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The Magical Balance Between Strength and Cardio Training

Looking for the “toned look?” We have been asked many times how to tone a specific body part. In reality, the answer is…you cannot. So how can you maximize your training program and see the results you so desire? Cardio and strength training are both useful tools when it comes to maximizing your goals. Let’s break it down…

As easy as it may sound, the body does not pull fat from specific areas we are working. During training the body will use fuel from all sources and areas, depending on the type of workout, how much you eat before training, the time of training, etc. By utilizing both cardio and strength training, we can maximize the body’s system and start seeing results.

There is a delicate balance between strength training and cardio which is different for everyone. The only way to “tone” a specific area is to lose fat and increase muscle size for that area. You are probably saying, “I do not want to get bigger, I just want to lose fat.” In a perfect world that would be nice, but as we all know, this world is not perfect. Building muscle is required to see the definition of the muscle and gives you the actual “toned” look you are looking for.

How do we reach such a magical balance?

Resistance training, although not as calorically demanding as cardio, will burn fat for the long term. With an increase in muscle or fat-free mass, your body’s resting metabolic rate will increase. Resting metabolic rate is your metabolism at rest, basically the amount of energy needed to sit around the house all day.

Increasing cardio and monitoring your food intake is the best way to reach the toned look you have been striving to get. Cardio is a great way to quickly burn extra calories throughout the day. 

Again, you may be asking yourself, “I cannot run, so I can’t achieve this dream look?” OF COURSE, YOU CAN! Cardio has become this scary word that no one wants to do because they do not have time to go run five miles a day.

“The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 min a day for 5 days a week.”  This can be anything that gets you moving and gets your heart rate up. Now, you are probably saying, “I do not have a 30-minute chunk of time in my day!” My question is, “Do you have at least six, 5-minute chunks?” That is enough time to take a break and at least walk around the block or a couple of laps around the office.

As stated before, everyone is different when it comes to how much training is required to meet your goals. I would recommend starting with MET-FIT training with our performance coaches with the goal of building a routine that is safe, comfortable and manageable. Then, use our expertise to help provide programming to help you achieve the body you have always wanted.

Written By: Trevor Krzyzanowski, BS, CSCS, USAW-1 Performance Coach

Jennie A., Collegiate Track & Field Athlete

Athletes’ Training Center has worked to specialize workouts to fit my athletic needs. The strength coaches have a one on one personal connection to fix minor details that have had a major impact on my athletic performance.