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Hey, my name is Erin and I’m a former U.S. Junior Olympic certified swim coach and personal trainer and fitness is my passion. So, I cannot wait to share it with you guys.

A question that I often get is what is the difference between cardio and strength training, which is better and how do I incorporate both? There’s no easy way to answer that question, but the difference between cardio and strength training is that one is aerobic, which is cardio and one is anaerobic. During aerobic exercise, the body draws on glycogen and/or fat for energy. During anaerobic exercise, the body cannot draw easily on fat stores. The mistake that people often make is that they’ll do their cardio workout before their strength training workout. If you think about it, from a common sense perspective, why is that bad? Well, if you exhaust your legs by running or on the elliptical or whatever, then you try and go lift heavy weights or do squats or any other weight bearing activity, you’re already going to be fatigued from doing your cardio first.

That said, you should always warm up, but you only need five to ten minutes. Now, if you do your cardio after your strength training workout, the body is depleting its glycogen source. So, it’s drawing on glycogen because it can’t draw on fat. Okay, great, you power through your strength-training anaerobic workout. Now you move on to your cardio. But what’s going to happen is because you’ve, hopefully, depleted your glycogen stores when you were doing your anaerobic workout, when you go to do your aerobic workout, the body goes, “Hmm, let me go to the fat stores for energy.” Ideally, in the best case scenario, that’s what’s going to happen.

During your anaerobic strength-training routine, if you’re working on a specific muscle group or a specific body area, let’s say you’re working on your lower body, you’re doing some heavier leg work and there’s weights involved, and your legs are tired after that strength-training workout, for your cardio following that, if you’re going to do cardio following that, you don’t want to go do high intensity interval sprints. Because your legs are already tired and that can increase your risk of injury. Ideally, you want to separate. The cardio that you do, you don’t want it to be focused on the same body parts that you just worked during your strength-training workout, if you’re going to do those two things back to back. If you’re working on your upper body, don’t go sit on the rowing machine afterwards because your upper body is already tired. So, just use common sense. That’s a little tip.

Aerobic activity isn’t just for burning fat. There are different types of cardio that you can do. You can do high intensity intervals. For fat burning, you can do long lengths of running. If you’re a marathoner, half-marathoner, a lot of people who do that. That’s not something that’s necessarily for fat burning, or muscle toning, but that’s more to increase your endurance and stamina exercise. There’s different types of cardio that you can do. There’s high impact cardio, which would be running, and there’s low impact cardio, which would be something like swimming, which is safe for anyone and great if you’re rehabbing or you have an injury.

So, lots of different types of cardio to do. Obviously, you saw on our other videos, lots of different types of strength training that you can do to increase muscle mass, you can do strength training to burn fat, you can do strength training just to get stronger and more fit. So, there’s no one reason to do any of those things and that’s the beauty of it. You need both cardio and strength training to round out your fitness routine. One is not better than the other. They’re just different. Your body responds differently and you need them both. So, get to work.


36 comments on “Strength Training vs. Cardio Training | Female Bodybuilding
  1. I always do cardio stuff after weights, but generally I run on completely different days. I want to go heavy when squatting and benching and doing shoulder presses, but I can't if I just sprinted 5km or even if I ran slow. I keep my cardio and weight days separate :L

  2. Eric VerHey says:

    Background music is louder than what she is trying to teach. Wish it weren't a distraction when watching but it is.

  3. DevilutioN says:

    The song is this video is your workout song

  4. cheryl lyn says:

    amazing video. I loved how you explained everything so easy. you look great btw

  5. I'm the master of all strengths because I don't need a scale to know I'm losing weight and gaing lean mucle mass

  6. puteri ayu says:

    I want to gain some weight cause my body is too skinny. Besides than adding up calorie, I have to exercise also right? What kind of exercise should I do?

  7. Alain Duval says:

    My wife used blue fat freeze system with a little bit of aerobic exercise and managed to reduce 2 inches around her waist in 2 months. She did her exercise in morning and used blue at night while watching tv. She looks great now but i'm not sure such a strategy will work on everyone. So consult your trainer if you guys are thinking of using blue as well.

  8. But shes fat and does lunges with 5 lbs? lmao

  9. Sarah Li says:

    Very useful information, thankyou.

  10. I do 30 minutes on 10 incline-3.2 speed and I do leg and arm workouts after than abs. I'm trying to lose weight 15 pounds and tone up. should I do my leg and arm workouts for 30 minutes than do the treadmill than abs for 30 minutes? please help if someone could comment a week routine of how I should split it up please do! thanks 🙂

  11. I do 30 minutes on 10 incline-3.2 speed and I do leg and arm workouts after than abs. I'm trying to lose weight 15 pounds and tone up. should I do my leg and arm workouts for 30 minutes than do the treadmill than abs for 30 minutes? please help if someone could comment a week routine of how I should split it up please do! thanks 🙂

  12. Aida F. says:

    Hi Erin and thank you for these great tips… I've also heard from other trainers that more water is a must, and that you should do strength training first then cardio. I just got back into working out and I feel sore but great, thanks again! 🙂

  13. This is literally the BEST tip I have heard in a very long time! I first do my cardio for 25-30 minutes and then move onto strength training that is weight lifting and body weight workouts and boy am I tired and just loath them while doing it! I will do the reverse and see how that works out! Thanks a lot for this!

  14. I meant days a week.. not ideas.

  15. So I do both strength training and running for cardio. how many miles and how many ideas is enough. currently I'm 4 to 5 days a week 3 to 7 miles depending on time. this is one thing I can't seem to figure out.

  16. She is attractive but I don't see a person who practices what she preaches. She doesn't seem to have much as far as muscularity. She just looks like an average person. Sorry but I couldn't take her serious as far as weight training.

  17. lifting weights actually does pull from your fat stores more than you think. That is why people lose fat faster and get stronger. If all people did was walk fast or run then people would be skinny in like a few months. That is a total myth. In order to lose weight and change your body type you need strength training as well as cardio training. Goes hand in hand.

  18. Ifrah Dhoble says:

    Thank you for sharing. These are great tips. Some comments often chose to focuse on body image other than her talent.

  19. strength training saved my life

  20. krop0026 says:

    Wow, the comments on this video regarding her belly are awful. Reserve your judgments people – they make you look ugly regardless of your own body fat %.

  21. Arshi A says:

    This was great advice! Thankyou:)

  22. Many Quit !! You Know Why….? because they make lot mistakes. Setting a personal trainer or getting a training course or learning from these type of difference making strength training videos are helping a lot. 

  23. crihelios says:

    Hello! Great video a lot of info… We'll my question is, how recommendable is to alternate one set of a strength exercise with 45 sec of intense cardio exercise, like burpees? Thank you

  24. E K says:

    You have a thick layer of fat around your waist

  25. she looks like legion commander DOTA2

  26. mitchiemasha says:

    Simple solution. The stronger you are the more you burn!

  27. Everybody has the priceless gift to bulk up–but few actually use it. Copy and Paste into Google  Ready Set Ripped and discover how to utilize your gift.

  28. MzVixen05 says:

    Dear person who clearly has not studied human metabolism, that introductory comment regarding the burning of fat is utterly false. Fat is not considered to be a primary source of fuel. Eh.

  29. Isn't weight training with minimal rest periods cardio, since your heart rate goes up.

  30. I am  not human, I am a Trevor the human.

  31. Sleazy says:

    Mmm.. nice tits!!!! :-))))

  32. Maria Irina says:

    If you seriously want to lose fat fast, you should look up on google "Reborn Lean Max". You are bound to get the body you deserve.

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