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3. Bicep Curl BFlex Those MusclesAs a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, I am asked if people should focus more on cardio or strength training. And the answer really depends on their goals; however, for optimal fitness, both forms of exercise are necessary. The best results come from a consistent blend of cardio and strength.

While cardio is king in terms of training the heart and lungs, building endurance and helping burn calories, the effects of body strength training aren’t always correctly understood. Strength workouts don’t necessarily build big muscles – particularly in women, who don’t have enough testosterone naturally to bulk up.

Working with weights, strength machines, rubber resistance bands and tubing – and even your body weight – helps strengthen muscles as they have to adapt to move through resistance. Over time, working against these forces strengthens muscles, which helps to shape them and create a more toned or defined appearance.

Furthermore, strength training can help boost your metabolism – or the rate at which your body burns calories – because greater muscle mass uses more energy. To try strength training, you can do the CROSS CiRCUIT program on Octane’s ellipticals, take a class at the gym, consult with a personal trainer or check out the many videos and online resources.