How to create a balanced workout routine that incorporates strength and cardio

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

Variety is the spice of life, and the same is true for fitness as well. If you’re doing just one type of workout every day, chances are high that you’ll end up being bored of exercising and might do it as a chore instead of enjoying it.

But fitness is not about that at all. To achieve true fitness of the mind and body, you need the zeal, the motivation and the enthusiasm to go out there and pump your body to achieve your fitness goals. And to do that, you need the right balance in your gym workout schedule.

You may start off with just cardio for weight loss, but that can become too mundane. Mix it up with a full-body strength training regime and you have a great gym circuit ready.

If you want a jumping-off point to start your workout routine that combines cardio and strength training, then we have drawn a great 6-day gym workout schedule for you below. But don’t let it be set in stone. Modify it, change it up, and add your own touch to it. Let’s have a look.

A Balanced Gym Workout Plan

Here’s an amazing workout routine that you can follow from Monday through Sunday which combines cardio and strength training so that you can get the benefits of both.

– Monday: Cardio workouts

– Tuesday: Upper body- Arms, chest, core

– Wednesday: Lower body- hamstrings, glutes, and quads

– Thursday: Active Rest – Yoga, stretching

– Friday: Upper Body- Shoulders and back

– Saturday: Lower body- Glutes

– Sunday: Active Rest – Yoga, stretching

Monday: Cardio workouts

Monday is the best day to get your heart pumping with an intense cardio workout since you’re fresh from the weekend rest. There are plenty of cardio options for you. You can go for a run in the morning, jog, cycle or go swimming. You can also simply head to the gym and work up a treadmill or a stationary bike to get your cardio fix.

How much intensity should you go for? Aim for a heart rate that’s 64% and 76% of your maximum heart rate. You can subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate.

Tuesday: Upper body- Arms, chest, core

After your cardio day, you can shift to weight training for your biceps, triceps and chest muscles. Start with a nice warm-up to get your body going. Then you can follow that up with bicep curls for your arms. Start with 10 reps for three sets with a minute of rest in between.

Tricep dips and chest presses can be done for your triceps and chest muscles similarly. But feel free to use alternate exercises according to your preference.

Wednesday: Lower body- hamstrings, glutes, and quads

The next day you can focus on your lower body muscles like the hamstrings, glutes and quads. Compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts and lunges are great for this. The advantage of using compound lifts is that you can work on more muscle groups with the same exercises.

Start with low weights and add more as you feel comfortable. 

Thursday: Active rest with yoga/stretching

Friday: Upper Body- Shoulders and back

Next, you can focus on your upper body again, but the shoulders and back this time. Here also, you have plenty of options like the lateral raise, shoulder press, dumbbell rows, reverse fly and lateral pull down.

Again, practice with 10 reps for 3 sets with a minute of rest in between sets.  

Saturday: Lower body- Glutes

On Saturdays, you can put your focus back on your lower body and glutes. Start with resistance band workouts like squats, glue bridges, and clamshells. Once you feel the burn, you can move on to weight training like deadlifts and hip thrusts for your glutes and hamstrings. 

Sunday: Active Rest – Yoga, stretching

If you’d like to put the above workout plan into action immediately, then download the FITPASS app and get access to the best gyms near you for cardio and strength training. Not just that, but the built-in FITCOACH acts like your personal fitness coach and charts out a customizable weekly workout plan, helping you along your fitness journey. 


1. Why is a balanced workout routine important?

A balanced workout routine is important because it incorporates various exercise modalities like cardio, weight training, and strength training, into your regime and hence your body gets all the benefits that they have to offer.

2. How can I incorporate strength training and cardio into my workout routine?

Follow the workout plan given above to include cardio and strength training in your workout routine.

3. How often should I switch up my workout routine?

It is recommended that you change up your workout routine every 6-8 weeks.

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