Ultimate Combo: Cardio and Weight Training

Cardiovascular and resistance training individually will help someone achieve their fitness goals. However, if the goal is to lose fat, combining the two creates a greater benefit than each separately.

In a  24-week study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, three groups of people were divided by different exercise routines. One group acted as the control group, meaning they did not exercise at all. Another did cardiovascular and resistance training in the same day, two to three times a week. The last group split cardio and resistance training in alternate days, working out four to six times weekly.

Throughout the study, the duration of the workouts expanded from 30 to 50 minutes a session. High intensity intervals or HIT training was implemented after the first couple of weeks as well.

At the end of the study, the two groups that had exercise routines saw a substantial loss in belly fat (not surprising). However the group that alternated cardio and resistance training lost a dramatically higher percentage of belly fat.

The group that did cardio and resistance training on the same day lost around 7% of their “abdominal fat mass”. The group that alternated their training lost 21%.

Both training groups saw a reduced number of certain inflammatory markers that can cause diseases such as type two diabetes. The people who alternated their types of training saw a more dramatic decrease in their inflammatory markers.

Not everyone can get to the gym four to six times a week. So going twice or three times a week doing resistance and cardiovascular training will definitely help get rid of that stubborn belly fat. For the biggest return on exercising or “best bang for your buck”, try to alternate the two different types of training.