When going to the gym to do both cardio and strength training, does it matter which one I do first? I am overweight and should lose about 40 lbs. Can you give me a guideline of of how many days I should be going to the gym and how long I should spend on both cardio and strength training? I have been confused since I went to the gym three days last week, kept my eating pattern the same and somehow managed to gain a few pounds. Very discouraging after working hard at the gym!

Because you mention weight loss as you primary goal for your exercise, I would recommend that you do your cardio AFTER your weight training sessions. The reason for this is that weight training starts the fat burning process and cardio continues the process. Fat burning normally begins after about 20 minutes of cardio, and some studies have shown that cardiovascular activity AFTER weight training will cause fat burning to begin as early as 10 minutes into your cardio activity.

As for how often you should be at the gym may depend on what you have been doing and for how long. It is recommended that you do 30 minutes of activity on MOST days of the week, but for weight loss, it is more like 60 minutes on most days of the week. I would recommend that you try a combination of both cardio and weights for your 60 minute total and really intensify your workouts. If you haven’t changed your workout routine in awhile, it is time to freshen it up. Good luck!

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