My workout (ideally daily but perhaps 4 times a week in reality) is limited to an hour and my main focus is fat loss, so generally 40min cardio. I'd love to regularly include weights but realistically 10-15min is virtually nothing with rest, machine/weights setup.

Is this a worthwhile way to train? Is doing such a small amount in one session going to achieve anything, or would it work better to 'save up' my weight training e.g 2 days cardio, 1 day weights?

  • 3
    The way you phrase the question sounds like you're relying on your cardio primarily for weight loss. If that's the case, you'd be much better off switching the ratio, so you do a solid 40 minute weight session, and maybe 15 minutes cardio at the end for heart health.
    – Dark Hippo
    Mar 2, 2021 at 8:52
  • @DarkHippo why is that? The research I've done shows weight-training is quite a lot less effective in terms of pure calorie burn, than cardio?
    – Mr. Boy
    Mar 2, 2021 at 9:55
  • 3
    This doesn't answer the question presented which is why it's a comment, but Dark Hippo is right. You're better off switching the cardio for weights. The difference in calorie burn is negligible in the long-run, and with weight training you'll build more muscle mass which is more beneficial for long-term weight sustainability. You can get a pretty good heart-pumping workout with short rest periods and/or super-sets (if gym conditions permit it).
    – DeeV
    Mar 2, 2021 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


Its best to focus on one goal at a time rather than stretch goals. If you were learning to do ballet, you wouldn't also try hip hop and painting in the same day right?

Fat loss benefits from weightlifting, but it plays a better role in cutting fat and maintaining muscle. If you're trying to soley lose weight, switching between high, moderate, and low intensity cardio exercises throughout the week as well as switching up types of exercises along with diet will burn the most calories. You can also do HIIT.

If you're trying to maintain hard built muscle but lose fat, then I generally do one strength training full body day, and two weight days where I do full body strength training but metabolic circuits or circuit training/endurance workouts, then I add a moderate cardio day, 1 high cardio day, and walk twice a day for 60 minutes(low cardio).

Otherwise for hypertrophy, strength, power, etc focus on the weights first and do cardio after your workout as an afterthought.

If you're bored with cardio, you can always do body circuits metabolic training which is essentially HIIT, or HIIT, sprinting, etc

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