Core Secrets Cardio Strength Interval Mix

Gunnar Peterson
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

I did this workout this morning and was very pleased with it. In just 30 minutes, Gunnar Peterson managed to combine strength, aerobics, and stretching. Perfect for the days you don't want to work out for an hour, or if, like me, you are looking for shorter workouts to include in your rotations.

Here's the workout breakdown (comments will follow):

Warmup (actually it's stretching w/o active warmup)

Arm rolls forward/back
Shoulder stretches L/R
Side stretch L/R
Forward bend
Hamstring stretch L/R
Runner's stretch
Hip flexor/quad stretch
Other side runner's stretch
Other side hip flexor/quad stretch
Center split (!!!!!!!)
Butterfly stretch
Outer thigh stretch L/R
Deep squat stretch
Low back roll up


Lower Body Series

~20x Jump Rope
Narrow stance squat, 5 reps
Wide stance squat, 5 reps
Wider stance squat, 5 reps
Widest stance squat (almost a plie position), 5 reps

~20x JR
Do the above sequence in reverse, wide to narrow.

~20x JR
"Athletic" stance squat, 20 reps

~20x JR
"Athletic" stance squat with shallow plyojumps, 20 reps

~20x JR
Water break

Upper Body (with some lower body) Series

Side lunge with opposite arm row - Rt, 10 reps; Lt, 10 reps

~20x JR
Side lunge with opposite arm row - Rt, 12 reps; Lt, 12 reps

~20x JR
Pushups, 10 reps
Back stretch

~20x JR
Pushups, 12 reps
Back stretch

~20x JR
Side arm lift - Lt, 10 reps; Rt, 10 reps--repeat twice.
Triceps kickback with hand rotation, 10 reps
Biceps curl, 10 reps
Triceps kickback with hand rotation, 12 reps
Biceps curl, 12 reps

Water break

Ab/Core Series

~20x JR
Standing oblique side benders holding jump rope stretched overhead - Lt, 5 reps; Rt, 5 reps
Good mornings holding jump rope stretched overhead, 10 reps

To the floor

Wide feet crunch, 20 reps
Reverse crunch, 10 reps

Back up

Repeat ab/core series (including JR), with 6 reps for obliques.

Final Stretch

Full body stretch
One leg pull in (Lt)
Rotate leg in stretch
One leg pull in (Rt)
Rotate leg in stretch

Sit up

Chest stretch leaning back on hands
Cross leg twist stretch (L/R)

Stand up

Forward bend
Curl up
Overhead stretch then lean back
Quad stretch (L/R)
Shoulder stretch (R/L)
Inhale and press up
Exhale and release down


As Collage ranks (and I agree), this is a solid intermediate workout. Gunnar's personality is down-to-business with a dry sense of humor. Music is okay, didn't bother me one way or the other. There are 4 background exercisers, with one showing modifications. The only equipment needed is a jump rope and dumbbells. Although Gunnar and the participants only used one-size dumbbells for the entire workout, I switched around depending on which muscles were being worked. The beginning squat series was done with just body weight, but can easily be modified harder by holding dumbbells or a barbell if you would like an extra challenge. If you don't like jumping rope, you can rebound, fake jump rope, jog in place, or step during the extremely short cardio bursts.

Workout pluses:
+No stability ball required.
+Light on equipment.
+Hits all the major muscle groups.
+Combines strength, aerobics, and flexibility all in one workout.
+Great intro to jumping rope for those who would like to try it but don't want to spend a lot of time actually jumping.

Workout minuses:
-No active warmup.
-Full center split??????? Even in my cheerleading days, I could never do a split. For this workout, I just held my legs as wide as I could until it was time for the butterfly stretch.
-May not be enough cardio for some.
-I had to be very careful during the first part of the ab/core series, especially during the good mornings. If you have back problems like I do, take special care when doing the oblique side benders and the good mornings. Form is critical here.

Since I'm trying to exercise more in the 30- to 45-minute time range, I found this workout really fits the bill.

Instructor Comments:
Gunnar is a straightforward instructor with a dry sense of humor (which I like!). He explains the moves well and is big on the "functional" aspects of exercise.

Rebecca (blueskies)