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You may have asked yourself this question for awhile now…especially as it pertains to your fitness goals. How much cardio should I be doing? How much strength training should I be doing? How much is too much, what isn’t enough? All of these questions can be crazy overwhelming!
You’re not alone. This is a GREAT question, actually. It’s hard to know what the “right” amount is…if that is even a thing. Below I’m going to identify three questions you can ask yourself to know what is the right balance for YOU and your goals!
1. What is my goal?
This is probably the MOST important question out of the three. What is your goal? Is your goal to gain muscle, to lose body fat, to have better energy for your family, or maybe to just move around better in your everyday life? Right now, identify with yourself what your goal is. You may even have a couple, that’s great! But…what is most important to you in this moment? You may be tempted to do ALL of them at once…which is not what I recommend. Instead, let’s focus on one thing at a time. Build muscle? Sure. Let’s focus on that. So, if that’s your goal…focus on strength training. You don’t have to do X amount of cardio a week in addition to X amount of strength training in order to be successful.
The biggest take away here is to know where your priorities lie. There’s never going to be perfect “balance”. No matter what season or circumstance we find ourselves in, we are never in “balance.” One thing is ALWAYS going to need our attention more in some areas than others. You can’t be an amazing sprinter with tons of muscle on your frame; it’s going to slow you down. That goes for many other aspects in your life, too.
2. What do I enjoy doing?
This is of course, is just as important. What do you actually enjoy doing? This is going to REALLY dictate your route as well. Referencing above; it’s important to note that sometimes we often need to execute what we often don’t want to confront. There’s a thin line between digging deeper and knowing what you need to do in order to progress (maybe start using your food scale, increase your weights, do an exercise that makes you push harder, etc.) versus straight up not liking it at all and dreading it. There’s a difference!
In order to STICK to your plan, you NEED to be enjoying your program. That’s why it’s so important in the health & fitness realm to enjoy your program because that’s what is going to help you progress each day and ultimately achieve the bigger picture and plan. If you like lifting weights, but your girlfriend enjoys doing pilates…that’s fine! But remember, it’s a mix between enjoyment and discipline. We have to do what we don’t want to sometimes in order to progress. Become comfortable with the uncomfortable.
3. What is realistic?
What is realistic with your reality currently? If you’re wanting to lose weight in X amount of time and overwhelm yourself with 7 days a week training when you have 3 kids and 2 jobs…do you really think that’s best for your sanity? Ask yourself, “Is this something I can emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually invest in right now?”. That has been one of my personal favorites in order to achieve my best yes answer for my season. The best part about your goals, whatever it may be; is that you can start SMALL. You don’t have to start doing everything at once! If you want to start losing body fat, start by moving more. If you want to start sleeping more, start by increasing 15 minutes. If you go over and beyond what’s realistic for your life; it’s guaranteed 80% failure rate due to being overwhelmed. Start small and be realistic with what you can personally invest in right now.
Do you need help creating a fitness routine for your reality? Check out our Strength Training and Cardio Resource Guide below to help you create your personalized program!
The Female’s Guide to Strength Training and Cardio
Get templates, tools, and examples to jumpstart your routine and amplify your results.
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- Our Complete Educational Guide
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