The Cardio Pyramiding Workout

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
The Cardio Pyramiding Workout
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 8:22am

Here's another workout you'll probably really like, Karla. I should emphasize that both of these workouts are super intense (just for you, Karla!) and I can give different levels if others want. I'd hate for someone to try them and get injured!

The basic idea for the cardio:  There are three exercises. Ex 1 is super intense, ex 2 less so, ex 3 the "easiest' but not anything close to easy.  Do ex 1 for 30 seconds, recover as long as you need but the ideal would be to keep it under 15 seconds.  Go to ex. 2 for 1 minute, recover but keet it under 30 secs.  Do ex. 3 for 2 minutes, recover for less than 1 minute. Back to ex 2 for 1 min, recover.  Then all out on ex 1 for 30 secs.

Lifting in between 1 1/2 reps.  I'll explain this w/ a bicep curl but follow the same procedure for all.  Lift the weight up, bring it half way down.  Bring it up from there and then all the way down. That's one rep. For all of them do 10 reps, rest, repeat.


Ex. 1: With a step or bosu, step up w/ right foot then left on top, back w/ right foot.then left down (it's a basic right in step) as fast as you can/or jump up both feet at once, step down.  Do this w/ your right foot leading

Ex 2: charleston kick on step, bosu or floor.  This video at 2 minutes. BUT, take up the intensity. Jump onto the leg on the step, touch the step and get that back leg way back.  Do right leg.

Ex 3. run around the room, jump over anything in the way.

Ex 2, do left left

ex 1, do left leg

Liftin: push ups 1 1/2 reps. Come down to ground, go halfway up, come back to ground, then all the way up to plank


Ex 1, toe taps, use step or bosu, not soccer ball FAST

Ex 2, This is harder to describe. You want to squat down, drop onto your hands like a spider position, walk hands out so you're in a plank, walk back to that spider position then push hard w/ your hands so you're back up on your feet.  If you want an added challenge, when out in plank walk your hands out wide and then back in, or jump them out and back in.

Ex 3: Use step or BOSU. This video is pretty lame in intensity. When your leg is on the BOSU, try to keep that body low so you're in a lunge position, jump on each knee if you can, really drive that knee up hard like kickboxing. When you switch feet, jump up as high as you can. OR you can hold the knee on one side for 1 min and then the other side for 1 min.   Don't move your upper body, just get that leg moving.

Ex, 2, ex 1 the same

Lifting: back rows, hand weights, 10 reps, repeat


Ex 1: burpees (no push ups)

Ex 2: side shuffle w/ 4 jacks, side shuffle back, 4 jacks. Extra challenge, touch the floor after the side shuffle. You can do air jacks for a bigger challenge.

Air jacks:

Ex 3  Heisman

Pyramid down

LiftL bicep curls


Ex 1. mountain climbers

Ex 2 high knees

Ex 3: walking lunges w/ shoulder press (do 8 shoulder presses w/ walking lunges, just hold the weights and continue w/ lunges but no shoulder press until you feel like you can add the shoulders back in to do 8, etc.)

Lifiing: tricep skull crushers/french press, lie on step. I do abs here, legs out and scissor feet out and in/up and down as arms come down. Really be careful that your lower back doesn't arch on this one if you add abs.

If you did abs w/ triceps, finish w/ super man on BOSU. If you didn't do abs w/ triceps, do bicycle on BOSU then superman.

This takes about an hour, depending on how much rest time you take.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 10:50am

lol this reminds me of an Insanity workout. I'll give this a try next week and let you know how I do. 

Community Leader

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 05-30-2014 - 2:44pm

Let me know if anything doesn't make sense. It's all clear in my head but doesn't always translate out in words!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2013
Tue, 06-03-2014 - 1:21pm

I have been at my gym for almost a year now and I still don't know what half the exercises in this workout are.It looks very difficult so I am going to assume this is for someone who is advanced.

Do you have a beginner version? I am always perusing for new workout ideas. :-)

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Tue, 06-03-2014 - 3:04pm

Yes, this was done for Karla who's been working out for a long time. It is pretty intense and you need to be familiar with equipment.  Keep the lifting exercises but just do them regularly, same 10 reps, rest, 10 reps.  For a shorter workout, try these in place of the cardio exercises above:  This is assuming you have no injuries or limitations

Circuit 1 cardio

30 seconds run w/ high knees; 30 sec rest; 60 seconds front kicks, alternating legs; 60 secs rest; 2 mins run around the room or power walk; 2 min rest; 60 secs alt front kicks; 60 sec rest; 30 secs of high knees

lift 1

Circuit 2 cardio:

30 seconds: squat (jump optional); rest; 60 secs: jump rope (w or w/out ropes); rest; 2 mins jumping jacks; rest; 60 secs jump rope; rest; 30 secs squat (jump option)

Lift 2

Cardio 3:

30 secs: mountain climbers; rest; 60 secs shuffle; rest;  2 mins walking lunges; rest; 60 secs shuffle; rest; 30 sec mountain climber

mountain clmbers:


walking lunges (w/ or w/out weights)

Start with those and see how it goes!