Body Building

October 20, 2022
Body Building

Knowing how to balance cardio with weight training can be one of the most challenging aspects of putting together your training program. Learn how to do it here.

Training your body is all about balance. A complete exercise program should address not only resistance training but cardiovascular training as well. Proper balance between these two basic forms of exercise is essential to your training success.

Training balance basically boils down to the amount of cardio training you do compared to the amount of weight training you do. You are going to learn exactly what factors affect this training balance and how you can use them to ensure you reach your goals as quickly as possible!

The major issue you will need to take into consideration when balancing your cardio with your weight training is your primary training goal; if you're training to lose fat, your balance is going to be very different than if you're trying to gain muscle or if you're training for a specific sport.

What Are Your Goals?

Your primary goal will give you a general starting point for figuring out exactly how to balance your training, as well as what type of cardio and weight training you should be doing.

In addition to your primary goal, you will also need to take into account two other major factors:

  • Your Body Type - Are you naturally slim? Do you gain muscle easily? Do you tend to hold onto fat readily?
  • The Type Of Cardio Training You're Doing - Is it high- intensity or low-intensity? Does it fatigue you for weights? Does your weight training fatigue you for your cardio?

As you read through this article, I want you to write down the points that apply to you. After explaining these factors, I will tell you how to integrate everything you've learned in your personal training program.

In order to successfully balance your training, you need to first identify what your primary goal is. Are you trying to lose fat? Are you focused on gaining muscle? Are trying to improve sports performance?

It's very important to note, you will be far more successful in achieving your goal if you focus on one specific goal only. The training processes involved in losing fat or gaining muscle are very different and do not mix well with each other. If you try to do both at the same time, your results won't be as good as if you focused on one at a time.

Training To Gain Muscle

If you're training to lose fat, you're going to need to do more cardio than someone who is training to gain muscle. A good starting point is three times per week, 20 to 30 minutes per session. Depending on the other factors we're going to discuss, you may need more or less than this. Weight training three times per week should be sufficient to maintain and even build muscle mass.

Training To Lost Fat

With fat loss, your primary goal should be burning calories while sparing as much muscle as possible. Since you're most likely eating fewer calories, your body is not going to be eager to add muscle, therefore it's best to focus on keeping what you've got. Any muscle you may add is just ice cream on the cake (bad analogy for this topic!).

If you're training to gain muscle, you will need to do less cardio training. Too much cardio can actually hamper your muscle gain by slowing recovery and burning up calories that your body needs for the process of building muscle.

As a general guideline, one or two cardio sessions per week should be enough to maintain your cardiovascular conditioning and keep your bodyfat gains in check while not slowing muscle growth. You should train with weights at least three times per week, up to even six times if you can recover from it and still make progress.

If you are training for a specific sport, how many cardio sessions you need will depend greatly on the cardiovascular and muscle mass and strength requirements of your sport. Naturally, a long-distance runner is going to have far different requirements than a hockey or football player. The type of cardio training you do will also come into play here (which we will look at below).

As a guideline, the more cardio-oriented your sport is, the more cardio sessions you will need and the greater your focus should be on cardio training. If your sport is more strength-oriented, your focus should be primarily on developing that strength, with fewer cardio sessions. Of course, there are many sports that require both strength and cardiovascular capacity. Training in this case should be more equally balanced.

What Body Type Are You?

Now that you've identified your training focus and the general guidelines for it, we need to take a look at your general body type.

There are three main bodytypes:

  • Ectomorph
  • Endomorph
  • Mesomorph

The catogories operate on a sliding scale - a person may be an ectomorph but have mesomorphic tendencies, for example (we will go more into each type below).


The ectomorph is the naturally-slim person. They have a smaller bone-structure and can seem to "eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce."

The ectomorph has a fairly easy time losing fat so they will will generally not need to do as much cardio for fat loss. Two or three times per week should be plenty. An ectomorph trying to gain muscle may need to lay off cardio training completely in order to have enough recovery energy available for their body to even build muscle. Once or twice a week should be the maximum cardio frequency. Even weight training may need to be less frequent (two or three times per week) in order to see results.


The endomorph type is the heavyset end of the scale. The endomorph typically gains and holds onto fat easily and has a harder time losing it. The endomorph does tend to carry more muscle mass than the ectomorph, however.

Endomorphs will need to do more cardio to see significant fat loss. The minimum would be three times per week but some may require up to five or six sessions per week for best results.

An endomorphic person trying to gain muscle mass should continue to do cardio two or three times per week. Their tendency to accumulate bodyfat when eating excess calories (which is a requirement for muscle gain) can be reduced by keeping a reasonable amount of cardio in their training program. The endomorphic body has plenty of energy in reserve for muscle gain.


The mesomorph has all the luck. This is the naturally- muscular person. They are characterized by having broader shoulders and a narrower waist (known as a "V" taper). They gain muscle easily and lose fat easily.

A mesomorphic person training to lose fat can get away with doing only one or two cardio sessions a week while still seeing fairly good results. They will have an easier time holding onto muscle while losing fat, which gives them a calorie-burning advantage (the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn in a day even while doing nothing). Mesomorphs who do more cardio sessions will see greater fat loss results than either of the other two bodytypes - their greater muscle mass helps them burn more calories.

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Bodybuilding Motivation - WOLF IN MY MIND
Bodybuilding Motivation - WOLF IN MY MIND
Bodybuilding Food - Bodybuilding Motivation to Eat
Bodybuilding Food - Bodybuilding Motivation to Eat
Bodybuilding motivation - GREATNESS
Bodybuilding motivation - GREATNESS

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