I am a user on this website who may not be familiar to you nowadays; but I am wondering about if someone could provide a safe, detailed exercise plan that creates decent muscular and cardiovascular strength at the same time that only requires a few hours a week. -No specific diet, please, I can handle that; just exercises. -No specific exercises, please, just more broad terms like "Chest," "Cardio of choice," "Biceps," "Weightlifting," etc.

Thank you.

Update: 6 ft tall, 18 yr old male; 165-170 Ibs, about 15% body fat percentage, former bodybuilder(2 years ago)

Update: It's okay to be kind of specific; certain exercises however that others tend to like such as running and dead lifts I do not fancy. Please allow me to have freedom to choose the kind of exercises performed if possible, not exact, but for example, "curls," and "bench press," if possible.

  • 6
    You want a detailed exercise plan that's nonspecific?
    – Alex L
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:12
  • 3
    And, you want this without knowing anything about you?
    – rrirower
    Feb 2, 2016 at 23:46
  • 1
    Did you mean to specify Crossfit, the branded exercise regimen? Feb 3, 2016 at 2:58

1 Answer 1


If I understand your question well, and I'm not sure I do because it is honestly mangled, you are looking for a way to arrange your training week in order to develop both cardiovascular fitness and decent strength/hypertrophy, in a minimum amount of time. That is actually possible and usually called hybrid training (coach/runner/powerlifter Alex Viada has a book dedicated to the topic called Hybrid Training). Here is a loose plan and set of recommendations:

  • You're gonna need at least 3 sessions a week, mixing weight training and cardiovascular training. Your weight training needs to be full body, because it will save you time. If you can affort 4 sessions a week, you can do upper/lower/upper/lower, but it will take more time from you.
  • Your recovery needs to be on point, if you want to improve on both sides of the spectrum you need to eat and rest properly. Now is not the time for dieting.
  • You need to practice what is called consolidation of stressors: group all low-intensity-type training on one side of the week, and all high-intensity-type training on the other
  • If you want economy of time, you're gonna need to use a lot of compound barbell lifts, because they will give you the most bang for your buck. Good for you: squats, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, some form of rows, chin-ups/pull-ups, push-ups, barbell curls, barbell lunges. Bad for you: hyper-specific isolation exercises (they will waste your time and your energy that could be spent doing something more productive).
  • Your training week needs to be intelligently organized. For example, on a 3 days a week schedule, you could do something like this:
    • Day 1, Lifting: Max Effort training/Heavy day, use heavy weight, few reps, rest as needed. Go for full body: squat, then press, then some form of deadlift, then a couple of lighter exercises like chin-ups, curls, rows, etc. but not too much.
    • Day 1, Cardio: High-intensity. Prefer HIIT stuff, 6 to 10 short 30 seconds intervals, followed by a 90 to 120s of slower pace. If you don't want to do standard HIIT, you can try barbell complexes as a good alternative.
    • Day 2, Lifting: Dynamic Effort training/Light day, use medium weight, few reps, rest as needed. Go for full body again, with lighter weight, it's more about using the day to practice your form and lift as explosively as you can. You can add more accessory lifts here (curls, rows, chin-ups, etc.)
    • Day 2, Cardio: Drills & form practice. Medium tempo, submaximal distances, don't destroy yourself as it's meant to be a recovery day. A 30-40 minutes session ought to be enough.
    • Day 3, Lifting: Repetition Effort training/Medium day, use lighter weight and do longer set, closer to failure (but not to failure, remember that overall volume is still more important so 5 sets close to failure are superior to 2 sets to failure and then being gassed out for the session). Go full body again, obviously.
    • Day 3, Cardio: Long slow distances. Go for a long session of grueling, soul-sucking, slow cardio. Go at a submaximal pace and go for time (60+ minutes is preferred) rather than speed.

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