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If you work your muscles to fatigue with either cardio or strength training, you need to take a break between intense workouts to let your muscles rest. Don't keep pounding away at your body. If you keep doing too much, you will start feeling fatigue. You're also at risk for injury and burn out.
You can do a class that incorporates weights like your step class. that's okay. It works, but you'll get more benefit IF you keep your strength workouts separate from your cardio.
You could do a Body Pump class. Body Pump is a form of circuit training. Circuit training is strength training as well as cardiovascular. That's one way to do both at once.
Depending on your goals, a person only needs to strength train 1-3 days a week. Don't try to do too much too soon or you will end up being frustrated. if you're new to exercise, start slowly. Remember, we don't exercise for the amount of time it takes to lose the weight. we need to be active in some way for our entire life.
So, start slowly to let your new routine become a habit. Slowly add more as your endurance increases.
As far as what constitutes strength training, it's a very broad term. Yoga and pilates both qualify for strength training because they use body weight exercises. Body Pump is strength. Curves is strength. Jillians' 30 Day Shred is strength.
the important thing to remember about strength is that you should work your muscles to fatigue and then rest them the next day. In general, full body workouts are the more beneficial.
I do strength training in some of my cardio workouts. Like in my step class, we do a lot of dumbbell and weighted bar exercises. We'll actually stop stepping and do sets of various lifting exercises. Also, the Wii Sports Active involves strength training using the included resistance band. I'm doing the 30 Day Challenge on there right now. Should I be concerned with doing these workouts back-to back, with no rest days in between? Or when I hear that you should strength train the same muscle groups 2 days in a row, are they just talking about heavy lifting? I'm not sure if the 30 Day Challenge on the Wii takes that rule into account, so I thought I'd ask! I will go to the Wii Sports Active Sparkteam and ask there, too. Just would like the rule of thumb for what constitutes weight training...with dumbbells, weighted bars, resistance bands, etc. And is pilates a form of strength training, too?
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