Cardio vs. Strength Training: Finding the Perfect Balance

Jun 28, 2023

Want more help building a workout plan? Click below to read our blog "How to Make a Summer Workout Plan that Works for You."

Man performing a chest press with two dumbells at O2 Fitness Clubs

When you want to get your sweat on, do you reach for your running shoes or a pair of dumbbells?

In this blog, we're diving into the age-old debate of cardio vs. strength training. Both have their benefits, but finding the right balance in your workout routine can make a big difference in reaching your health and wellness goals.

Keep reading to learn the benefits of cardio and strength training and how to combine them into a perfectly balanced workout routine!

Benefits of Cardio

Cardio and aerobic exercise are about increasing your heart rate and making your lungs work harder than usual. Whether it's running, cycling, dancing, or jumping rope, cardio exercises improve your cardiovascular health and boost your overall endurance. You can also find ways to do cardio outside of the gym with activities like yard work, hiking, and swimming!

If you need more motivation to do a cardio workout, try finding a group fitness class like Zumba, BodyJam, or M'Bala that excites you and makes you feel like a fitness rockstar!

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Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training is all about building muscle and increasing strength. These exercises use some form of resistance to build muscular strength. Some types of "resistance" used for strength training are:

  • Dumbbells
  • Cable Machines
  • Resistance Bands
  • Kettlebells
  • Battle Ropes

Don't worry if you aren't entirely comfortable lifting weights. There are a variety of bodyweight exercises, like push-ups and squats, that can help you continue to get strong and feel confident!

How to Build a Balanced Strength and Cardio Routine

Now that you know how cardio and strength training benefits the body. Let's talk about how to find the perfect balance between the two in your workout routine!
  • Start by Understanding Your Goals:

    First things first, figure out what you want to achieve. Are you trying to improve your endurance? Do you want to feel stronger during everyday activities? Or would you like to finally find a workout routine that won't leave you bored? Knowing your goals will help you find the right balance between your weekly cardio and strength training workouts.
  • Create a Balanced Training Schedule:

    Now comes the fun part - balancing cardio and strength training in your workout routine. Aim to make a routine that incorporates both equally. Consider either splitting your workout to be half cardio and half strength training or try some of these balanced plans depending on how often you go to the club:

    • 2 Days Per Week: Day 1 - Cardio. Day 2 - Full Body Strength Training.
    • 3 Days Per Week: Day 1 - Cardio. Day 2 - Full Body Strength Training. Day 3 - Cardio.
    • 4 Days Per Week: Day 1 - Upper Body Strength Training. Day 2 - Cardio. Day 3 - Lower Body Strength Training. Day 4 - Cardio.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Mix Things Up!

    It's important to listen to your body. If you're feeling sore or getting bored with your workout routine, use a variety of cardio activities and strength exercises to keep things fresh, utilize new muscle groups, and learn something new. You can also try new classes, join a sports team, or explore the great outdoors. Keeping your fitness routine exciting and fresh will prevent boredom and challenge your body in new ways!

When it comes to cardio vs. strength training, it's not about which one is better. It's about finding a balance to utilize the benefits of both! 

Finding the perfect balance between the two will help you reach your goals faster, and the variety it brings to your workout routine will help you stay motivated to keep moving! Remember, it's all about finding a balance that works for your fitness goals and makes you feel amazing.

Ready to get your fitness journey started? Learn how O2 Fitness Clubs can help you reach your goals!

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