Looking to strike a perfect balance between weight lifting and cardio? Unfortunately, there’s no concrete “how to” regarding this particular topic. Instead, ask yourself: what are your goals? After all, fitness trainers in Ellicott City and beyond will likely tell you the exact same thing: It depends on what you’re looking for.
Cardio exercises engage the lungs and respiratory system, improving circulation and metabolism, while weight – or resistance – training is used to foster strength and endurance. But here’s a little secret: Not only do cardio and weight lifting go hand in hand, but a healthy lifestyle relies on a measured blend of both.
When mapping out your workout plan, discuss the following questions with your fitness trainer in Ellicott City.
- Do you want to shed pounds or build muscle?
- What kind of exercise interests you?
- What time do you have to devote to both cardio and strength training?
- What are your abilities and limitations?
- What is your body type?
Cardio workouts are ideal for fat reduction, and luckily there are plenty of options available – from workouts on the treadmill and elliptical machine to aerobics, cycling, shadow boxing, and more. Many weight lifters shun cardio, concerned that it will prevent the development of muscle mass. The truth is that cardiovascular exercise only burns muscle when all other options have been exhausted. In other words, avoid exercising on an empty stomach, and never overexert yourself.
In fact, rest is often the overlooked third partner in the weights or cardio conundrum. No matter what your fitness goals may be, allowing your body time to reset and recharge in between vigorous workouts is critical.
Some things to keep in mind:
- If your aim is an overall sense of well-being, consider alternating cardio and strength training days. This will keep things from becoming mundane, and contributes to a general sense of health and confidence.
- If you are combining cardio and strength training in the same session, prioritize weights. Cardio will sap your energy faster, leaving no fuel left in the tank for lifting.
- There does not need to be “a separation between church and state,” so to speak. Try weighted cardio that combines both disciplines, such as kettlebell swings.
If exercising five days a week, consider 3 days of strength training working the upper and lower body, and two devoted to cardio. At Fitness Together, our fitness trainers in Ellicott City recommend guided workouts at least three days per week, and can assist you in setting up a fitness plan geared toward your personal preferences. We assess our clients every 6-8 weeks, and can keep you on track to achieving your fitness goals. Call us today at 410-750-2228.