Do you want to begin working out, but not sure where to start? You know deep down that you don’t know the most modern and effective methods of strength training and cardio workout techniques, and don’t want to make mistakes that will waste your time or cause injury.

Or perhaps you’re working out now but not getting the muscle-building, weight loss results you know you should be. If that sounds like you, then keep reading. There are efficient, time tested ways to design an optimal exercise and workout program that delivers significant results with minimal effort.

You know you’ve found a really successful exercise and fitness program when you find yourself losing weight and building lean muscle mass – getting into the best shape of your life without getting bored or burned out. If you feel a desire to quit your fitness and exercise bodybuilding or weight loss program out of frustration before you develop the ripped abs or rock hard pecs you see other people walking around with, your program probably isn’t any good. This means you still haven’t found the exercise and fitness program that is right for you.

However, you have to have realistic expectations. You can’t expect to achieve incredible results within just a few days or weeks. I’m not going to lie to you: it takes months of dedicated, disciplined training to get real results. But the great part is that it can be some of the best fun you’ve ever had in your life. If you don’t learn to enjoy your fitness workouts, you won’t stick to them.

Don’t try to be superhuman: work within your current ability and level of fitness and allow yourself the time to progress naturally. Start with what you can do comfortably today, and when it becomes too easy, slowly increase either the intensity or duration of your fitness routine, or both. If you’re weight lifting, slowly add the amount of weight you are lifting every week if you want to build strength and muscle mass. Or as is the case with most women, increase the number of repetitions for each exercise if you’re more interested in building lean muscle mass and losing weight than you are building muscle mass and strength.

You may decide to change your exercise and fitness routine completely. For example, instead of walking, you may take up jogging, biking or swimming, which have the potential for greater workout intensity. The most important thing is that you continually increase the demand on your muscles and cardiovascular system so you remain challenged as your fitness level increases.

So, what about doing strength training and cardiovascular exercise regimes at the same time? Some people prefer to stress strength training and others aerobic exercise routines, but the truth is that both are necessary for optimal fitness. Strength sessions are important because they develop your lean muscle mass and keep your body strong and protect your joints. Cardio is also important because it improves your health by strengthening your heart, burns off excess calories and allows you to lose weight and strip away the fat.

You have to do strength training to tone your muscles and look leaner and more “cut”, but you need to do cardio exercises also to actually burn off your stored fat reserves for optimal weight loss. Doing one while neglecting the other will not produce optimal health and fitness results.

The good news is that there are specialized, optimized fitness programs that can achieve the results you are looking for, without taking too much time from your busy schedule or boring you to death!

The most efficient, time-saving method for achieving fitness synergy is to do strength training and cardio workouts at the same time. Interval training is one method that has been developed over the last few years that allows those with less time to spend exercising a way of getting a complete workout in a shorter amount of time. It is now considered one of the most advanced fitness techniques ever developed, and is used by all the top athletes.

With interval training, you alternate strength training exercises with cardio and endurance exercises, getting the best of both worlds. You move rapidly from one exercise technique to the other, working out your muscles for strength while at the same time keeping your heart rate high for maximum cardio fitness. The result is a great strength training workout for lean muscle mass with all the fat burning, endurance and weight loss qualities that come with cardiovascular conditioning.

It’s simply not true that you have to do all weight training or all cardio conditioning at one time. You can combine them both for incredible health and fitness enhancing results! Millions of people do it every year, and you can too.

The purpose of a cardio workout is to keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time, burn off calories for optimal weight loss, forcing your body to burn off stored fat in those hard to tone places (you know what the are!). The point of strength training is to tone, strengthen and condition your muscles. You can do them both at the same time with strength training and cardio workouts using interval training, so why not do it?

Check out some of the links in this article and work your way toward a new you that you can love and feel proud of. You can do it, I promise! Don’t give up!