When people think of cardio they wouldn’t often associate it with weight lifting. In fact, some would say that weight lifting is an anaerobic exercise and is quite opposite to the aerobic workouts that come with cardio routines. Not only can these two types of exercise be combined to work in unison with any weight loss program, you can devise your own cardio weight lifting routine to build extra muscle while sustaining an elevated heart rate.
Creating a Cardio Weight Lifting Routine
Simply running along on a treadmill for 20-60 minutes is a fantastic way to strengthen your cardiovascular system and give your legs a great workout, but you aren’t doing much for your arms and the rest of your body. If you’re looking to tone all of your muscle groups while giving yourself a cardio workout, turn a weight lifting workout into cardio interval training.
Starting with 10 minutes or so on the treadmill or bike can get your heart rate up, then moving onto weights and cutting out the rest periods between sets can keep it there. Set up weight stations for yourself and keep your workout as fast paced as possible with minimal active rest. Using lighter weights and adding more reps will ensure you don’t tire yourself out too quickly and will allow you to maintain your heart rate longer.
Weight Lifting As an Addition to Your Cardio Routine
If you want to keep your weight lifting sessions separate from your cardio training sessions, you can still benefit from using weights by building strong muscles that help to increase your metabolism and burn calories and fat more effectively. As you get leaner and develop more muscle, your metabolic rate will increase and you’ll be able to get more out of your cardio workouts.
When you’re trying to lose weight with just diet and cardio alone, you’re going to likely lose muscle as well. Incorporating some cardio weight lifting into your routine will allow you to continue to build more muscle and will help stimulate your body into burning mostly fat. You don’t need to pack on big, bulging muscles to benefit from increased muscle mass, but a little extra tone throughout all of your muscle groups will do quite a bit to help with your weight loss efforts.