How to Balance Strength Training & Cardio

Strength Training

Home » Strength Training » How to Balance Strength Training & Cardio

01/12/2023

When you are wondering how much strength training versus how much cardio you should do, the question you have to ask yourself is what is your goal. Your goal will lead you to how you should train.

For example, if your goal is to work on increasing aerobic capacity or you are training for a race, your mileage per week will be higher, while strength training will be 2-3 times per week. If your goal is fat loss, you may focus on strength training 3-4x/week, and incorporate both high and low-intensity cardio. If your goal is overall strength, you may perform 4-5 days of strength training with a low-intensity aerobic day for general health.

If your goal is general fitness, simply follow The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. Their recommendations:

Strength Training:

Moderate intensity exercise or greater, involving all major muscle groups, two or more times per week.1

Aerobic Training:

150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity* exercise per week (with additional health benefits gained from more than 300 minutes of moderate activity per week)1

OR

75-150 minutes of vigorous** intensity exercise per week1

If you have any other questions about general activity or are interested in the activity guidelines for children, adolescents, or older adults, check out this resource created by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Want to learn how to balance strength training and cardio for your specific goals? I write personalized programs delivered via an app on your phone with accountability and weekly check ins. Check out my physical therapy or personal training services if you are interested. Schedule a free consultation here, or just follow along for my free content on Instagram and Youtube.

*Moderate intensity exercise (3.0-6.0METs) includes brisk walking (4mph), heavy cleaning, lawn mowing, biking (10-12mph), doubles tennis2

**Vigorous-intensity exercise (>6.0METs) includes hiking, jogging 6pmh, shoveling, carrying heavy loads, biking (14-16mph), basketball, soccer, tennis2

References:

  1. Olson, R., Piercy, K., Ballard, R., Fulton, J., Galuska, D., and Pfohl, S., 2020. Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans, Second Edition. [online] Health.gov. Available at: <https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf> [Accessed 6 August 2020].
  2. Moderate And Vigorous Physical Activity. [online] Available at: <https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/moderate-and-vigorous-physical-activity/#:~:text=Moderate%2Dintensity%20activities%20are%20those,burn%20more%20than%206%20METs.> [Accessed 6 August 2020].