Cardio. To do? Or not to do?

The perfect training routine has balance between cardiovascular activities and resistance training. Do too much of one and none of the other, chances are you're not seeing very great results.

You read me write over and over about how important weight training is for your results. But what about cardio? What is the recommended amount? And what type should you be doing?

Your cardiovascular training is going to solely depend on your goals. The balance between resistance training and cardio is different if you are aiming for weight loss, building lean muscle or training for an athletic event.

That being said, if you finish reading this blog and are still not sure of how a good cardio routine should look for you and your goals...EMAIL ME and I will help you figure that out.

What are your fitness goals?

Your primary goal will give you a good starting point to figure out how to balance your training as well as what type of cardio you should be doing.

Are you trying to lose fat? Are you focused on gaining muscle? Are you trying to improve sport performance? Or run a race?

If you don't know your goal at all, you need some serious help. Send me an email ASAP so we can talk goal setting and get you squared away to see amazing results.

What type of cardio?

Low Intensity - these are typically exercises that we can perform every single day, for long periods of time and multiple times per day like light walking or slow biking. Because low intensity cardio won't have much impact on muscle gain and can help you burn calories for fat loss - I recommend this as much as possible throughout the day. Simply be and stay active.

Moderate Intensity - again, exercises that can be done every day but are performed at a slightly higher intensity to increase your heart rate. Your heart rate with moderate intensity cardio should remain in your target HR zone the entire time. This is a great choice for recovery. Generally, for fat loss I like to recommend 4-5 20-30 minute sessions of moderate intensity cardio each week.

HIIT - high intensity interval training is extremely effective for fat loss. Not only does it cause you to burn a crazy amount of calories DURING your workout, you will also continue to burn calories afterwards as it raises your metabolism for the remainder of the day. Because this type of cardio is higher intensity, I recommend limiting it to 2-3 sessions per week and keep them shorter (10-20 minutes for fat loss). If your overall goal is muscle gain, limit to once or twice per week.

My personal favorite is to add in quick 10 minute Metabolic Conditioning circuits after my strength training workouts 2-3x per week.

Muscle Gain Cardio Routine

Monday - Strength Training, 20:00 Moderate Intensity Cardio

Tuesday - Strength Training

Wednesday 20:00 HIIT or Active Recovery

Thursday - Strength Training, 20:00 Moderate Intensity Cardio

Friday: Strength Training

Fat Loss Routine

Monday - Strength Training, 20:00 Moderate Intensity Cardio

Tuesday - Strength Training, 10:00 Quick HIIT

Wednesday - 30:00 Moderate Intensity Cardio

Thursday - 20:00 HIIT

Friday - Strength Training, 20:00 Moderate Intensity Cardio

If you are training for a race (5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Marathon) your cardio goal will look different depending on your fitness level. If you have no idea where to begin, let me help you with a 12-Week Custom Running Program!

Every person's situation is different and all comes down to their schedule, body type and goals. These are guidelines and will give you a great idea of what cardio frequency, type and duration is most appropriate for your specific goals and situations.

They aren't rules written in stone. Every body responds differently to training, so feel free to experiment!

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