Cardio for the gibbon (cardio without running)


Let’s define a gym gibbon first:

A muscular beast who feels more comfortable on a bench press than running a mile.

For reference, I am not saying this is a negative thing because I can be one! However we have to get the dirty C word (cardio) in somehow, and no that isn’t adding two more reps to each set.

Because of the need for cardio (you heard me – even a wild gibbon is seen swinging from the trees sometimes getting their cardio in – and no one wants to be seen getting out of breath climbing some stairs) I have detailed 5 of the best ways I personally added cardio to my workouts. This is not for the faint-hearted….

Battle ropes

No, we’re not talking about some sort of placid version of dog fighting. We’re talking about the arm burning, upper body and core workout – with an instrument which is more comfortable on Christopher Columbus’ boat – a rope.

The circuit

  • 20 seconds of battle rope waves
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • 20 seconds of battle rope hip toss
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • 10 seconds of battle rope waves and 10 seconds of rope hip tosses
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat up to 3 more times

Rowing machine

Let’s be honest, most of us are au fait with the rowing machine. Yes, you dread using it as much as you do stepping on a plug but, unlike the plug, it has some serious benefits to you!

Now combine the rowing machine with a Tabata program and you have the equivalent of matching with someone on Tinder and finding out they are a supermodel. While you would be nervous and emotionally unstable before and during the date (let’s keep it clean)… you will get a serious buzz and a number of high five opportunities.

The circuit

  • Find yourself a rowing machine
  • Work as hard as you can for 20 long seconds
  • 10 seconds rest
  • Repeat for 8-20 times
  • Remember to push through your hills when rowing

The ‘SAS’ work out…

Let me just leave this here…

The circuit

Exercises 1 2 3 4
Burpees 25 12 15 20
Star jumps 10 25 20 10
Press ups 15 20 25 12
Lunges 20 25 12 10
Squat thrusts 12 20 10 15
Russian twists 15 10 12 25

No rest between exercises and 30 seconds rest between sets

Tweet @FitnessHacksUK how you enjoyed this one. It’s grim but it does the job!

Dr. Layne Norton’s best damn cardio humanly possible in 15 minutes

Apologise for this one. It’s not something we have created or been involved in creating. However, I had a crack at it yesterday and I was sweating like a dyslexic on Countdown (apologise for this one, I myself am dyslexic and if you can’t laugh at yourself…).

The exercise

  1. Start out by warming up for 5 minutes at half of the bike’s max resistance.
  2. After 5 minutes, pedal as fast as you can for 10 seconds.
  3. Then, increase the resistance to the max and still pedal as fast as you can. Continue this for 20 seconds.
  4. Go back to an easy pace and resistance for 90 seconds.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 until you hit 15 minutes.


To read more about this cheeky little number click here.

Barbell complexes

Finally barbell complexes are pretty new to me but to simplify it: you pick up a barbell and do several reps of one exercise, then move straight onto the next one. Over simplifying it, it’s a circuit with one piece of equipment and no rest between each exercise.

I want to detail the best one I found…  but a variety, in video format, can be found here.  Though another video can be found below.


Yogging… okay jogging is some people’s weapon of choice when it comes to cardio but there is more out there – even for the lowly gym gibbon.

I hope the above helps and if you have any comments or suggestions please forward them on!

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Yours in Fitness

Harry x


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