A Cardio Workout That Is Actually Fun

Oh cardio, why must you be so boring?!

Have you ever had that thought? I have. Sometimes, even with a killer playlist, I can’t get past the slow ticking of the cardio clock.

This is why I love circuits, they are mentally stimulating and make the time fly by. I’ve taught you how to make them here. So, on days when straight up cardio seems like a non-starter I turn my sweat session into a cardio core circuit – aiming to get that heart rate up while strengthening and toning my abs, legs and arms.

And that’s exactly what we’re going to do today. Throw your hands up for a cardio party ladies, it’s going to get sweaty in here!

Jennifer Dene Cardio Core

Why You Want This

  • Because you know that cardio fitness is extremely important for your overall health and maintaining your ideal body composition.
  • Because any workout that gets your mind away from wedding planning, work stress and that pile of laundry is a winner.
  • Because you like one-and-done workouts that improve your cardio fitness, but also strengthen and tone your major muscles.
  • Because you didn’t realize that you could work your abs without crunches and I’ve just made your day.

Why You Need This

  • Interval training challenges the heart rate rapidly and then allows time for recovery.
  • As your cardiovascular system becomes challenged, you breathe deeper and increase blood flow to the lungs and heart. This is a great way to boost your metabolism and increase your cardio fitness, and it leaves you feeling alert, awake and in a better mood. Win, win, win.

How To Get Your Fiance On Board

Throw the gauntlet and challenge him to train with you, because why shouldn’t he reap all the same benefits?!

But! Take note:

In my experience, men are often faster during short sprints but they may not be able to maintain the pace throughout the workout. Don’t worry if he is ahead of you, just remember the story about the hare and the rabbit and keep on keeping on.

Umm, maybe don’t tell him that the last move is called The Booty Poppin’ Plank. That could feel awkward for everyone. In fact, all of the non-sprint moves are part of my signature Feminine Fitness repertoire, so have him swap them for the moves below, to make the workout feel a little more manly!

The Groom’d Variation

  • Deep Belly Burpee = Regular Burpee
  • Squat Jump Side Step = this is good for him, he can do it
  • Skip, Hop Lunges = Regular Plyometric Jump Lunges
  • Booty Poppin’ Plank = Pushups

How To Do The Cardio Circuit

  • In this workout I alternate between short (6 minute) bursts of cardio, using 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off
  • “On” means Sprint* / “Off” means Slow (see the guide above)
  • After these sprints you immediately move into the plyometric circuit
  • Do each move for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, repeat for all four moves
  • Rest for 1-2 minutes
  • Return to the sprint and complete everything (sprint + plyometrics) for two more rounds

You can use a treadmill (or elliptical / stationary bike) or find a park and train outside. You don’t need any equipment, just a pair of shoes and your phone to time.

Your speed during interval training is relative to your fitness level, and *Sprint doesn’t have to mean all out run.

Here’s a general guide:

Cardio Exertion Guide

The Jennifer Dene Cardio Core Circuit

  • Warmup = 5 minutes moderate pace (see guide above)
  • Six minutes x 30 seconds “Sprint” / 30 seconds “Slow”
  • Complete each cardio-core move (tutorial videos below) for 45 seconds each, rest for 15 seconds in between
  • Rest 2 minutes
  • Repeat from the sprint for 2 more rounds

Deep Belly Burpee Tutorial

Squat Jump Side Step Tutorial

Hop, Skip, Jump Lunge Tutorial

Booty Poppin’ Plank Tutorial

Now It’s Your Turn!

Did you like this workout? Let me know in the comments below if you prefer your cardio straight-up or mixed with tonic, olives and a dash of plyometrics.

Your cardio mixologist,

Jennifer Dene xoxo

Jennifer Dene Cardio Core

Have I piqued your cardio interest? Here are some more interesting cardio workouts:

Fast Treadmill Sprint 

Incline Intervals 

3 Minute Cardio Blasts 


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