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Friday, June 29, 2007

Working out in the gym - balance between cardio and strength training?

I am 51 & try to get to the gym 4 times a week. What balance between cardio & resistance training should I do?
Gary Moller comments:
(This was first published on
  • To improve an aspect of fitness, such as strength, you need to do three exercise sessions per week.
  • To maintain an aspect of fitness, such as strength, you need to do two exercise sessions per week.
  • A well structured cardio or strength training programme will have overlap of both.
If you work indoors, then cardio exercise is best done outdoors, even during the depths of winter, because bright sunlight and fresh air are essential for physical and mental health. This can be any form of exercise that has you puffing a little for 20 minutes or longer and can include a brisk walk to and from work weekdays and a long walk during the weekend.

So, to improve strength above where it is right now: do 3-4 gym workouts per week and do so for about six weeks. Do two quality cardio exercise sessions per week. Better still, walk to work daily.

After six weeks, reduce the gym work to 2-3 sessions per week and divert more energy into the outdoors cardio exercise for about 6 weeks.

After six weeks, switch the emphasis back to the gym. Body and mind will love these swings back and forth.

Set yourself goals that challenge and inspire. For example; your goal might be to walk the Tongariro crossing in 6 weeks time. Another might be to take your lover for a romantic paddle down the Wanganui River in springtime, so that you can show off your chiseled chest and paddling prowess!

Got the idea Ron?

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