Is 30 Minutes of Strength Training and 15 Minutes of Cardio really enough?

I have heard this question many times over the course my 25 years in the fitness industry, and the answer is always the same: absolutely YES! Quality beats quantity when it comes to exercise.

This may come as a surprise to you. Many folks have been led to believe that “real” exercise means spending hours in the gym each day, or burning lots of time on the road or treadmill.

This is true only if you’re a professional athlete or a competitive body builder. For these people, a typical workout is two hours a day (or more), 6+ days per week. They’re lifting heavy weights, focusing on just one or two body parts each day, or putting miles and miles in of roadwork in each day.

Some people try this approach when they are in their teens or twenties and it works for them. They have the bodies to handle that workload, and more importantly, they have the time to dedicate to it.

But for everyone else — people over 25, people with busy work schedules and family priorities everyday — working out like a professional athlete makes no sense. It’s simply unrealistic and too inefficient, given the demands on your time.

A workout has to adapt to your lifestyle, otherwise you’ll stop doing it, or run the risk of burnout, boredom and injury. The truth is, many people’s “regular” workouts may actually be holding them back from achieving their fitness goals, despite all their best intentions.

That’s why my focus has always been to create exercise programs that give my clients and Koko members the maximum results, safely, in the minimum amount of time.

That’s what Koko Smartraining is all about. Optimum results in the minimum time. It’s exercise that people can actually fit into their daily lives.

Koko FitClub 30-Minute Smartraining Strength Plan Explained

Koko strength training is different from traditional weightlifting. It’s “circuit-based’ training.

Rather than working one muscle at a time and resting between sets, circuit training aims to work multiple muscle groups on every exercise and it eliminates the “resting phase” by having you work opposing muscle groups during that time. It’s highly efficient and very effective, but it requires a lot of pre-planning and tracking.

Fortunately, with Koko all that planning and tracking is done for you automatically with our proprietary Smartraining software. It’s made even more time- efficient by incorporating it all into one exercise machine; the Koko Smartrainer.

Each 30-minute Koko workout is precisely choreographed to manipulate the variables of proper pace, proper exercise order and proper workload (weights and reps) and it all adapts daily to your progress. The result is you get the full benefits of a traditional 60 or 90 minute workout in just 30 minutes.

What’s more, it’s all customized specifically to your individual strength level, adapting each day to your progress to increase effectiveness and eliminate boredom.

There’s another benefit too. Countless research studies have demonstrated that this type of circuit training even provides aerobic benefits to exercisers that traditional strength training regimens do not. That means more calories burned during each workout.

Personally, I see the difference Koko Smartraining makes every day. A few years back when I was at Tufts Research Center on Aging, one of the premier research facilities on exercise in the world, I helped conduct comprehensive studies on the impact of various exercise methods on different populations.
At Tufts, we viewed an 8%-10% strength gain in eight weeks from participants as “effective”. A 10%- 15% gain was considered “outstanding”.

At Koko, our average member achieves a 19% strength gain in their first 8-week program! That number increases to 25% after two programs and 33% after three!

The numbers say it all. Koko works. And in just 30- minutes, three times per week, it works into our members’ busy lives as well.

The 15-Minute Koko Cardio Methodology Explained

Does this sound familiar? “These days, the time I spend on cardio equipment or in classes doesn’t work for me like it used to… I need to do more, but I don’t have the time…”

Like strength training, getting better results from cardio exercise means breaking old habits. Pounding away on a treadmill or an elliptical machine for an hour or more is not only boring and inefficient; it can also cause serious repetitive stress injuries.

By contrast, high intensity interval training (HIIT), like Koko Cardio, has been well-documented in numerous research studies to be a more efficient method for burning calories and increasing aerobic capacity, while reducing the risk of repetitive stress injury.

With Koko Cardio interval training, we automatically manipulate the proper balance of workout intensity and recovery in short durations. The result is you get the same calorie burn of steady-state cardio, but in half the time! That’s right, 15 minutes of Koko Cardio is like 30 minutes or more of traditional cardio.

What’s more, interval training has been specifically proven to be better at burning fat during and after exercise. It also preserves valuable lean muscle mass that is often lost over time with continual steady state cardio training.

It’s a totally different way to exercise that people familiar with traditional “cardio” machines aren’t used to. No more watching TV while you walk, run or step to nowhere for an hour like a hamster on a wheel.

Koko acts like your cardio coach; planning for you, motivating you and manipulating your intensity every step of the way to keep you focused and engaged. The 15 minutes flies by and you get a better workout than you thought possible in such a short time. Just take a look at my results comparing an actual Koko Cardio 15-minute workout to a 15-minute steady- state cardio workout.

And it’s all done in a hiking format instead of a running format. Hiking has the double benefit of activating different muscle groups like calves, rear- ends, hamstrings and lower back, while saving wear and tear on your joints (each running step puts 6x your body weight on your joints versus 1.5x your body weight for hiking).

For die-hard runners who are used to putting lots of miles on the open road, Koko Cardio (and Koko strength) is a perfect cross-training compliment to any running program. It builds strength and stability, preserves lean muscle tissue and will improve your running performance when you hit the road.

More fat burned, less time. That’s Koko Cardio. Try it for yourself today.


Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer, Koko FitClub

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Try 30 days of complete fitness and coaching for just $30.


About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.

2 thoughts on “Is 30 Minutes of Strength Training and 15 Minutes of Cardio really enough?

  1. 29 minute circuit training & than 30 to 40 more minutes of cardio on the ARC machine, this has been my work out (4 to 5 X’s per week) at the gym I attend.
    What’s your input on my personal workout?


    • Everybody is different! Our system works along the science behind 15-20min cardio sessions of HIIT coupled with about 30-40min circuit training with time under tension!


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