Losing a third of me: Cardio, strength, repeat, rinse

Some people will swear by cardio training, some people by lifting weights. I tend to favor cardio, but my daily routine tries to incorporate both. I typically work out for about an hour, alternating between 12-15 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of modest strength training. During cardio, I’m pushing hard to hit 85-90% of my max heart rate (~145-160 bpm) or higher and typically burn 18-20 calories/minute. For the first six months, I did more interval-style training for longer periods of time, e.g. 30-45 minutes, but as my overall endurance has built up, I prefer shorter, harder workouts alternating with the strength work.

After each cardio session, I’ll do some modest weight training. By modest I mean 70-100 pounds of individual weight machines. My trainer really wanted me to do more integrated core exercises with free weights, but I never could get into that, especially in a busy club environment. Instead I do two sets of 20 reps on each machine, then move onto the next one, hitting 3-4 machines in each session. Then back to cardio. Repeat as many times as you have time for — I usually do 2 or 3 cardio sets and 2 strength sets.

After all of this, I hit the sauna or dry steam room for 10-15 minutes. In addition to obvious benefit of sweating out some extra water weight, I subscribe to the thought that the heat keeps your core temperature elevated, burning some additional calories.

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