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 (example attached below)
  • 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 member before beginning

-Fill up your water bottles!

2. Implement the plan

  • Adapt to support the member’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 member enjoyed or disliked the experience and why
  • Draw conclusions about the member’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 member


3LPlace Curriculum Wiki