Finding your personal balance of strength training workouts and cardio workouts depends largely on four things: ● Goals ● Ability level
● Schedule ● Preferences
Step 1: Identify your goals. For most women, it’s to look good, feel good, and feel healthy and strong. That type of programming is going to look different than someone who wants to run a marathon or compete in CrossFit
Step 2: Be honest with yourself about your ability level. Are you new to strength training, or have you been training for a while? If so, have you been training intelligently? Determine how much time you can devote to training each week. It could be as few as 1-2 hours or as many as 5-6 hours. Be realistic so you can set yourself up for success.
Step 3: Determine how much time you can devote to training each week.
It could be as few as 1-2 hours or as many as 5-6 hours. Be realistic so you can set yourself up for success.
Step 4: Don’t forget that what you enjoy doing matters. If you don’t love lifting, but the chart says you’re supposed to do it four days a week, you might be better off just doing it twice. Otherwise you may find yourself skipping sessions, feeling like a failure, and avoiding lifting altogether. Your coach should outline much of the following types of exercise they should do to reach their goals: 1. Strength training 2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) 3. Moderate Intensity Cardio (MIC) 4. Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS)
Strength Training As a general guideline, for women who want to get stronger, gain a bit of muscle, and possibly lose a bit of fat I recommend full-body split.
You can pair 2-3 exercises together to save time or choose one or two movements to do first by themselves so you can focus on going heavy and devote more time to recovery between sets instead of doing another exercise during that rest period.
High-Intensity Interval Training High intensity interval training (HIIT) is broadly defined as periods of very intense (a 9.5-10 out of 10 on the perceived effort scale) work, followed by periods of rest, repeated for time or for a number of sets.
Moderate Intensity Cardio When people think of moderate intensity cardio (MIC), they always think of running or plodding away on the elliptical, but there are tons of options for this type of workout. As long as your heart rate stays in the 120-140 bpm range, you’re good to go. This can be hiking, biking, swimming, fast-paced yoga, or circuit training.
Lower Intensity Steady State Cardio This can be any kind of leisure movement you enjoy—from walking to hiking to biking to yoga—and should be restorative, not strenuous. Your heart rate should remain below 120 bpm, and this activity should be relaxing, and not stressful to your body.
Example: A beginner who has up to 2 hours a week to devote to exercise. Sample Week ● Monday: 40 minutes strength training ● Tuesday: OFF ● Wednesday: 30 minutes MIC ● Thursday: OFF ● Friday: 40 minutes strength training ● Saturday: OFF
● Sunday: OFF
TOTAL TRAINING TIME: 1 hour and 50 minutes