The Best Cardio / Strength Training Combos For Weight Loss

Strength training weight loss is only accomplished if the training gets the body’s heart rate to a fat burning level. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as cardio with hand weights, moving from one resistance training machine to another (as in circuit training), or group fitness classes.  Generally, if you get your lower body moving, your heart rate will climb and reach a fat burning level within 20 minutes. If you keep it at that level, you will burn stored body fat as opposed to available fuel that is stored in other places in your body. 


Not all calories are the same. There are some foods, like bread and pasta, that are packed with calories, but have very little nutritional value (but loaded with energy).  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrition and add bulk to your diet, but do not have as much fuel. The best way to make sure you burn off those empty nutritional foods is to do your cardio within an hour of eating them. Otherwise, anything your body does not need for fuel (in just the next few hours) gets stored as fat, no matter what you eat at your next meal. 

Fat Loss  

Fat loss occurs when there is a deficit in the amount of calories taken in verses those burned, but that does not just happen at the end of the day. You can eat one half of a cheeseburger combo meal, and then the other half 3 hours later, and the body will process the calories differently than if you ate the whole meal in one setting. If you eat more than you need in any period during the, day the body will immediately begin to store the excess calories as fat.

You can loose stored body fat with diet alone, but you get better and faster results when you combine aerobics, resistance training, and diet. Having a strong core will allow you to increase your aerobic endurance, because you can exercise longer once you enter the fat burning level. As you become more fit aerobically, you can increase your duration and fat burning potential during exercise and long after your workout.


Lifting weights on a regular basis will add muscle to specific areas. The body’s core muscle also gets a workout just from the lifting in a complementary way, and muscle burns fat.  The more muscle you have, the more your metabolism will rise to fuel and maintain those muscle cells. Muscle cells require more calories to maintain than fat cells do.  Everyday activities, like walking, cleaning house, even resting, causes the body to burn more calories with more muscles. Long after your session at the gym, your body will be burning more calories per hour than it would have otherwise.

Cardio Training

Aerobic conditioning is the only way to burn significant amounts of stored body fat in the moment. The more muscle the body has to move around, the more calories will be needed to do it. And the stronger your core, the longer you can move it in direct relation to your cardiovascular endurance. 

Armed with this knowledge, you have more reasons than ever to increase the time and frequency of your aerobic/strength training. The more you move, literally, and the longer you move, and the more often you move will set the pace for your lifestyle. Being in great shape enables you to say yes to more, whether that is food, another class at the gym, or joining a local kickball league!


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