It has been recommended and proven by many weight loss advisers and individuals that a combination of cardio and resistance training will help you lose weight faster and more effectively. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
- Complete resistance training on certain days of the week and cardio exercises during rest days
- Do cardio training in an earlier session and resistance training in a later session on the same training day
- Incorporate both cardio and resistance exercises into one workout session.
The fast burning of calories brought about by cardio exercises combined with increased metabolism caused by resistance training would surely make your weight loss program faster and more effective. The most successful way to integrate these two types of exercise would be to find the best program that fits your time, your resources, and your endurance. Here are three different programs you could consider:
Complete resistance training on certain days of the week and cardio exercises during rest days
Especially if you are just a beginner, always be reminded that when you do resistance training, you must give yourself time for your body to recover. Three to four days a week would make a great resistance training program for you to lose weight and build up muscle. What is important is that you do it on a regular basis and you follow a regular program based on progression of frequency and resistance applied. Integrating cardio exercises into your resistance training program will help you lose weight faster and you can perform cardio exercises on your rest days to allow yourself to build up the lost energy and worn out muscles from resistance training.
For example, if you wish to follow a four day a week resistance training program, you can group certain muscle exercises on one day, making the second, fourth, and sixth days of the week your rest days, during which time you would complete your cardio exercises. Consider the following program as an example:
- Day 1 – legs and calves resistance training, such as leg presses and calf raises
- Day 2 – slow-intensity cardio exercise, such as biking at slow pace and strolling
- Day 3 – back, abdomen, and chest resistance training, such dumbbell row, exercise ball crunch, and push ups
- Day 4 – slow intensity cardio exercise that you can progress to medium-intensity after a few weeks or months; example: brisk-walking, 30 to 45-minute medium-paced workout at the gym, and jogging
- Day 5 – triceps and biceps resistance training, such as dumbbell triceps extension and alternate dumbbell curl
- Day 6 – slow-intensity cardio exercise
- Day 7 – shoulder and abdomen, such as dumbbell press and machine abdominal crunch
For your resistance training program, you could also use multi-purpose equipment similar to the Total Gym 3000 that addresses multiple muscle exercises. Other equipment you could also use for resistance training, are dumbbells, barbells, benches, elastic bands, weighted vests and exercise balls.
Do cardio training in an earlier session and resistance training in a later session on the same training day
Especially if you work out in a crowded gym or with limited training equipment, this combination would be most advisable if you have time to exercise both in the morning and in the afternoon. This combination of cardio and resistance training involves cardio training in the morning and resistance training in the afternoon. Especially for beginners, it is advisable not to complete both exercises simultaneously, as all your energy might be exhausted from your first weight loss activity.
Cardio training is better done in the morning, especially when you have not taken a full meal because you are able to burn the calories and fats that have been stored overnight. Never do cardio exercises on an empty stomach, though, as you need energy to endure your training. As long as you have not fasted the previous day, you are should still have enough energy to undergo up to an hour of slow to medium-intensity cardio exercises in the morning. It is also recommended to complete cardio exercises after at least thirty minutes of being awake, as you need time to get yourself more active. Thirty minutes to one hour of running, biking, or brisk walking would burn enough calories and stored fats and would enhance your metabolism for the day.
As long as you give your body enough time to rest and recuperate some energy, you can perform resistance training in the afternoon. One hour is enough for resistance training to be effective in losing weight and at the same time keep your muscles from overworking.
Incorporate both cardio and resistance exercises into one workout session
This step begins with the usual way to begin an exercise, which is to warm up. After warming up, you can start with a medium-intensity cardio exercise limited to 30-45 seconds only. This short period of exercise is important to keep your energy until you finish your workout for the day. After your first cardio exercise, you can move on with a particular resistance training exercise with the exact frequency and resistance applied, and then go back to cardio training. Repeat the sequence until you finish your workout for up to forty five minutes only to keep your body from overworking. Always cool down and do not forget to drink water and other fluids in-between exercises to keep you hydrated throughout your workout.
There are other individuals who endure cardio exercises after resistance training to lose weight faster. This method is definitely not the best nor is it recommended, since your body gets tired and weary after resistance training and this will usually result in an increased risk of injuries and less effective cardio exercises.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!