I decided to get into a bit more detail about what I do for strength cross-training to support my running, so I made this graphic showing my 30 minute total body workout (using weights):
This is pretty typical of the type of workout I would do using weights. Essentially I combine an upper and a lower body move and alternate between the two for a fifteen-minute countdown. I keep track of all the rounds as well as any additional reps squeezed in at the end. Then I switch to a different upper and lower body move and repeat.
C bought these a few years ago, and they’re perfect for this workout because of the quick changeovers. I also use my barbell and set everything up for each combo before I start to reduce transition time between movements. Right now I’m using 2 x 15 lb power blocks for the C&Ps and a 70 lb barbell setup for the RDLs, and 2 x 20 lb power blocks for the plank jump rows and 1 x 20 lb for the squats. Though it’s time to increase that squat weight!
With this type of workout, since you’re only doing a few different moves it’s a good idea to stick with compound movements that work multiple muscle groups (e.g., no bicep curls or tricep kickbacks here!). With the above workout you’re hitting the following (links to gifs/vids of the movements in the names):
- Quads, glutes and hamstrings on the clean
- Delts, triceps, traps, biceps, and pecs on the press
- Core (abdominalss and back) as stabilizers throughout the movement
- Hamstrings (an common area of weakness, especially in women)
- Glutes, adductors, abs and back as stabilizers
- Core (hips, abs and lower back) as stabilizers
- Quads and hip flexors (jumping and stabilizing)
- Upper back (traps, lats, delts, etc.)
- Biceps and triceps as stabilizers
- Quads, glutes, adductors
- Hamstrings and calves
- Core (abs and back) as stabilizers
Compound movements like these give you a much better return for your time investment than isolation exercises, and since I’m looking to supplement my running rather than developing significant muscle definition, this is the best approach for me.
Warming up and cooling down
While I’ve called this a “30-minute” workout, this time does not include warming up or cool-down / stretching. Before doing any workout you should complete some sort of dynamic warm up that hits all the muscles you will be using during the workout. In this case, that means pretty much everything. This doesn’t need to be lengthy, my dynamic warm-up takes me about seven minutes.
As for cool down, I do a series of static stretches that takes me about twelve minutes. I set an interval timer to six rounds of 30 seconds holding and 5 seconds transition and complete four stretching sequences. Sometimes I’ll do a dynamic cool down (essentially my warm-up at an easy pace) or foam rolling. These are good alternatives if you’re not into static stretching.
Overall, you’re looking at 45 minutes for a full-body workout you can do at home with just a few pieces of equipment. The great thing about this approach is that you can switch the movements around or interchange similar movements, or keep the sequence the same and challenge yourself to do more (maintaining good form!) each time you do the workout. The countdown timer keeps you motivated to keep pushing, which also gives you a nice cardio benefit 🙂