Weekly Workout Plan: Cardio Vs. Weight Training

By: StacyAtZeel
No excusesNo excuses
Runners need to lift, and lifters need to run. It's a common quandary, really, that could all be avoided if someone would finally answer the question:

How many times a week should I work out to build muscle strength and tone, and how many times should I do cardio exercise?

Zeel fitness experts have all the details.

Spencer Hughes, New York, NY

That depends on your goals, says Spencer. Individuals with weight-loss goals can rarely incorporate too much cardio. "On the other hand, if your goals are more tone or strength based, you'll want to spend more time lifting weights," he explains.

To build a solid foundation for your fitness routine, Spencer recommends doing cardio at least three times a week and weight training three times a week. "Tailor it to your schedule and your goals," he encourages. "If you're looking for more muscle tone and development, weight train four times a week with a higher intensity and then do cardio twice. If you have a busy schedule, do weight training and cardio on the same day."

Bill Ross, Littleton, CO

According to Bill, balance is key. "Unless you are training for something specific," he adds. "If you are just looking to lose weight and tone up, you should be performing total body workouts at a moderate to high intensity level at least three to four days a week."

Bill also suggests performing cardiovascular exercises at a moderate to high intensity, switching off between each level. "Make sure you alternate your cardio intensity days between moderate and high three to four days a week," he says.

Laura Garrett, Prosper, TX

"Aim for three to four cardio sessions per week; two to three strength training sessions per week," says Laura, a personal trainer and registered dietitian. No pain? No gain. Be sure to work your muscles to exhaustion when strength training. "If you do not challenge the muscle," she explains, "you will eventually plateau."