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A Simple Cardio and Resistance Training Plan Anyone Can Follow

As the old adage goes, "There is a time and place for everything." This saying holds true even as it relates to your fitness goals.

No matter who you are, what those goals may be, or what your starting point, if you want to achieve true fitness and better overall health and wellness, your training routine should include both cardiovascular and resistance workouts.

A Simple Cardio and Resistance Training Plan Anyone Can Follow

Unfortunately, all too often, individuals end up sticking to either what they most recently read, or saw online, or what they happen to personally enjoy more. Neither of these approaches are good.

First and foremost, the internet is flooded with individuals simply trying to get noticed and therefore creating the latest, and sometimes craziest, fitness suggestions. (FYI...none of whom look the way they do due to those goofy exercises and workouts.)

Secondly, if we only ever did what we enjoyed, we would never get very far or amount to very much. Heck, even at the earliest of ages we learn that vegetables are good for us, even though very few children actually like them.

So, with that said, if you really want to look, feel and perform your best, in the shortest amount of time, putting both cardio and resistance training into play is the way to go.

But, in fairness, in order to do that, it is probably a good idea that you understand their differences and the benefits of each. After all, your plan does have to meet your goals, right?

Ready to see what we think you should be doing? Read on...

Our Cardiovascular Training Suggestions

The real key to cardio training success is just two things...finding cardiovascular activities and/or exercises that you enjoy, and doing them consistently!

While there are so many ways to get your cardiovascular exercise in, from walking, riding a bike, hiking, skating, treadmills, swimming, elliptical machines, playing tennis, soccer, etc, if you are serious about your fitness level, H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training) is the way to go.

HIIT training is not only going to have the greatest cardiovascular impact, in the shortest possible time, it will also provide the greatest boost to your metabolism (think fat burning).

Seems like a real win-win for those who want to get in shape, perform better, and lose unwanted weight at the same time, no?

Now, in fairness, HIIT training, while it should be kept short in session length, 12-15 minutes max, it is tough.

If you are just diving into your fitness routine, you should most likely start with some steady-state cardio sessions, doing something you really like doing if possible, to get your feet wet and prepare for the more grueling HIIT to come.

Taking this approach will allow, in no time at all, you to begin to incorporate HIIT sessions into your weekly routine.

So maybe week one includes three steady-state cardio sessions (20 minutes each), week two moves to four steady-state cardio sessions, 20 minutes each), then, in week three, you decide to give HIIT a try and move to three steady-state sessions (20 minutes each) and one HIIT session (12 minutes).

You might choose to keep this week three schedule for a few weeks, focusing on the intensity in which you perform your HIIT session versus increasing the length of your cardio sessions.

See some examples of our HIIT training suggestions here!

Remember, when it comes to exercise, walk before you run (pun intended). Start slow, allow your body and mind to acclimate and maybe more importantly, enjoy the process. Attempting to go 110% from day one will almost certainly lead to a quick burnout.

Can you say New Year's Resolutions? 🤔

That's not what we want, so take it easy and just focus on being consistent. You will get reach the point of increasing your intensity levels much quicker this way. Guaranteed. 

Our Resistance Training Suggestions

So, with cardio out of the way, it is time to dive into the resistance training side of this equation.

So there is no confusion, resistance training can also come in a myriad of variations, from the use of weights (barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, etc) to the use of bands, and depending on the exercise, even just bodyweight training.

Now, while cardio training is absolutely important, not just for the way we look, but our heart health as well, there is little argument that resistance training should be top priority.

The benefits of resistance training, increased muscle mass, better flexibility, higher metabolic rate, healthier aging, etc, really set the stage for overall fitness.

Additionally, while the common misconception is that in order to lose weight one must be spending hours on the cardio equipment, the reality is quite opposite.

Resistance training, in fact, is superior for increasing your resting metabolic rate, and thus fat-burning, not only because the workouts are more intense, but also because the resistance training will increase lean muscle mass.

Increased muscle means more calories are burned, even when the body is at rest.

In other words, if you want that leaner look, no matter what the starting point, you can’t afford to miss out on your resistance training. 

Now, the need for resistance training is far more than just looking good. How about aging better, more gracefully as well? How? Well...

Resistance training helps to improve bone strength, muscle strength, as well as balance and agility. These bonuses will almost certainly lead to better maintenance in flexibility and strength as you age.

When you consider how many elderly individuals have difficulties with everyday movements like standing or sitting, you might not need another reason to start lifting right now!

Guess what! Some more good news too. Most people actually find their resistance training more enjoyable, less monotonous than most typical cardio form of exercise. Fat-burning and fun. Win-win! 🎉

So, with all that said, we recommend that beginners start out with 2-3 full-body resistance training sessions per week, keep weights light, allowing for 15+ reps per set. Just a couple weeks of this, slowly increasing resistance will prepare the body and muscles to take it up a notch.

After two weeks, you will have some decisions to make based on your goals, training sessions, etc. Will you continue with the full-body session, working each bodypart each workout with 1-2 exercises, or will you move to a "split" routine of sorts?

One of our favorite split routines would be a 3-day split that paired bodyparts as follows...

  • Day #1 - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Day #2 - Back, Traps, Biceps, Abs
  • Day #3 - Legs, Calves

Obviously, as you will see throughout the World Wide Web, there are countless ways to split up your training. We personally like this split as it allows for bodypart rest and fluidity based on almost anyone's schedule and training days.

Trial and error will be your best tool and provide you with the feedback you need to make changes as you progress! Don't let things get stale, but don't change workout plans too frequently either. You will have no way of recognizing progress or over-training if you do. 

Now Let's Put This Fitness Training Plan to Use

As we hope you can see, there are absolutely reasons to make sure that both cardio and resistance training are a part of your ongoing fitness program.

Obviously, once you understand the benefits of different exercises, you will become much more comfortable creating a plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

Just remember, the combination of cardio and resistance training is absolutely the best way get you started towards not just better fitness, but a better "beach bod" as well.

Always Remember…

You only have one life to live, one body to live it in…so take care of it. Progress, not perfection.

Good, better, best with your food intake and some form of “movement” daily.

Get your nutritional foundation from food, supplement where necessary, and drink plenty of water.

As always, we are here to help so feel free to contact us or drop a comment below with any comments or questions you may have.

And, don’t forget, always consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise regiment.

Live a 3D Life…Decisions Determine Destinations!

1 Comment

  • Excellent article with a lot of valuable information ! Again, much appreciated.

    René West on

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