If you’re setting a new goal for yourself and your fitness, you’ve probably wondered if you should combine strength training and cardio into the same workout, or keep them on separate days.
It depends on your goals.
“If you are working on building muscle and strength, keep your strength training on separate days from your cardio training,” says Chris Stapylton, GoodLife Fitness Manager.
However, if your goal is to lose weight, you can perform your cardio after your strength training on the same day. Chris reveals that “The exception is if your cardio training is more intensive than your strength training. A good rule to follow if you’re looking to lose weight is to always perform your most intensive training first.”
Chris adds that, “Long static runs after lifting are not beneficial to your muscles if you’re trying to bulk up, but they are fine if your aim is fat loss.”
You will also achieve the biggest gains with the exercises that you work on at the start of your workout, so if you have a weak area that you’re looking to strengthen, work on it at the start of your workout to get the best results.
Use interval runs to burn more fat in a shorter period of time. Think one-minute sprints followed by 1-2 minutes of brisk walking. Even intervals of 20-second sprints followed by brisk walking will burn more fat by revving up your metabolism.
Another way to build cardiovascular fitness is to move from one strength exercise to another with minimal rest (45 seconds). Just be certain that the exercises target different muscle groups so that the muscles do not become exhausted too early. Switching up the targeted areas will also give time for each muscle group to recover before being worked on again.
Cardio versus strength training
Combining cardio and strength training can be beneficial depending on your fitness goals