Cardio/Strength/Stretching/Core - How Much of Each?


Wonder how much time is spent well and how much time is wasted when you combine each of these activities? There are a couple of ways to look at this equation:


  1. How much time should you spend doing each if you're doing a multi-mode (all-in-one) workout?

2. How much time should you engage in any one activity if you're doing it alone on a given day?


Here's a quick formula for the first viewpoint: Cardio > Strength > Core/Flexibility

(each not much more time than you spend on the next in line).


As for focusing on just one mode on a given day - well - I like a compact strength workout (one set per body part, perfect form to absolute failure). So, with warm-up and cool-down, that's a little under an hour. I usually do core/flexibility as my strength training cool-down and yoga on the weekend. Cardio can go for longer (a bike ride or circuits at the studio) and a stretch session even longer since the intensity levels for each are generally lower than what's required for the strength approach I mentioned above.


But don't forget, at least as important is the intensity/duration equation, which is inverse. When I hit the heavy bags or when I used to spar, 30 minutes was more than enough. And I enjoy an hour+ yoga class taught by a talented teacher who paces and builds the sequences well.


The most important thing is to listen to your body. When it starts getting too hard to do well, you've had enough.


Want to learn more? The new session of OptWell50+ starts again soon.

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