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How do I find the right balance between cardio and strength training?

Hi everyone,

I've been trying to get into better shape and have been incorporating both cardio and strength training into my workouts. However, I am struggling to find the right balance between the two. I want to make sure I am getting enough cardiovascular exercise to improve my endurance and overall health, but also want to build muscle and increase strength.

Some background on me: I am a 25-year-old female and work a sedentary job, so I don't get much physical activity during the day. I currently workout at the gym three to four times a week and usually spend about 30 minutes doing cardiovascular exercise (running on the treadmill, using the elliptical, etc.) and 45 minutes doing strength training (weightlifting, resistance bands, etc.).

I feel like I am making progress in both areas, but not sure if I am doing enough of one or the other. I don't have a specific fitness goal, but just want to be healthier overall.

Any advice on how to find the right balance between cardio and strength training would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies



Finding the right balance between cardio and strength training is essential. As someone who has gone from a sedentary lifestyle to being active, it took me some time to find the perfect balance between both forms of exercises.

Here's what worked for me:

Firstly, set specific goals: Make sure to set clear goals for what you intend to achieve in your fitness routine. It can be to lose weight, build lean muscle mass or increase your endurance. Having a specific goal can help you tailor a workout plan that’s best suited for you.

Secondly, vary up routines: It's vital to mix up your workouts to prevent boredom and get the full benefits of both cardio and strength training. It’s okay to repeat workouts, but not every time. Introducing new methods of cardio, such as cycling or skipping, can help keep your workout routine exciting.

Thirdly, remember that quality is better than quantity: While it's essential to balance cardio and strength training, it's equally crucial not to overdo it. Listen to your body and ensure you rest when you need it. Four intense workouts a week are better than seven half-hearted ones.

Lastly, track progress: Keep track of fitness progress including how long it takes to complete a mile or how many reps you can perform with a particular weight. Tracking progress beyond the 'how much weight is being lost' can help you assess when it's time to switch up your routine.

In conclusion, finding the right balance between cardio and strength training takes time, dedication, and patience. By setting specific goals, varying routines, focusing on quality, not quantity and tracking progress over time, you can find the perfect balance that works for you.


I totally understand your predicament, and it's quite common. Balancing cardio and strength training can be tricky. However, it's essential to maintain a well-rounded regimen for optimal fitness.

Here's my advice:

1. Focus on high-intensity cardio exercises - Choose workouts that get your heart rate up, such as HIIT, sprint intervals, or hill training. Doing high-intensity cardio, even for a short period of time, can help you enhance your cardiovascular health and burn fat faster.

2. Add some resistance exercises - Resistance training is essential to build lean muscles and strengthen your bones. Lifting weights or using resistance bands can help to increase your strength and metabolism. I usually mix strength exercises with cardio workouts. I typically start with cardio, move on to lifting weights, and finish it off with more cardio.

3. Rest and recover - It's essential to give your body adequate rest between cardio and strength training sessions, particularly if you're doing high-intensity workouts. Remember, rest is just as important as exercise. Overtraining can lead to injuries and prevent progress, so ensure you find an appropriate balance and take enough rest.

4. Pay attention to your nutrition - Proper nutrition plays a significant role in how effective your workouts are. You need to fuel your body with the right nutrients to optimize your results. A balance of protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrates, is essential to achieving your fitness goals.

In conclusion, Don't be afraid to mix it up and find what works best for you. Listen to your body, pay attention to nutrition, and focus on progressive overload. With commitment, you can find the right balance between cardio and strength training for optimal fitness results.



I understand your concern regarding balancing cardio and strength training in your workouts. I have been doing exercise for some time, and what has worked for me is creating a schedule.

Here's what I do:

1. Schedule your workouts: I have a workout schedule that I follow, which includes a balance between cardio and strength training. With a plan in place, it's easier to ensure you don't skip one or the other.

2. Measure your progress: Measure your progress to see how much cardio and strength training you are doing in a week. You can use a fitness tracker or any other tracking app to know how much you have done and how much you need to do regularly.

3. Emotional Balance: Balancing emotion while doing a workout is quite tricky. When I am exercising, I try to focus on whatever I am doing, whether it's a run or weightlifting because that helps me to forget and deal with any emotional turmoil that could affect my workouts.

4. Be Consistent: Consistency is key to achieving any fitness goal. Try to do more than just going through the motions. Be present in your workouts, and do your best to be consistent in your workouts for better results.

5. Keep a Balanced Diet: Let us not forget that diet plays a crucial role in fitness; a balanced diet is necessary for muscle recovery and growth. Incorporate protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables and whole grains into your meals.

In conclusion, creating a schedule, measuring progress, emotional balance, consistency, and keeping a balanced diet can help you find the perfect balance between cardio and strength training. With time and repetition, you'll discover the perfect routine that works for you.


Hi there,

I can relate to your difficulties when it comes to balancing cardio and strength training. It's a process that's different for everyone, but I'll share what worked for me.

Here are some tips:

1. Know your limits: When it comes to cardio, focus on your heart rate and time limits, while for strength training, focus on weight, reps, and muscle groups. Listen to your body and stop when you need to.

2. Rest and recovery: Rest and recovery are essential in achieving better results, as it helps rebuild and repair muscles. Recovery periods help avoid fatigue, injury, and stress.

3. Consistency is key: Consistency is critical to achieving your fitness goals. Staying committed to your workout plan and being consistent with your routine can aid in balancing cardio and strength training in a way that works best for you.

4. Make exercise a habit: Incorporate fitness into your lifestyle, rather than it feeling like a chore. This can be achieved by participating in activities that you enjoy, such as running or cycling. You can do this by adding a little bit of exercise to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to work rather than driving.

5. Fuel your body: Proper nutrition is vital in aiding recovery and maintaining the energy levels needed for more effective workouts. Consume a balanced diet of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

In conclusion, to achieve a balance between cardio and strength training, focus on your goals while listening to your body. Maintain consistency, make exercise a habit, rest, and recover, and remember to fuel your body with proper nutrition. With dedication and persistence, you can find the right balance that works for you.


Hey there,

I understand how balancing cardio and strength training can be challenging, especially when you're unsure of where to begin. From my experience, it's all about identifying your unique objectives and gradually making progress at your own pace.

Here some tips that have worked for me:

1. Prioritize what you enjoy: Cardio and strength training can take on different forms. So when creating a balance, focus on the activities you enjoy most. If you love playing tennis, go for it! It's also essential to create some variety to avoid boredom and repetitive injuries.

2. Gradually increase the intensity: Trying to do everything all at once is never the best way to balance cardio and strength training; it's easy to get overwhelmed and burned out. Start slow, and gradually increase the intensity of your training over time.

3. Learn from professionals: Consult certified trainers or coaches to help you develop an effective exercise plan. They can give valuable advice and suggest exercises that will help you achieve your goals.

4. Be patient: It may take some time to see progress, but patience is key. You might want to monitor your progress and make adjustments as necessary, but avoid obsessing over it.

5. Find a support system: A workout buddy, coach, or family member can hold you accountable for your fitness goals, making your journey more fun and enjoyable.

In conclusion, balancing cardio and strength training takes time and patience. You must identify your objectives, gradually increase intensity, work with professionals, have patience, and find a support system to help you through your journey. With dedication and diligence, you can find the right balance that works for you!


Hi there,

I can totally relate to your dilemma. I faced the same issue when I first started working out. I used to focus entirely on strength training and neglected cardio because I found it boring. However, I soon realized that I was not making any progress in terms of improving my endurance and overall health.

What worked for me was to prioritize each session based on my fitness goals. If my aim was to increase my cardio endurance, I would start with a 10-minute warm-up on the treadmill or the elliptical and then do a 30-40 minute cardio session. On days where my focus was strength training, I would reverse the process and begin with 30-40 minutes of strength training which would be followed by a 10-minute cardio cool-down.

I would also recommend adding some resistance training into your cardio routine, such as sprint intervals, hill sprints or HIIT. This will ensure that you get your heart rate up and also build lean muscle mass. In the long run, this will help in increasing your metabolism aiding in faster fat loss.

In summary, my advice would be to vary your training regimen based on the desired outcome for each session, mix up cardio along with strength training and incorporate resistance training into your cardio routine. Finding the right balance requires a bit of trial and error. Keep experimenting to see what works best for you, and you will soon find your sweet spot. Good luck!


Hey there,

I completely understand your dilemma as I've previously been in your shoes. I also struggled to find the right balance between cardio and strength training when I first began exercising.

Here are some things that worked for me:

1. Prioritize the type of workout based on how you feel: I switch between cardio and strength training based on how I feel each day. If I feel like my energy levels are high, I do strength training; if I feel lethargic, I opt for cardio, which can give me an instant energy boost.

2. Incorporate interval training: I love doing interval training, where I alternate between periods of high-intensity cardio and strength training. This way, I get the best of both worlds without spending too much time doing either.

3. Don't compare yourself to others: Everyone's fitness goals and abilities differ. What may work for someone else might not work for you, so instead of comparing, figure out what works best for your body.

4. Make it fun: Cardio and strength training can become monotonous if you're doing the same exercises every time. To make it exciting and maintain motivation, I mix things up by trying new workouts or exercises like dance classes, Pilates or yoga.

5. Be honest with yourself: It's easy to get carried away with fitness goals and push yourself too hard. However, it's important to be realistic about your abilities and to take breaks when needed. Overdoing it can lead to injury or burnout, which will only deter you from your goals.

In conclusion, finding the right balance between cardio and strength training takes time and effort. However, incorporating interval training, prioritizing your workout based on your energy levels, having fun, avoiding comparisons and being honest with yourself can make the journey more enjoyable and produce better results.

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