There’s nothing like a double-whammy workout, but if you’re thinking of combining weights and cardio into one session, some caveats apply. “Again, the last thing you want to do is ask your muscles to work at their highest levels and to have your technique fail because you’re already partially exhausted from your cardio,” says exercise psychologist, clinical personal trainer and author Jodie Hopkins. This means that strength training is your main priority here, but don’t overdo it if you’re planning on keeping your gains. A heavy weights session would ideally be followed with body-growing nutrients and some rest, rather than another cardio session, for optimum muscle repair – so keep both trainings short and hard.
Why you would: It turns out that by combining weights and cardio into the one session you are unlocking some serious fat-burning potential. “Strength training will elevate the metabolism higher and has a longer time to return back down to a normal resting basal metabolic level,” says Hopkins. This means that you’d be burning more fuel than you would by doing cardio alone, and more even at rest. Strength training also begins the process of glycogen depletion, after which you can start burning more fat.
Try it: “I would train strength first to get all its benefits and not sacrifice technique and performance, and then I would do the cardio on the already elevated metabolism to add to the burn,” says Hopkins.
Schedule it: Anytime, but preferably when a post-workout snack is available. This could form part of your splits program, allowing for adequate rest between sessions.
NEXT: For an extra push, try some high intensity interval training.