A big question we get asked a lot is how much cardiovascular training should I be doing with my weight lifting? Is there an equal balance or should there be a greater percentage of one method compared to the other? Is there a one method fits all approach or is it far more complicated than that? Well, you probably already know the answer to that one and that is it is more complicated than it looks because of the different factors which alternate why you would need to do more of one than the other. Factors like goals, eating habits, lifestyle and so on determine how much time you can spend on each part. Here are some useful things to consider when choosing how much you should do of each workout....
So the most important muscle in the body is your heart and when you run, swim, cycle etc you will be working this muscle. Your cardiovascular system is important because you want to be fit enough to do carry out simple tasks and effective workouts. Not only does it help improve fitness, stamina and performance but it will keep you in shape too. If you play sports then you will understand a required level of cardiovascular fitness is required to stay on top of your game. But is performing cardiovascular style workouts enough to keep you ahead, one would argue that you would need to also perform resistance based training to adapt further.
This is often portrayed as just a bunch of bodybuilders all grunting and moaning in the weight room chucking heavy weights around. This is a total misconception which is being ironed out as more and more sports persons are realising the importance of doing this type of training. Training with weights performing Olympic lifts and conditioning work helps build muscle but also burns fat off your body. Significant results can be seen by training in this way as resistance based training burns far more calories than cardiovascular.
Both types of training are really important when looking at this from a training aspect and not just for a quick fix. It really does depend on your goal in regards to how much you do as a percentage but I think weight training will always out do cardiovascular. With that said however, it really can vary because if you are a long distance runner then it is more important for you to get out there and practise your runs. However a rugby player or bodybuilder will likely do more weight training than cardiovascular work.
So in answer to the above there is no real right or wrong answer as long as you are keeping it specific to what you want. The fundamentals stay the same and that is cardio will build endurance whereas weight training conditions the body. If you are looking for an all round optimal physique then you should be looking at a good split between both of them. I know for my own goals and wanting to stay athletic, I roughly go for a 70 -30 ratio in favour of weight training.