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Strength vs. Cardio — Here's How You Should Structure Your Workout

Take a 20 Minute Rest, Burn More Fat

Sick of doing marathon sessions on the treadmill? Then, maybe you should break it up from time to time.

New research has found that the rate at which your body burns fuel (i.e. fat) may be elevated if you break up those long cardio session (60 minutes) into two back-to-back 30-minute sessions with a 20-minute break in between.

I am going to try it this weekend though I am not so sure I will have an easy time motivating myself to have another go after 20 minutes of rest. I am going to hit the treadmill for 30 minutes, do a bit of active rest for 20 minutes, then finish it up and hit the elliptical for the final 30 minutes. Wish me luck!

If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
darkoblivion darkoblivion 9 years
I do it all the time. Not only does it alleviate boredom, it encourages your to switch your cardio up to eliminate plateau and whatnot. I do also find that I can do the last half hour with more endurance. The 20+ minutes between sessions I use as a heavy left session so my muscles are even more revved for my last bout of cardio. I recommend this to anyone who likes a challenge and gets bored with cardio easily.
tabloidprincess tabloidprincess 9 years
I don't believe this 20 minute thing.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
is light conditioning considered a rest? or is it supposed to be totally realxing activity? like walking around doing nothing?
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i usually do a 15-20 minute warm-up on a stationary bike & then i lift weights before doing another 30-45 minutes of cardio. i might try this out on th days i use the elliptical... i don't want to break up my runs.
bp99 bp99 9 years
yeah this sounds like a really simple interval - which are also shown to burn fat. Like the story recently about biking for 20 seconds resting for 60 or whatever. anything where you vary your intensity seems like it burns fat more at this point than just plain endurance type activity. that would include running hills i bet. so you don't need to actually sit around, just mixing it up is enough.
marygrace marygrace 9 years
i don't think i'd want to try this because it would be super hard to motivate myself to start exercising again once i've stopped. also, i feel lke my endurance is better if i went for the full 60 minutes at once instead of breaking it up.. just like a personal "makes me feel stronger" sort of thing. it would seem like more of an accomplishment to me.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I'll try it OUT!
trackstar trackstar 9 years
Sounds like sprint training for track.. of course "trackstar" would know that right :) Must be why sprinters are so ripped :) Ahhh back in the day...
sportsaholic21 sportsaholic21 9 years
I often warm up for 30 minutes on the elliptical do the free weights portion of my weight lifting, run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, do half of my machine weights, then 30 minutes on the bike, finish my weight lifting, then cool down on the elliptical and stretch. I find it helps to break up the cardio instead of doing it in hour long chunks as I tend to get bored!
Kirasmommy Kirasmommy 9 years
This is good news, because I did 50 min on my elliptical the other day and thought I was going to die of boredom, even though I did one 30-min interval program and one 20-min program back-to-back. Even so, AMAZINGLY boring.
Seraphim Seraphim 9 years
gym time today after i go to the rmv ..........ugh... :)
juju4 juju4 9 years
I started doing this when my gym enforced time restrictions on their cardio equipment during peak times, and because I had heard different opinions on whether it was best to do cardio before or after lifting weights. So now I do elliptical for 20-30, then lift weights, and then move to the treadmill for 20-30 minutes. I can't stay on one cardio machine for longer than 40 minutes...I just get SO bored!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Good to know! I used to really push myself througha whole hour and not stopping.
tigra tigra 9 years
i do this too, both in the gym and outside. lately i've been taking advantage of the nice weather before it's too cold and walking to my library (2.5 miles) then i'll find a few new books to check out and walk home (another 2.5). it's a great workout because there are hills and right now the houses are decorated for halloween.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
That sounds interesting! Like do treadmill, maybe lift some weights, then treadmill again? Could I do that?
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
I also do that! Cause I have no problem running for hours outdoor but on the treadmill even only 45min can be so boring! So I do the same as mrpaj: 20-30min on the treadmill then free weights for my upper body then 20-30 min again on the treadmill then free weights for my lower body and abs and voila I am finished!
mrspaj mrspaj 9 years
i definitely suggest it...i actually find that it can help with motivation when i get bored running! I'll go on the treadmill for 20-25 minutes to get warmed up and then use the free weights for 10-15 min and then get back on the treadmill. I can often last longer during the second half than I would have if I had been running straight through. Highly recommend it!
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