Everybody knows cardio plays an important role in improving your health and helping you lose weight. But before starting jumping on the treadmill three times a week, you need to take into consideration a few things.
On the one hand, fitness experts suggest that you should focus solely on one type of activity (either cardio or weightlifting). On the other hand, fitness experts argue that you will get better and faster results if you combine both types of training.
So, you might be wondering if concurrent training is effective or counterproductive?
In this episode, Ted explains what concurrent training means, the interference effect, and the effective ways to combine cardio and strength training.
So, if you want to learn how to combine cardio and strength training to get results faster, this episode is for you. Tune in to find out how concurrent training can take your fitness game to the next level.
What does concurrent training mean?
What is the interference effect?
Robert C. Hickson’s study on the interference effect
The right ways to combine cardio and strength training
Tips on how to do concurrent training right
# Tip no. 1 – Prioritize low impact forms of cardio
# Tip no. 2 – Choose a focus: either strength training or cardio
# Tip no. 3 – Choose a concurrent training workout template
# Tip no. 4 – Limit cardio training to a maximum of 60 to 90 minutes, if you’re emphasizing cardio
# Tip no. 5 – Limit cardio training to a maximum of 20 to 40 minutes, if you’re emphasizing muscle or strength gain
# Tip no. 6 – Emphasize lower intensity cardio
# Tip no. 7 – Avoid muscle failure in your strength training and exhaustion in your cardio workout
And much more
Follow me on Twitter @ted_ryce
Podcast Transcription: Concurrent Training: The Right Way to Combine Cardio and Strength Training with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: What's up my friend, and welcome back to another episode of the Legendary Life podcast! I'm your host, Ted Ryce, health expert and coach to entrepreneurs, executives, and other high performing professionals. And I want to ask you, have you ever wondered what the right way to go about combining strength training and cardio is? Have you ever wondered how to do that properly? Should you combine strength training and cardio? Is concurrent training effective or counterproductive? What is concurrent training? Have you been confused about the things that you've heard or read and you're thinking, oh, I should never combine strength training and cardio, or should people say maybe you should always do it?
Well, we're going to clear up the confusion, the misinformation, the myths we're going to do that today. It's just going to be you and I, no special guests, or you and me. What's the right way to say that? I've been speaking too much Portuguese, I can't speak English anymore, but we're going to talk about the right way to do that. We're going to clear up that craziness for you, so that you can get the most out of your workouts. You probably heard so many things about how to do it.
So we're going to dive into it today, so let's just jump right in: combining strength training and cardio, there's a name for that, it's called concurrent training. That's the nerdy scientific name when you combine both strength training and cardio.
And you probably know that it's important to do strength training. You probably also heard that it's important to do cardio as well, but then you hear arguments that you can't effectively combine both, because if you do what happens is that you just get poor results. You don't get in that great cardiovascular shape and you don't build as much muscle. So in other words, it's better than sitting on the couch, but it really just gives poor results.
Well listen, there's a little bit of truth to this idea, but we're going to dive into why it's more wrong than right. In fact, more and more studies are showing that if you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner, fitter, combining cardio and strength training is actually better than just lifting weights. I remember listening to an interview not too long ago, with Keith, oh, I can't remember his last name. He's a guy who does research on this stuff and one thing he was saying is, they were comparing studies done in Texas versus in Amsterdam on strength training and the folks in Amsterdam got much better results.
And when they looked at why that was, it's because, and if you've ever been to Amsterdam, you know, this, people are very active there. They ride their bikes everywhere, they walk, even though it's freezing during the winter, people are still riding their bikes. Whereas in Texas, they found that a lot of the research participants didn't walk at all, didn't do anything at all, they just went into the gym and then sat on their butts, as is the American way. So that's what we're going to talk about today.
However, to combine the two types of training correctly you need to know some things, do it wrong and you'll end up with less than stellar results. Maybe hindering your ability to build strength and muscle while potentially increasing your chances of getting injured, but if you do it right, you're going to end up in better shape than you thought possible.
So let's talk about how not to combine the two: So, there's a name for this when you combine strength training and cardio, and one affects the other negatively, it's called the interference effect. So just to quiz you real quick, so what is it called when we combine strength training and cardio, do you remember? Concurrent training.
And so now we're with our second science, our second vocabulary term. What is it when you combine strength training and cardio, and they hinder each other, that's called what? The interference effect.
And one of the best examples of this interference effect comes from a study conducted in 1980 at the University of Washington by a man named Robert C Hickson.
So, Hickson was a researcher and recreational runner and powerlifter, and he noticed that his two hobbies seem to be conflicting with one another. They'd seem to be taking away from one another, so we created a study to measure this interference effect, and what he had people do? He had 23 healthy, active men and women in their mid-twenties do one of three workout routines for 10 weeks.
So one group did strength training alone, which consisted and this is important here, so pay attention, five intense, lower body workouts for week. The second group did only cardio which consisted of six intense running and cycling workouts per week. So we're talking about cycling intervals and continuous runs.
The third group did strength training and cardio, which combined the two programs. So we're talking about 11 workouts per week, often with both cardio and strength training happening on the same days.
So did you get that? Three groups. One did five intense, lower body workouts. The second did six intense cardio workouts, and then I feel bad for the people who were in this group, this last group, they did 11 workouts per week combining both. And what he found was that the people who combined strength training and cardio gained just as much muscle as the people who only did strength training, but they gained significantly less strength.
Another important thing they found: was that they also improved their endurance just as much as people who did endurance training, so this is that last group. They didn't get as much strength, but they gained just as much muscle and their endurance improved just as much as the people who only did endurance training.
So in other words, having cardio and strength training slightly decreased the strength, but had no impact on anything else. And since this study, many other researchers have found that this interference effect exists. And in most of these studies, cardio reduces strength gain and sometimes muscle gain. Whereas strength training doesn't seem to affect cardio very much.
But there's one problem with these studies, these studies, they were designed to find this interference effect. They were designed to make the interference effect happening. I mean, are you doing 11 workouts per week? I think not. I know I'm not.
So, what the goal of these interference studies found: was they weren't looking at how to optimally combine the two, and that's what we're going to talk about in a bit, but I just want to say, why am I talking to you about this? Because when you hear people talk about the research on concurrent training and on the interference effect, what a lot of people leave out when they talk about it is that they don't talk about the details and the devil is in the details, especially when it comes to this.
And the original study that the researcher Hickson did is a perfect example. They were doing heavy, lower body strength workouts, five times a week, which is already a lot, I don't do that. I do four total body workouts per week, I don't even do a full leg day. And then on top of that, they were doing these six intense cardio workouts.
And what's kind of interesting to me, because I think that would blunt your muscle gains, right? But despite the intense cardio, these people still gained almost exactly the same amount of muscle.
They also lost 2% of their body fat, whereas the people who just lifted weights didn't lose any. So what that means is, and I don't want you to take too much away. Well, there is something to take away from that. 11 workouts per week, and they only lost 2% of their body fat.
So if you weighed 200 pounds, 1% is 2 pounds. I’m sorry here, they’re just talking about percent body fat, I'm not going to even mess around with the math today on that, but say if you had 24% body fat, you were down to 22 now, and that's not great, okay? I don't know if that excites you or not, but for me, as a body transformation coach, that is not exciting, I can get great results with nutrition.
11 workouts per week, that are hard, just to lose 2% of your body that sounds terrible, like a terrible return on investment. I hope you take that away because if you're trying to out-train your diet, this is just an important tangent, but a little bit of a tangent, nonetheless. Yeah. That's not a good idea.
So another thing that's important is: it's totally unrealistic, a lot of these studies that find the interference effect. So in other words, that 11 workouts per week, I mean, who's going to do that? I'm not going to work out two times a day. Although if you have the time to do that, good for you. It's just not something I can do and none of my clients have ever asked, hey man, they don't talk. None of my clients have ever rarely talked to me like that, but that's kind of how I talk. They never ask, hey listen, I've got so much time on my hands, what if I double up and do cardio and strength training?
Which, this is good to know, because if a client wanted to do that, I could do that for them, if they were really dead set on doing a lot of exercise. However, just keep that in mind. So, when you hear people talking about the interference effect in combining strength training and cardio, and that it's super terrible, it's like, yeah, if you're doing 11 workouts per week, but even then, the only thing that had a major effect was strength, okay. So it seems to affect strength.
So let's talk about the right way to do this: So as we've shown, some studies show this interference effect and what people don't tell you sometimes is that there's many studies that have shown no interference effect. And actually, there are some studies that show that cardio can enhance muscle growth when added to a strength training program.
For example, quite a few studies have shown that combining cycling in strength training actually results in more muscle growth and sometimes strength, than straight training alone. And we'll talk about that because I said cycling, I didn't say running, I didn’t say doing your bootcamp class at the fancy gym that you go to or in the park or on Zoom now.
So one study: people who did both cycling leg presses leg extension actually increased their quad thickness twice as much as the other people in this study who only lifted weights, and by the way, this is kind of cool. So if you're really behind on your workouts, this is a little bit of a pro tip here.
Let's say you're way behind on your workouts, you want to get back into training, but you know you're going to be super sore in the legs if you do it, check it out. In untrained people, cycling causes muscle growth by itself, and the really nice thing about cycling is that you're only pushing.
So in other words, if you're doing a squat, you have that pulling, that lowering phase and then you push up. So that lowering phase of a squat is what causes so much soreness, that's called the eccentric phase of the exercise. No need to nerd out here or anything, but just know that it's the lowering. It's going down into a lunge, it's going down into a squat, it's lowering the bench press that causes so much muscle soreness. And it's not the pushing up, and if we can just, let's say, if you could do squats, but you would never lower, you would only do push, so getting out of the squat position, that would lead to less soreness.
And I should say this, in case you’re new. Soreness is not a sign of progress, it's a sign of muscle damage, it's not helpful. It's okay if it happens, but if that's your goal, like so many of my personal training clients for the past, I’m not sore, I want to be sore.
It’s like, who cares, what's wrong with you? Why do you want to be sore? Do you really need more punishment in your life? How about this? Get stronger. So anyway, with cycling, you can take out that soreness producing part of a squat and just hop on the cycle, hop on the bike and peddle away and gain muscle. How cool is that?
So something to keep in mind. In fact, one of the largest and most thorough reviews conducted on concurrent training concluded that there are as many papers reporting greater increases in muscle hypertrophy with concurrent training, as there are papers showing an interference effect.
So why the conflicting results here? Why do some people lose strength? Why do some people not gain muscle? And why do some people gain strength and muscle when both people are both combining the two, why there are different results?
Well, the answer has to do with how you combine strength training and cardio, as well as the types of cardio that you do, we’re going to talk about that in a second, and of course, how much. So the type of cardio you do, when you do your cardio and strength training workouts, how much cardio you do, and of course the intensity of your cardio workouts.
For example, running causes much more fatigue and muscle damage per minute let's say, than cycling, rowing, skiing, walking on a treadmill, swimming, and other forms of low impact cardio. So studies that combine running with strength training, like the original one, Hickson’s, tend to show a much greater interference effect than those that use cycling, rowing, cross country skiing, et cetera, et cetera.
Another important point here is that a lot of research shows that the interference effect is muscle specific. So let's say you do a lot of rowing, and you're trying to grow your legs or make your legs stronger, it's probably not going to interfere that much, but if you're running and trying to grow your legs or make your legs stronger, bad combination, or let's say not bad, but less than optimal.
So lower body cardio can still interfere with upper body weightlifting if you do enough though, because you can fatigue your whole body, but you can get away from that or minimize it by programming your workout properly. And we'll talk about how to do that, I'm going to share with you my favourite ways of doing that.
For instance, if you're doing cardio and strength training for the same body part, if you can do these workouts on separate days, it pretty much gets rid of the interference effect. And if you do them on the same day, if you eat enough carbohydrates, now I want to say this really quick, again, this is a bonus tip here.
So you may have heard in the past, oh you got to slam protein within that post-workout anabolic window. You got to get protein, you've got to get carbs. I'm not going to talk about the protein part right now, because it's not important to what we're discussing, but I will say, it's not quite that way.
If you've had protein within a couple hours of your workout, you're good, you're not leaving gains on the table, as you might have heard other people say, but if you're doing two a days, you want to have carbs throughout the day, especially having that post-workout protein and carb drink can really help if you're doing two a days.
So now this gets a little tricky, we're not talking about fat loss here, we're talking about performance. We're talking about getting stronger. We're not talking about fat loss, but we will talk a little bit about fat loss, but fat loss is really about being in a calorie deficit, and the easiest way to get into a calorie deficit is through paying attention to your nutrition, specifically tracking it.
So we're not talking about fat loss here. I want to make that clear because I feel like a lot of people in my industry give you advice and they're not clear, like okay, but when is this relevant for me? So, what we're talking about here is performance, we're talking about building muscle, we're not talking about losing fat. So again, if you do cardio and strength training on the same day, you want to eat plenty of carbs, not fat, not even protein by the way. Although protein does help with the muscle growth, but we're talking about performance. So performance, carbohydrates. Got it? Good.
And if you must absolutely do cardio and strength training in the same workout, doing your strength training first will help minimize the interference effect. Although I will share with you in a bit, like something that I do personally, and I do cardio and then do strength training.
So the total amount of cardio you do per week also affects how much it interferes with your strength training, so it's really kind of impossible to pinpoint exactly how much cardio is too much, since it depends on the cardio you do, how much stress you're under, how old you are, what your recovery ability is like, but the most people can do is probably three to six hours or so of cardio per week before it begins to take away from your strength training efforts. And additionally, if you're doing really intense cardio, you want to do less, all right. So you want to do less, so high intensity interval training, you want to do less.
So another major factor: is your diet. So if you are in a calorie deficit, if you're like hey, you're listening to this right now, you're like hey, my main goal is to lose fat, but I want to get strong, I want to build muscle and I want to get into kick-ass cardiovascular shape. Well, I got bad news for you, that's too many goals at one time, because eating less calories than you burn affects your ability to recover and build muscle, and that can amplify this effect.
So if you're doing a lot of exercise and if you're moving more and eating less or eating less and moving more, and if you're really focusing on that moving more part and you feel like you are not performing well in the gym, well now you know. And cardio burns a ton of calories, so when people who lift weights start doing cardio, a lot of times they don't often eat enough to make up for how many calories you're burning. So one of the things that happens, is that hurts your gains.
So from all this talk, what is the big takeaway that you're getting from this? Because I know I'm throwing a lot at you here. We're talking about studies, we're using scientific terms, we're talking about all these details that matter with the types of cardio and how much cardio you do. So what's your big takeaway so far? That’s what I want to ask you. What are you getting from this episode right now? And after you pause and think about that, I want to share some tips on how to do this, and I'm going to share some workout templates for you as well.
So first thing is: if you're going to combine cardio and lifting, prioritize low impact forms of cardio like cycling, rowing, skiing, walking on the treadmill with incline, that is one of my favourites. Folks, please do not be on the treadmill and increase the speed, increase the incline as much as you can, always add incline over speed when you're on the treadmill, please.
Don't just run on the flat treadmill and jack up the speed, unless you have a very specific reason for doing it. In other words, I'm training for race, the race is going to be on a flat ground, even then, I would train on the treadmill with incline.
So again, prioritize low forms of impact, don't go to the crazy boot camps, don't do the CrossFit wads or the Metcon, the cute abbreviation of metabolic conditioning that Cross Fitters use. Don't do high intensity interval training, although I'm going to tell you how to incorporate it.
Prioritize low impact forms of cardio, and just in general, that's a good thing for your joints. And I know some people are like, oh, but I love running. Well, listen, if you love it, you love it, if you've got to do it, you've got to do it, but just understand it's going to come at a cost. It's going to come at a price, there are consequences. So if you can alternate between cycling and walking on the treadmill instead of running or alternate with running, that's going to be better for you.
And one thing I want to say that I should have said earlier is, when we're talking about cardio, we're not like, oh, I do cardio, I went for a walk. We're not talking about your heart rate at a hundred, because if I'm walking around, my heart rate’s at 90, 100.
If you're out of shape, you can get a good cardio workout through walking, but if you're really trying to take your cardiovascular fitness, again, we're not talking fat loss here, although you burn more calories with more intense forms of cardio getting your heart rate up higher. What we're really talking about here is getting your heart rate up.
So if you want to improve your cardiovascular conditioning and get all the benefits, we're not talking about walking at a leisurely pace or so, or like oh, I walk my dogs. It's like, yeah, but your dog sniffs other dogs and has to pee on everything, so your doggy stops, I mean, I love dogs, but they're stopping every couple of minutes or even more, every minute, every 30 seconds to stop and do something. So we're really talking here about getting your heart rate up to 60 to 70% of your max, and you can get a rough idea of where that is by taking 220, subtracting your age from it.
For example, I'm 44, so 220 minus 44, what is that? 220 minus 44, 186 something like that, no I’m sorry, 176. So 176 would be my heart rate max, so 60 to 70% of that. In other words folks, you got to get your heart rate up if you want to make positive changes to your cardiovascular fitness and the best way to do this, if you're going to combine cardio and strength training is to prioritize low impact forms of cardio.
And the second tip is to choose a focus. So choose, do I really want to focus on strength or do I want to focus on cardio? And I want to give you an example here. When I was in Thailand in 2019, I was doing Thai boxing classes, and the Thai boxing classes in Thailand are 90 minutes long, and these guys push you. These guys push you, they have a good time and they don't speak English that well, of course it's Thailand, it’s not really what they need to do, they speak Thai fine.
So they enjoy just kind of really pushing you to the limit. Unless you're a professional fighter, then they train you differently, but like for the gyms that I was training in, that weren't so serious, and they still have professional fighters there by the way, it’s just a thing in Thailand, but I wanted to be able to last the 90 minutes, twice a week without dying.
So I did Thai boxing two times a week for 90 minutes and I wanted to not die during those two 90 minute workouts. I wanted to get in good enough shape, so what did I do? And this is when I was losing fat.
So I have my calories dialled in about 2000, I was eating about 200 grams of protein, 2000 calories per day, which was a slight deficit. I was doing my Muay Thai training, and what I did was I prioritized cardio because I wanted my performance in Thai boxing to be great.
And if you look at the thumbnail of my podcast, so many people have said, oh man, your thumbnail, you look so ripped. I actually got into, I don't want to say better shape, but actually looked much better when I was in Columbia a few months later when I prioritized strength training, so I'll talk about that in a second.
But the point here is that I had a goal to last 90 minutes and not die, not feel like, oh my gosh, I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack after this 90 minutes, and so that's why I focused on cardio because Muay Thai training was the focus. I wanted to last those 90 minutes, and the more tired you get in a hard class like that, the more you can damage your joints because you're throwing sloppy kicks and punches, so that was my focus.
Now, fast forward to a few months later, when I was in Columbia and I got stuck there during the quarantine, I wanted to change my body, I wanted to really get ripped and build a lot of muscle. I wanted to change my body. But I still did cardio, I still thought it was important and I think it's important, I know it's important for my health, but also for my mental health.
So what I did though, was I prioritized strength training, and what I did was this: I started out actually with two strength training workouts back to back. And then I do a day of cardio for about 20 to 30 minutes, because I had to run, I didn't have any machines. I was locked in an apartment basically, and I had a huge balcony and I could run out on the balcony and get sun.
So that's what I did for cardio, only could do that for 20 or 30 minutes because my knees do not like running, but I made strength training my focus and as a result, I started out with those two strength training days back to back then one cardio day, and that's what I started with, and then I would progress to what's called an alternating method. So that's what we'll talk about now
But just to recap the tips: prioritize low impact forms of cardio when possible, unless you're in quarantine in Columbia and you don't have anything else to do except higher impact cardio, choose a focus, either strength training or cardio. Let me say one more thing here, why would you want to prioritize cardio if you didn't have a 90-minute, two time a week, Muay Thai class or something like that?
Well, there's, there's a lot of good reasons. For one, aerobic training can help you psychology. It releases more BDNF than strength training, apparently from the latest research that I've read, which I'll be honest, I'm not a hundred percent up on that, but what I remember reading was that the cardio, just that sustained effort is what helps that BDNF get released. Whereas strength training, it doesn't seem to elicit the BDNF as much.
Don’t want to talk too much about BDNF, but that's what scientists think is actually behind the improvements in mood when you take an antidepressant, it's not actually the neurotransmitters, they think it's the BDNF that gets produced.
So if you're in a mood, let's say, making cardio as a focus can be a great way to get yourself out of a negative state. It's one of the reasons why I prioritize Muay Thai training and my cardio training around them, Muay Thai training, and back off on strength training is because I feel amazing when I do that, versus I look amazing when I do a lot of strength training. So that's a good reason to prioritize cardio.
Also cardio, if you're really out of shape, wow! Get yourself into great cardiovascular shape and then start focusing on the strength training, and it's just a world of difference, you will feel amazing by focusing on cardio training. But again, it's not the best way to lose fat. Strength training is much more powerful for transforming your body, so that gives you some ideas.
So let's talk about templates here: Well, the easiest is just to alternate strength training and cardio days. So you do one day of strength training one day of cardio, and this is great because if you're like me and you like to exercise frequently, you always have something to do.
You could really just alternate this all week long if you wanted, and on the days where you needed recovery, just go easy with the cardio, you can hop on the bike 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes max, and if you go at an easy enough pace and you’re doing something low impact, you're going to feel like a million bucks.
Now, let me talk to you about something that's a little bit more fancy. So when I did my Muay Thai training, I was doing something called the medium high low method and what you do. So let's say I train Muay Thai on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in other words, it's interval training. You do three-minute rounds, one minute rest for 90 minutes. Maybe some clinch work, maybe some shout and some 10 minutes of jump rope, maybe five minutes or 10 minutes of shadow boxing and maybe some clinch work, which is like the wrestling part of Muay Thai.
So that was my high day, because I can't control the intensity on that day, it’s going to be rough, it’s going to be hard, it changes depending on the mood of the trainers, so I knew that was my high day. So, what I would do is, I would do a medium day before, I would do 40 to 60 minutes of really easy cardio, walking on the treadmill or riding the bike 40 to 60 minutes the day before I did my high workout.
Now, why would you want to do that? Wouldn't that make you tired going into your high intensity day? No, actually it improves. If you do the right volume and the right intensity on that medium day, you come into that high intensity day and you kick ass, sometimes literally, if you're actually doing Muay Thai, and then the next day would be low intensity.
So I would do 20 to 30 minutes of low intensity cardio that day, low volume, low intensity cardio. So that's a medium, high, low, and I repeated that, I would do six workouts per week, sometimes seven. I would throw in an additional load of 20 to 30 minutes of cardio. So that is, it's a little bit fancier and you may have to rewind this episode and listen to it again to get that, but it works really well.
