Alternating 3 Day Weights and 3 Day Cardio Training with PDF

Only strength training is good; combining strength and cardio is fine, but performing aerobic and resistance training on alternate days is best for shaping your physique and enhancing your overall fitness.

Alternating weight and cardio workouts allows you to focus on building muscle on one day and enhancing your cardiovascular fitness on the other. However, you need a well-designed workout plan to achieve to reap the benefits of both.

In this article, I’ve shared an ultimate, easy-to-follow, and effective six-day split that involves performing 3 day weights and 3 day cardio training.

Anyone who is looking for a split like this should try this program for a few months. I believe you’ll see some progress over time.

Program Summary and Description

Split TypeCardio and Strength Workout Split
Strength Routine TypeUpper and Lower Split
Cardio TypeLow-impact, Moderate Intensity, and HIIT
Sessions/weekSix with one full day rest.
Program GoalImprove Muscularity, Build Strength, and Enhance Cardiovascular Fitness
Target GenderMale and Female Both
Workout DifficultyIntermediate (Moderate)
Suggested Duration12-16 Weeks

Cardio Days: In this program, you’ll do low-impact aerobic exercises on day one, medium-intensity interval training (MIIT) workout on day three, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on day five.

Resistance Training Days: It includes training chest and arms on day two, legs and glutes on day four, and back and shoulder on day six. You can shuffle this order according to your need.

Intensity (MHR) for Cardio Training: 40-60 percent for light cardio, 60-80 for MIIT, and 80-95 percent for HIIT. You can calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220.

Rep Ranges for Strength Training: You can perform 10-20 reps per set. I’ve mentioned sets and reps for each exercise, so make sure you lift weights accordingly. For example, you should increase the load when the number of reps goes down.

3 Day Weights 3 Day Cardio Split to Become Strong and Aesthetic

Alternating cardio and strength training
  • Day 1 – Low-Impact Cardio
  • Day 2 – Chest and Arms
  • Day 3 – Moderate Intensity Cardio
  • Day 4 – Legs and Glutes
  • Day 5 – High-Intensity Interval Training
  • Day 6 – Back and Shoulder
  • Day 7 – OFF (you can take a steam or ice bath for recovery)

Warm-up: Perform dynamic stretches and a few isolation exercises with light weights to activate your muscles before starting your main cardio and lifting exercises. For example, you can do bomber push-ups, leg swings, cat-cow stretches, the world’s greatest stretch, arms swings, and some lifting exercises for warming up.

Day 1 – Low-Impact Cardio

Treadmill15 minutes at 40-60% of your MHR2-minute
Stationary Bike10 minutes at 50-60% of your MHR2-minute
Elliptical Trainer5 minutes at 50-60% of your MHR2-minute
Jumping Rope5 minutes at 50-60% of your MHR2-minute
Bodyweight Cardio15-20 minutes

Day 2 – Chest and Arms

Incline Bench Press315, 12, 10
Seated Pec Deck Fly320, 16, 12
High-to-Low Cable Fly315, 12, 10
Triceps Press Down315-20
1-arm Overhead Triceps Extension315-20
Cable/Barbell Biceps Curl215-20
Concentration/Hammer Curl215-20
Reverse Barbell Curl212-15

Day 3 – Moderate Intensity Cardio

Treadmill10 minutes at 60-80% of your MHR2-minute
Stationary Bike5 minutes at 60-70% of your MHR2-minute
Rowing Machine5 minutes at 60-80% of your MHR2-minute
Battle Rope5 minutes at 70-80% of your MHR2-minute
Burpees3 sets x 10 reps 1-minute
Kettlebell Swings2 sets x 20 reps1-minute
Barbell Thruster2 sets x 15 reps1-minute
Abs Workout15 minutes

Day 4 – Legs and Glutes

Walking DB Lunges210/leg
DB Front Squat320, 15, 10
Leg Extension320, 16, 12
Machine Leg Press315, 12, 10
Machine Leg Curl420, 16, 12, 10
Hip Thrust/Step-up315, 12, 10
Calf Raises320-25

Day 5 – High-Intensity Interval Training

Treadmill30-second run @80-95% followed by a 45-second break x 62-minute
Battle Rope20-second swing @80-95% followed by a 40-second break x 52-minute
Bicycling20-second swing @80-95% followed by a 40-second break x 52-minute
Core Workout15-minute core exercises at high-intensity

Day 6 – Back and Shoulder

Pull-ups3Till failure
Front Lat Pull-down212-15
Close Grip Lat Pull-down212-15
Seated Cable/Machine Row312-15
Single-arm DB Row210/arm
Overhead Press310-12
Side Delt Raises312-15
Rear Delt Flyes312-15
Shoulder Shrug312-15

The Alternating Cardio and Strength Training PDF

The Bottom Line

Resistance training helps build strength and mass, while aerobic workouts promote cardiovascular fitness and body composition, and doing them both helps yield better results than doing either one only when it comes to enhancing overall fitness.1 Ho, S. S., Dhaliwal, S. S., Hills, A. P., & Pal, S. (2012). The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance, or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health, 12, 704.

The best way to utilize the benefits of cardio and strength training is to do them on alternate days.

Alternating cardio and resistance training allows you to focus on building muscle on one day and improving your cardiovascular fitness on the other.

In this article, I showed you how to design a cardio and strength training split so you can utilize both workouts effectively.

You can also download the program I’ve uploaded above, make changes if needed, and use it for a few months.


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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