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Balanced Workout: Cardio & Weight Training

Balanced Workout: Cardio & Weight Training

Hopefully by now you have added some strength training to your workout plan since it has so many benefits (making you stronger, firing up your metabolism, and the new exercise guidelines recommend 2 sessions a week). The experts, however, all seem to have different ideas on how to go about it.

I found the age based approach by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the doctor that coined the word "aerobics" back in the '60s, interesting. He now advises his patients to perform muscular conditioning in a graduated amount based on age. Since the human body slows down in building muscle mass in the mid 30s, the older you get the more time you should allocate for strength training in your workout. He found that as he aged he was able to maintain his aerobic endurance but lacked strength.

Here is what Cooper suggests:

Age in decade Cardio Training Strength Training
30s 80% 20%
40s 70% 30%
50s 60% 40%

If you are in your 20s, you should still do a mixture of cardio and muscular conditioning; the key is to listen to your body. If you are experiencing injuries (like sore knees from running mile upon mile), you definitely need to add strength training to your regimen.


Join The Conversation
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
I think it's sad many girls are afraid to do weight training. It's tha best way to get definition and having more muscle mass is a real matabolism booster since you burn more calories doing nothing.
Tari007 Tari007 9 years
It turns out I have been doing too much muscle conditioning and not enough cardio so I'm bulking up. Yes, I'm acquiring definition but my ultimate goal is to slim down and tone my body. I'm going back to cardio 6 days a week and yogalates twice a week...and maybe muscle conditioning once a week....which is my favorite class! :sad:
ccsugar ccsugar 9 years
There was a great article in our newspaper this week about the importance of strength training. It cited many examples of people who had plateaued doing just cardio, then they switched to weights and lost weight! I know it's recommended to weight train 2x per week, but sometimes that almost seems like not enough... I would like to do it 3 or 4 times per week, I'm just worried about hurting myself.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I've been trying to increase my strength training a bit. I am a distance runner and I tend to focus primarily on cardio, sometimes doing 2 hours a day when I'm going hardcore. But I find that if I run TOO much, I get tendonitis flareups and my knees ache. I figure if I cut back on the running and add strength training instead, I'll be able to keep my legs stronger and maintain more muscle mass.
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