So, another thing you can do is: you can do two a days, and if you do two a days, you want to separate again, you want to separate your workouts by four to six hours. And again, you want to eat enough carbohydrates to fuel performance. So two a days is the other workout template, but you got to do them, right.
So if you ever find yourself, like hey, I'm going to work out twice today, if you're one of those psychotic people, I don't know, those nutcase people, that's the way to do it. Separate your workouts by four to six hours and make sure you get enough carbohydrates on that day, and if you're tracking your calories, what you would do is just on those days where you had the two days you would eat more carbs or maybe even just more calories on that day in general, but specifically increasing the amount of carbs you eat for the glycogen, the energy replenishment.
And then you could have another day during the week where you didn't eat as much. So those are three sample ideas. So alternating strength and cardio days. Medium high, low method, and then two a days.
Let’s talk about one other thing, where you're doing cardio on the same day as your strength training.
And some of us, we don't have time for all that fancy stuff and we may not be able to alternate strength and cardio days, we may not have the time for that. But we do have like oh, well, I'll go to the gym for maybe 60 minutes or even 70, or even up to 90 minutes, and what you would do then is you would do your cardio. You can, of course you can warm up a little bit on the treadmill if that's what you like to do.
Like yesterday, I warmed up for 20 minutes walking on the treadmill. My heart rate was probably about 120, but I'm in pretty good cardiovascular shape, that's not a big deal for me, and then I went and trained afterwards and I felt my legs a little bit tired and maybe it took a little bit away from my leg workout, but I don't care, and I'm in a fat loss phase too. So when you're in a fat loss phase, a lot of what happens with your exercise routine is just maintaining muscle and burning calories.
So if you're in a fat loss phase, yeah you can totally get away with this, just don't, again, keep things low intensity. Don't try to max out on your lifts, don't try to do any high-end intensity interval training or anything like that. What you do is, you just try to maintain your strength, your muscle, and burn those calories with exercise, but again you can cut more just by adjusting your diet, that's the way to do it.
So if you do both, of course you can do a warm up, but if you're going to push it a little bit harder, keep it towards the end.
One other caveat here: I would say proviso, not really a caveat, if you’re like me, my joints are stiff I just feel better in my strength workout if I do a little bit of warming up with cardio, not always, but that’s fine if you do that, don’t overthink this stuff, don’t overthink it that much, I'm trying to give you some examples of how I do things, how I coach clients, but don't overthink this stuff too much.
Tip number 4 is: just limit cardio training to a maximum of 60 to 90 minutes, 90 minutes for some of you are going to be like, what, 90 minutes, who has 90 minutes to work out? Well, I did in Thailand. So limit cardio training to maximum of 60 to 90 minutes, if you're emphasizing cardio, and then if you're emphasizing muscle or strength gain, maybe in the 20 to 40 minute range is a better goal for you, and if you're going to combine the two...
Tip number 6 is : emphasize lower intensity cardio, don't try to add interval training. Here's the thing, now a lot of people are like, but interval training burns more calories, and it does, but it also takes away from your other training. So if you want to do the medium, high, low method, what you would do is, you do medium intense training, 40 to 60 minute of that light cardio but the volume is higher, you're not doing 20 to 30 minutes, you're doing 40 to 60.
And then the high day, which comes next, that would be your interval training day. Something I use with a lot of my clients, and then the next day you do a recovery method of some sort like 20 to 30 minutes.
But if you're not doing that, then emphasize lower intensity cardio and even so that is emphasizing lower cardio. I would not recommend doing it, even if like oh no, but cardio is my focus, unless you're a competitive athlete, like I had a competitive bike racer and he was doing three intervals a week, but most people can't handle more than two, their lifestyle is not set up.
