A Trainer Explains How to Structure Your Cardio and Strength Workouts to Start Losing Weight

Cardio and strength training are both essential for weight loss, but if you’re unsure how much and how often you should do them, here’s a good rule of thumb: aim to work out more than you rest, or four out of seven days each week. “Combining strength and cardio in the same day will be the most efficient,” Jackie Wilson, an NASM-certified personal trainer and founder of NOVA Fitness Innovation, told POPSUGAR. “For workouts longer than 30 minutes, the strength and cardio portions should be an equal amount of time.” If you have 30 minutes or less, focus on either strength training or cardio, then alternate the next time you exercise.

Most importantly, know that skipping one could slow down your progress. “When it comes to cardio and strength training, most people make the mistake of choosing one over the other, but they both play important roles in weight loss and health,” Jackie said. “Cardio is important to heart health, lung capacity, and weight loss, while strength training is the fastest way to burn fat and get toned.”

To help get you started, Jackie has pulled together a sample cardio and strength-training plan that will help maximize your workouts and inch you closer to your goals. “A good mix of cardio and strength training will make sure that your body is firing on all cylinders,” she said. Each workout is approximately 60 minutes, split evenly between the two. Do strength training first, while your muscles are fresh, and don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout.

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