How Many Cardio vs Strength Training Workouts To Lose Weight and Tone Up

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Optimal ratio of cardio vs strength training workouts per week

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, a viewer asked for the optimal ratio when it comes to how many cardio vs strength training workouts to lose weight and tone up.

This is another episode from our #WayBackWednesday series, where we highlight the best questions from previous episodes of our #AskLiveLeanTV Q&A show.

This question is from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 006.

How Do You Decide What To Workout

Here’s today’s viewer question:

Jessica Lynn from Instagram asks: what is the optimal ratio for cardio days vs strength training days? I’ve read that if you want to lose weight and tone up, it should be 3-4 days of cardio and 2-3 days of strength. I personally still have weight to lose, but also want to increase definition now that some of the weight is gone. Plus, I want to keep toning up until I’m where I want to be physically. Any input is greatly appreciated! Thank you guys for you awesome videos!

Cardio days vs strength training per week

Ok, let’s talk about the optimal ratio when it comes to how many cardio vs strength training workouts to lose weight and tone up.

You mentioned 3-4 days of cardio and 2-3 days of strength training.

I would actually have you flip that ratio meaning:

  • 4 days of strength training
  • 1-3 days of cardio

I would also want to know what type of strength training you are doing right now.

How To Workout Smarter For Your Goals

The best style of strength training to lose weight and tone up

If you’re currently training like a bodybuilder, I would have you switch to a different style of training on your lifting days.

Based on your goals of losing weight and toning up, I would have you completing metabolic training that is a more athletic style of workouts.

Metabolic lifting workouts are different than bodybuilder style lifting workouts.

The Secrets To A Bodybuilder’s Physique

For example, the workouts in my Live Lean Afterburn 2.0 program are an example of a more metabolic training style.

In those metabolic style workouts, we keep rest periods very short even when you’re lifting weights.

This way you’re still building muscle, but you’re also burning fat during the workouts, because the “go-go-go” metabolic training style keeps your heart rate elevated.

High Intensity Interval Training vs Metabolic Training vs LISS Cardio

Therefore, based on your goals, I recommend you take a look at the style of strength training you’re currently doing.

When it comes to how many cardio vs strength training workouts to lose weight and tone up, I would put you on a split of 4 days of metabolic style weightlifting and 1-3 days of HIIT cardio.

The variance in the amount of cardio workouts per week depends on how quickly you want to get results.

How Many Times Per Week Should I Do Cardio?

What type of cardio is best to lose weight and tone up?

When it comes to the best type of cardio to lose weight and tone up, I recommend you do high intensity interval training (i.e. HIIT).

Pros And Cons Of HIIT Cardio

HIIT is just a form of short high intensity cardio intervals.

There are many different types of HIIT sprint workouts, such as:

When we say “sprints” we don’t just mean sprints on a track.

Although track sprints are great and one of the best ways to lose weight and tone up.

Sprint Tips For Fat Loss with Pro Track Athlete @benedict_steven

However, if you have knee problems, swim sprints can be a really good alternative for you.

There are a lot of different ways you can do cardio.

Another question would be, in your readings, what type of cardio are they recommending, 3-4 days a week?

What about low intensity steady state cardio

If it’s low intensity steady state cardio (LISS cardio), we don’t recommend a lot of LISS cardio.

Pros And Cons Of LISS Cardio

We don’t do this type of cardio ourselves and we don’t recommend a lot of it for our clients looking to tone up.

Although we do recommend LISS cardio if you’re an obese beginner, but for someone with your goals, HIIT cardio is a better form of cardio for you.

1 Fitness Tip To End Obesity

Think about it, do you really want to be doing 60-90 minutes of boring, non-athletic, slow walking on a treadmill?

This is just not the kind of lifestyle that we promote.

At that long of a duration, you’re probably sweating your ass off and being miserably bored with that “bitch face” look.

Then when you get home, you’re so hungry, your carbohydrate cravings are through the roof, you stuff your face full of potato chips in front of the TV, all because of that excessive amount of time spent on the treadmill.

How To Reduce Hunger Cravings For Weight Loss

This binging then essentially destroys all of your progress.

We’re on a tangent now!

Hopefully that answers your question about how many cardio vs strength training workouts to lose weight and tone up.

Also we hope that clears up what type of training we recommend for you to do, based on your goals.

You can find all of those training styles, workout schedules, and exercises in all of our programs here.

Are you looking to lose weight and tone up your muscles?

If you’re looking to lose weight while maintaining and building muscle, but you’re tired or hate all the different cardio machines, Live Lean Afterburn 2.0 is the program for you.

Live Lean Afterburn 2.0

It’s for men and women who are looking to recompose their body and get defined.

It’s time to end this hatred towards cardio.

With this program, you’ll be getting the same weight loss results from doing cardio, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s cardio because you’re also going to building strength.

Here’s a link to the full program.

I hope you’re going to jump on this program, and get amazing results.

Check out this video for a workout showcasing 1 of the 4 training styles from Live Lean Afterburn 2.0.


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  • What is your ratio of strength training vs cardio workouts per week?

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