Basic Cardio-Strength Workout Lesson Plan

Basic Cardio/Strength Workout

Created by Rachel Steinberg, 3LPlace, March 2017

Applies to:    Life Skills, Awareness Development and Executive Function, Self-Awarenenss

Purpose:       Improving cardiovascular and strength endurance


  • Waking up the body
  • Improving muscle tone and grip
  • Improving focus
  • Categorization (positive, negative and neutral)
  • Managing stress and anxiety

Materials needed:

  • Visual Supports
  • Appropriate workout equipment

Activity Steps

1. Make a plan together using visual supports:

Consider offering two different options for:

  • ramp up activity (example: brushing or brain gym)
  • physical warm up (ex: active stretching or running in place)
  • cardio activity (example: jumping on a trampoline or treadmill)
  • strength activity or series (example: push-ups, yoga ball sit ups, dumbbell exercises)

Quantify each activity in either number of reps or amount of time (example: ‘twenty jumping jacks’ or ‘two songs of your choice’)

Review visually reinforced plan with the student before beginning

Fill up your water bottles!


2. Implement the plan

Adapt to support the student’s needs: (example: modeling, doing the activity in tandem)

Check in after each step, rate exertion level from 1-6 (1- easy, 3-neutral, 6- hard)

Be a cheerleader!


3. When finished: 

Rate total exertion level from 1-6 (1- easy, 3-neutral, 6- hard)

Discuss what worked and what didn’t work, and how to improve for next time 

Discuss to what extent the student enjoyed or disliked the experience and why

Draw conclusions about the student’s overall skill level and ability for physical exertion in this form

Reflect on how this information is helpful and discuss if this type of basic workout is the best way to implement physical activity for the student

3LPlace Curriculum Wiki