Question – What is the best work out for strength training and cardio?
Answer – The best is what you’ll actually do. Some activity is better than none.
Beyond that, research is clear that high-intensity strength training is best for hunger suppression, fat loss, hormone balance, and longevity. But aerobic activity has its advantages, too, especially when it helps push your work out into the high-intensity zone of 80–90% heart rate.
Integrated Concurrent Exercise
Most people do single-mode or serial concurrent exercise: just aerobic or just strength or one before the other. Even interval training and HIIT are generally single-mode work outs.
But integrated concurrent exercise shows the best results for improved fitness markers like strength, endurance, and cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory measures. Integrated concurrent means you mix aerobic and strength together rather than doing separate or serial work outs as we traditionally think of them. “Turbulence” training is an integrated model.
So instead of running or swimming one day and lifting another or swimming for 30 minutes followed by lifting for 30 minutes, you do a workout where you perform squats, followed by a 60 second sprint, followed by bench press, followed by a 60 second row, etc. After 30-45 minutes of that high-intensity work 2/week with low-intensity activity like walking, house work, playing with your children every day, you’ll see results quickly.
Our NMF groups have incorporated this model for our 2017 groups, using our treadmill, rower, jump ropes, boxing, and outdoor running for the aerobic intervals. The strength portion is either basic strength exercises like squats or power moves like box jumps.
Here’s some research behind the integrated method: