How Much Cardio Should Be Included in Your Workout?

Creating a complete workout regimen that will lead to reaching fitness objectives can be challenging. Working out includes both cardiovascular activity and strength instruction, and having an understanding of the amount of cardio to complete on a regular basis is essential. A suitable program is one that addresses both weight training and cardiovascular activity in equal parts. This combination of the two will provide you with the most successful outcomes.

How Many Hours of Cardio Should I Do Per Week?

Figuring out the exact amount of cardio you need every week is a crucial part of determining the balance of your routine. Your goals will affect the balance of your exercise; if your plans are to shed fat or gain muscle, your regimen will be different than when preparing for a sport or other event. However, as a general rule, 5 hours of cardio per week is a recommended base for any workout plan. Knowing this total is the first step; the subsequent step is finding the best way to work in your cardio time each week.

How Can I Include Cardio Exercises in My Workouts?

For those looking to incorporate cardio into their workout routine, the starting point depends on goals, individual body type, and diet. It is important to determine which type of cardio is best to reach those goals and to also consider one’s body type and dietary intake.

Muscle Training

If you’re hoping to gain muscle, begin with approximately thirty minutes of cardio per workout. The duration and number of sessions you do may differ depending on your existing body structure and end goals. To increase and sustain muscle size, weight train at least three times each week in combination with your cardio exercises. Too much cardio can cause calorie depletion, which can actually lessen muscle gains.

Weight Loss

For weight loss goals, focus on burning more calories. Investing 45 minutes to an hour each day into vigorous cardio work is great for prompting your body to burn extra calories while still increasing muscle density. Holding your weight training sessions to two per week will ensure you shed fat without sacrificing your hard-earned muscle mass.


The amount of cardio you include in your training routine will depend on the type of sport you are involved in. Cross-country athletes should incorporate more cardio sessions than basketball players, for example, as the former sport is more demanding in terms of cardiovascular activity. As a guideline, consider how cardio-oriented your chosen sport is and plan your session frequency accordingly.

Cardio Exercise Based on Your Body Type

When planning your cardio routine, it is important to take your body type into consideration. There are three main body types: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. It is possible to identify with more than one type, but most people tend to fit largely within one of these groups. With your goals in mind, you can then tailor your cardio program to complement your body type in order to achieve the best results.


This form of physique is characteristic of those with smaller skeletal structures, slender outlines, and high metabolic rates. As a result, those with this body type can usually stay slim, even when they consume hefty servings. Because obtaining an ideal weight is much less difficult for those with this body type, minimal amounts of cardio are necessary to achieve their desired weight loss outcome. However, those hoping to bulk up must heavily restrain the expansion of their exercise regimen since enough calories need to be preserved to guarantee the development of muscle mass.


This body type is typically associated with those who are naturally heavier and have a slow metabolism. This body type tends to gain weight relatively easily, and it usually takes twice the amount of work to lose it. This body type has more muscle mass than the other two, so less weight training is needed when trying to gain mass. In order to achieve notable weight loss, it is important to focus on the cardio section of the exercise routine. To add muscle, a person should achieve a balance between cardio and weight training, avoiding the risk of burning the calories needed for muscle growth.


This body type is highly sought-after by many. It is characterized by an easy ability to lose weight and gain muscle mass with minimal effort. A regular fitness routine consisting of two to three sessions of cardio a week is enough to provide desirable outcomes. People with this body type are naturally muscular and have an advantage in the fitness arena.

Final Thoughts

Everyone is different, which means their approach to exercise should be too. Deciding how much cardio to include in your routine is based on the amount of time you can dedicate to achieving the body type you want. While the suggested guidelines are a useful starting point, you may need to adjust or modify your exercise routine to find what works best for you.

We suggest that you experiment to determine the best amount of cardio to help you reach your goals without negatively impacting your health, recovery, or strength training. Good luck!