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March 31st, 2009 No Comments



Susanna (not pictured :) writes:

Your blog has motivated me to start exercising. I’ve done some cardio, and I’ve finally decided to do some weight training (I never have before). As someone who does have about an hour and a half to devote to working out at least 5 days a week (grad school) – should/can I do both cardio and weight training on those days? I don’t really know much about overworking muscles or giving them a rest. A lot of the fitness language is kind of foreign to me.

First of all, congrats on starting a fitness regimen! I think you’ll see some great results.

An hour and a half is plenty of time to do both cardio and weight training on the same day, but why not take two days/week to focus on cardio, two days/week to focus on weights, and one day to do both? That way, you’ll get three days of cardio and three days of weights per week: the perfect combination (in my opinion)!

If you do high-intensity cardio (like running) on one day, you’ll perform much better the next time you do it if you allow yourself to recover for a day in between. Likewise, you only need to train a certain muscle group once a week but because certain groups inevitably overlap, it’s still a good idea to give yourself a day of recovery in between weight training days.

I created a workout schedule for you that would comprise an ideal fitness week (muscle group minutes include a few minutes to stretch after training):

Monday – 1 hour

  • warm-up low-intensity cardio (20 minutes)
  • back (20 minutes)
  • shoulders (20 minutes)

Tuesday – 1 hour

  • high-intensity cardio (45 minutes)
  • abs (15 minutes)

Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – 1 hour

  • warm-up low-intensity cardio (20 minutes) 
  • chest (20 minutes)
  • triceps (20 minutes)

Friday – 1 hour

  • high-intensity cardio (45 minutes)
  • abs (15 minutes)

Saturday – 1.5 hours

  • high-intensity cardio (45 minutes)
  • legs (20 minutes)
  • biceps (20 minutes)
  • abs (5 minutes)

Sunday – OFF

Obviously, feel free to rearrange as you see fit. I usually have more time to workout on weekends, so I scheduled your hour and a half workout on Saturdays. For an easy three day/week weight training program that adheres to the above schedule, check out my routine here. Good luck! Let me know if it works out for you.