To be honest, I only first learned about Cardio Acceleration a few years ago.
Not being one to jump on the fad-wagon, just because everyone (or some people) were doing it, I started to research this new way of calorie burning during my workout programs. Sure, it bears a close resemblance to circuit training and other bootcamp programs – and even has somewhat of a CrossFit feel to it – but Cardio Acceleration in this form was totally new to me.
It turns out that, in a 2008 experiment published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers from the University of California divided subjects into 3 training groups.
- One group was cardio-only.
- One group was resistance training with weights only.
- And, the last group was a mix between the two – running 30-60 seconds after each set of weights.
All three groups performed the same amount of work – three times a week for 11 weeks – but the hybrid group made, by far, the most drastic gains:
- 991% greater (yep, nine-hundred and ninety-one percent) loss in fat mass than either of the other two groups.
- 82% greater improvement in muscle gains.
- 35% greater improvement in lower-body strength.
- 53% greater improvement in lower-body endurance.
- 28% greater improvement in lower-body flexibility.
- 144% greater improvement in upper-body flexibility.
Cardio Acceleration not only burns more calories, but also increases flexibility and causes muscle hypertrophy (size) and increases strength.
Cardio Acceleration Options
The idea behind this exercise method is for it to essentially replace your rest-periods between sets. This will keep your heart rate elevated for the workout, causing more blood to pump to your working muscles throughout the workout.
On a side note, I only do Cardio Acceleration on my light weight, high rep workouts. For heavy weight, low rep workouts – I choose to do a modified acceleration method.
You'll not only burn more calories during the workout – but you'll also even keep burning more calories after the workout.
The options you have, is only limited by your creativity and ambition. I used to prefer jump rope, because I can immediately pick the rope up and start jumping as soon as I'm finished with my set. Although, lately, depending on what's going on in the gym – I've started using the Concept2 Rower for 400 meters each set.
You can do virtually any type of cardio-related exercise, and you can even vary or mix up the exercises and do a different one each time. I would recommend nothing less than 30-second intervals, but 30-60 seconds should be all that is needed in order to achieve results.
Below are a few ideas to get you started with which exercises to work with Cardio Acceleration.
- Jump Rope
- Barbell Step-up
- Battling Ropes
- Box Jump
- Diagonal Bound
- Dumbbell Clean
- Dumbbell Lunge
- Dumbbell Step-up
- Goblet Squat
- Kettle Bell Swing
- Knee Tuck Jump
- Lateral Bound
- Lateral Box Jump
- Lunge Jumps
- Medicine Ball Slam
- Mountain Climber
- Rocket Jump
- Running in place
- Side Standing Long Jump
- Side-to-Side Box Shuffle
- Skipping (in place)
- Sledgehammer Swing
- Smith machine clean
- Squat Jump
- Step-up with knee raise
- Tire Flip
Do you have any more tips that might be helpful? If you liked this article, feel free to share it on social media so someone you know might benefit from it.
What You Can Do
The founder of Combat Mindset, Michael Saad, is a straight-forward and easy to follow Results Coach that helps athletes, fighters and tactical operators get mentally and physically stronger.