So if you're an attorney and an entrepreneur and executive and accountant, and you're like, yeah, I'm going to crush it three times a week, probably not going to happen and lead to great results for you. So make sure you're emphasizing lower intensity cardio, and if you are adding high intensity interval training, don't do more than one to two sessions of that per week
And then number seven is: avoid muscle failure in your strength training and exhaustion in your cardio workout. So if you feel like you're getting to the edge of exhaustion in your cardio workouts, cut back either how long you're doing your workouts or go a little bit slower. Even though I said earlier, you got to raise the intensity, your heart rates gotta get up to a certain point, yeah but you gotta work your way up there, so don't work to exhaustion and again, avoid muscle failure in your strength training.
First of all, you don't need to go to failure, you can just get close to failure, you don't need to go to failure. That's for bodybuilders in the 80’s who were taking a lot of steroids or today who are taking a lot of steroids, but if you're natural, there's not a lot of benefit. If it happens sometimes, I'll hit failure on some pushing exercises every once in a while, it’s okay but don't shoot for it. Just in general, that’s good advice.
So that is it. So again, I want to ask you, we're wrapping things up, what is your big takeaway from all this? How are you going to look at training differently? How are you going to go about your training differently? Are you going to start adding cardio in? Are you going to start taking away? Are you going to prioritize lower impact forms of cardio? Are you going to prioritize either strength or cardio as a focus for yourself right now? Are you going to test out some of the methods of the workout programming?
The medium high low method, the alternating strength and cardio days? Two a days even if you're really crazy, of course, if that's what you're into, you can go for that, or how are you going to do it if you do it in the same day?
And of course, number five is: limit cardio training to the amount that you do to 60 to 90 minutes, if you're emphasizing cardio in your workout, or 20 to 40 minutes if you're emphasizing muscle and strength
And six: emphasize lower intensity cardio methods over high intensity interval training, even if your focus is cardio and getting into better cardiovascular shape. And seven: avoid muscle failure in your strength training and exhausting in your cardio workouts.
So what are you going to be doing differently after listening to this? That's what I want to ask you. What's your big takeaway? What is the big action that you can do? Did you get just more clarity maybe, on what your focus is? Because a lot of this, a lot of what we talked about today is more relevant for performance. And if you're like, but how do I lose fat? Oh combine cardio and straight training.
Working out 11 times a week, just to lose 2% body fat, like that first study we talked about, that is that is not a good return on investment. That’s like putting a few hundred thousand dollars in the savings account and making $10 a month on it, that is not good, that's 2% in 10 weeks, so that is terrible results.
My clients lose 20 to 30 pounds in 10 weeks, so that's terrible results. So again, don't try to out-train your diet, learn what you need to learn about nutrition, and if you need to do that, go to episode 445: The Most Effective Diet For Weight Loss with Ted Ryce, that's the episode for you, if you're listening to this and you're like, wow, now you're telling me this isn't good for fat loss, no.
Go listen to the episode on 445: The Most Effective Diet For Weight Loss with Ted Ryce, is what it's called. Okay, that is it for me. Hope you enjoyed today's episode! Stay tuned with me, stay tuned for Friday and we're going to be talking about why time management is really not what things are about, it's really about energy management.
So if you've been like, oh, I got to be more productive, I've got to manage my time better. I'm going to tell you why that's not the best approach and why focusing on energy management and what that is and how to do that, that's what we're going to be talking about on Friday.
And again, if you enjoyed today and want to keep the conversation going, reach out to me on Twitter, that is where I’m spending all my time, go to @ted_ryce. Add me bro, and let me know what you think, let me know what other things you'd like to hear.
Someone recently said, I would love to hear about seed oils and inflammation. Well, guess what? I heard you, I listened and I'm going to have an episode soon on that. I will let you know, but this Friday's episode, it's going to be all on managing your energy and what that is and how to do it. That's going to be our conversation on Friday.
Have an amazing week, and I will speak to you on Friday!
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