Zero-Boredom Cardio and Strength Workout

I haven’t done a workout post lately, mostly because I’ve been sticking to my fitness schedule:

  • Zumba class twice a week
  • Gym twice a week
  • Running (or, if my knee doesn’t like running, a hike) once a week
  • At-home circuit workout once a week
  • Rest once a week

The at-home circuits and gym workouts I’ve been doing have either been ones I’ve posted before or ones I’ve got from other bloggers, so there has been nothing new to post.

I did have a great time doing the Grouse Grind the weekend before last.

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For those of you not from Vancouver, it’s a killer hike – 2.9km that is basically one giant staircase. If you’re fit, you get it done in an hour, and it’s intense. This is the view down from about 1/3 of the way up:

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And there was still snow at the top, so this is what you see as you get towards the final stretch:

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Don’t mind my sweaty hair. I was nearly done!

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But once you reach the top, this is your view:

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Probably this time up was my slowest, because I was silly and didn’t eat a big enough breakfast. I could just feel my energy run out halfway up, but I plugged away! It’s worth it for the sense of achievement you get when you hit the top.

However, last week the weather turned sour again here – seriously Vancouver, this is May/June weather??

Anyway, that put a temporary nix on my outdoor plans, and I was pretty tired of my indoor routines, so I forced myself to get creative. I really had to focus on busting some boredom, as this would mean 3-4 in-the-gym workouts for the week, which wasn’t making me happy!

The answer? I decided to do some strength moves and cardio combined, but to mix them up so much that boredom was never an option. Here ya go!

Zero-Boredom Cardio and Strength Workout

*Tip: If you don’t want to time the cardio, or you’re doing this outdoors, just do the cardio for one song’s length, rather than 3 minutes.

Equipment used: I used the elliptical for this routine, but use the treadmill, bike, run outdoors, jump rope, whatever! Use the elliptical resistance levels as a guideline for when to increase or decrease your intensity.

  • Warm-up cardio: 5 minutes at level 1
  • Strength #1: 20 push-ups
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 4
  • Strength #2: 20 squats
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 6
  • Strength #3: 20 crunches (or if you have access to a stability ball, 20 knee tucks)
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 8
  • Strength #4: 20 tricep dips
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 10
  • Strength #5: 1-2-3 leg routine (#1: lying on side, do leg swings forward and back; #2: clamshells; #3: leg lifts) – 10 of each exercise on each leg (30 total each side)
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 8
  • Strength #6: 20 Russian twists (holding a dumbbell to make things harder)
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 6
  • Strength #7: 20 reps shoulder press with dumbbells
  • Cardio: 3 minutes at level 4
  • Strength #8: 30-second plank (1 minute if you’re feeling good)
  • Cool-down cardio: 4 minutes at level 1

Voila! 30 minutes of cardio and a great strength routine done before you know it!


  • Any boredom-busting gym workouts you want to share? I’m always looking for more!


  1. WOW. that is a remarkable view. i love a really tough hike like that with a rewarding finish. one day if i make it to Vancouver – this is on my to do list for sure!

  2. What a wonderful place you were able to hike at! Hiking is one of my most favorite activities… exercising but also having the chance to take in everything and enjoy the beauty that nature is 🙂
    P.s. doing that workout TODAY! I am goign to tone it down a bit though, as my body still feels like tired blah, but I will keep the same ideas in mind for it

  3. This looks great Anna! I don’t do any cardio, but any new workout is always fun for me 🙂

  4. Sam @ Fit for my Fork says:

    The Grouse Grind is definitely on my to-do list once I’m back over there. My mom did it 1-2 times per week for a stretch when I was younger and I always thought that the name was pretty intimidating! It sure does sound like a challenge, but the view is incredible!

  5. Great work out schedule. I’m like you- I need to constantly be doing something different so I don’t’ get bored. I’m excited because I’m going to start running twice a week (I went biking on the west side highway in NYC and it inspired me!) Such an awesome view



  6. What a great at-home workout, I really like it! You could really do it with any machine or in any situation, I may have to try that for my next circuit workout!
    I also like to go on hikes/ go for long walks when my knee hurts and I can’t run, I definitely feel ya!

  7. I’ll have to give that one a whirl. I always get bored working out. 😦

    • Right?? Me too. I have the attention span of a 5-year-old. I think that’s why I like Zumba too much – just as I’m getting bored, a new song comes on. lol

      • LOL> Sometimes I do the cardio kickboxing class at my gym. It’s definitely harder to get bored in a class like that. I also sometimes will bring a book to read on the elliptical or treadmill. If I can “forget” I’m exercising, it’s a lot easier to keep doing it!

      • Yes I need to get better at the reading-while-exercising thing, but sometimes it makes me trip up or something ;). My gym has TVs in front of the cardio equipment; love that!

  8. Hiking is so much fun! I used to hate it when I was younger, but now I actually enjoy it. 🙂

  9. Love the look of that workout – will give it a try at the gym tonight! Thanks for much for posting!

  10. Circuits are my go-to boredom busters! I’m in and out of the gym in no time 🙂 Here are some of my faves!


  1. […] But if there are any outdoor yoga classes going on around town, I will be sure to hit them up, as I just missed doing last weekend on the top of Grouse […]

  2. […] Zumba class had me hoppin around today! This week I have a couple of Zumba classes planned, some gym sessions and then some HIIT to keep the heart rate going. What are you all up […]

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