunshine – this is a challenging workout and can be switched and tweaked a number of ways. If you do want to incorporate some “alternative”, less time consuming workouts, consider “Cindy”. It’s basically 5 assisted pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 body weight squats – repeat for 20 minutes and count your rounds. It’s considered a “benchmark” workout so you can record yourself over time and see the improvement (very satisfying actually). It can also be done for 10 minutes too. So this could actually be worked in to your regular ANIMAL weight routines without too much disruption. Hugs!


  3. Interesting! Benchmarks are good and I’m always up for trying new things. It does sound fun and useful to quickly do a series of predictable reps for a specified time and see your progress in a reliable way. My workout journal shows my progress (or lack thereof), but this would shake things up. Thanks Kris!


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