Cardio vs Strength Training – Why You’re Not Seeing Result (PLUS FULL LOWER BODY ROUTINE) Over 40

insulin resistance, diabetes, blood sugar, weight loss

My Body Transformation Story – Why I wasn't seeing results from my previous Cardio and Strength Training Routine. What mistakes to avoid to get a faster metabolism and transform your body, over 40 or at any age.
You’ll find out:
⦿ my typical routine (including different weight lifting circuits)
⦿ biggest mistakes that prevent women from losing body fat and building stronger legs
⦿ benefits of strength training for women over 40
⦿ how I transformed my body through strength training vs cardio
⦿ My complete leg day lower body routine
⦿ Plus circuits for you to screenshot

Links from the video:

⦿ ChaLEAN Extreme, PiYo (and all my Beachbody workouts):
⦿ Why I Left Fitness:
⦿ How to Get Your Diet Back On Track (The Chalene Show):

Join me on Patreon where I talk about things I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable sharing on the public podcast. THE ULTIMATE show for Lifers who want insider-girlfriend-relatable content. In other words, lots more tea! Go to

Be sure to check out The Chalene Show Playlist for other great episodes

Check out Chalene's business podcast Build Your Tribe cohosted with her son Brock Johnson.

Don't forget to join my weekly newsletter for lifestyle tips and deals of the week:

Let’s Connect…
The Chalene Show Podcast

Build Your Tribe Podcast

DISCLAIMER: This description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, it's possible that I'll receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows me to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!

Cameron Long

  • K M says:

    Thanks for doing this Chalene!! I’ve been hoping for this! Being a Chalene Extreme diehard, I’ve always wished you had more weight-lifting videos! Would you consider filming your gym routines more regularly? It is so helpful..and super motivating!

  • Jaydub Whitmyer says:

    I didn’t realize that you had a YouTube channel until you mentioned it on your podcast. I was so excited because I used to do a lot of your Beachbody workouts. I would love to see a total body strength training workout that we can do at home with free weights or resistance bands. You are truly an inspiration for me. As a woman over 60, there are so many messages out there like exercise moderately or you have to lift heavy. My head spins sometimes. I have decided to really work on strength training. Thanks for all you do.

    • Chalene Johnson says:

      Yay! Well to be honest I’ve just recently decided to create original content just for YouTube. So I appreciate you!

    • Laurel L says:

      I started to dread my Beachbody workouts and just stretch and walk now. Gamechanger.

    • Cindy Fuller says:

      My favorite muscle group to work is arms/shoulders/back. I hold fat in those areas and I never wear sleeveless tops/dresses because of it. I’m in really great shape otherwise for 65; yoga 4x week, weightlifting 2-3x week and hour long walks 2-3x weeks. My legs have always been my best physical feature, but I still love to work them out. So more arm/back workout content, please! 💪🏼

  • Leasa Sanchez says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Chalene! It was “synchronicity city” for me this week to have you post this! I had JUST decided to start walking for my cardio instead of high intensity and focus more on strength training. I always look to you as inspiration to keep me going in being my best self, as we are very close in age…I’ll be 52 at the end of this month! You look amazing and your energy is so beautiful. You make everyone around you feel so accepted and loved (as they are) without judgement, but also encourage us to keep growing and stretching to be our highest selves in all areas of our life. Thank you for that! ❤️

    I love how you have transformed your “rear view!” That is what I’m looking to do as well! I naturally have a bit of a “pancake derrière” so looking to transform from pancake to more of a beefcake! 😂 so super stoked you showed a leg workout with specific exercises targeting the glutes! You ROCK girl! I love your YouTube channel the best!!! Thanks for keeping it going! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

  • Simples Meerkat says:

    I’m nearly 57 and have been strength training since September. I’ve never felt so happy with my progress. I do no cardio at the gym but I walk everywhere. I go to the gym 4 times a week so that is 4 hours walking just by doing that. I am eating more calories than last year. Hardly any processed food. My weight trend is downward…slow but consistent.

  • E Mark says:

    Chalene, this video couldn’t come at a more perfect time in my life. Your story hit home for me, especially with us being the same age. I’ve been wanting to start strength training for the same reasons you did but didn’t know where to begin, thanks to you, now I do. You are insightful and an inspiration, please keep doing what you’re doing! Love your podcasts too!

  • Denise Williams says:

    Thank you Chalene! As a 51 year old who used to do strength and have fallen off, I have felt a strong nudge,through all these changes (aka muscle loss and added belly fat) at 50, to get back at it. So your post, podcast and now this video drew me in. I initially found you through Beachbody and piyo and really respect your transparency through your journey and willingness to serve your audience so generously! 💕

  • Janis Lamberty says:

    I literally almost started crying when I started watching this! My daughter and I have all of your CD’s!
    My daughter sent this to me because I have had 10 orthopedic surgeries! I run, skate, fast walk, row, bike you name it if it’s cardio I do it! I used to include more strength training but now (I’m 63) I am recovering from hand surgery (age and over use was the reason they gave me for the tears in my ligaments and tendons). I have pleaded with PT and doctors to figure out why I try so hard to be in shape but keep getting injured! I used to be strong! My shoulders and arms were strong and defined! Over the last couple of years I have lost over 12 lbs literally have no appetite and am shrinking with every day! When you said 30 min a day I literally sighed!!! I’m so tired, sore and defeated! I have always respected your approach to fitness so I know what you are saying is the truth!
    I’m starting tomorrow at the gym (my left arm is in a huge bandage so leg day for sure! I’m subscribing to all f your shows and info! Let’s see if I can start feeling good about myself again!
    Thank you so much! And…. Thanks to my daughter for setting me up with your videos!💗💪🏼

    • Chalene Johnson says:

      OMG! I just want to give you a hug. I’m so glad we connected here!!

    • Belle says:

      You will heal, our bodies are made to repair itself.the book Built from broken by Scott Hogan is so helpful.lots of information on how to build up what’s been injured.God Bless you.

    • A-Terrible-Fate says:

      if you dont want to stop cardio and you shouldn’t, just walk a lot if you can. But strength training should be your focus with some cardio on the side for heart health etc.

    • HockeyMomAvalon says:

      Get your vitamin d 3 levels checked!

    • Janis Lamberty says:

      Me too Chalene! Thank you for responding!

  • Chalene Johnson says:

    *what muscle group would you love to see more definition?*

  • laurielou2 says:

    Chalene, THANK. YOU! for doing this video. I threw myself into premature menopause (at age 36) by being totally obsessed with losing weight in constant caloric deficits, and I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t building muscle. I was just literally wasting away because I couldn’t get “low enough” on the scale. There was no such thing as “too skinny” to me. Now that I learned the lesson (too late), I’m much more focused these days on building muscle mass. This was so encouraging to me. THANK YOU for always being honest—you’ve been an inspiration for me since PIYO.

  • Kim Millee says:

    Awesome, informative video!! I am 52 years old, had a weight loss of 30+ lbs. I completely quit doing cardio. Cardio=cardiac=heart muscle=cardio only works the heart muscle. I have been going to the gym 5-6 days a week and lifting as heavy as possible. Fortunately I gain muscle quickly so the results are amazing! More women need to understand this concept of lifting weights because it is a game changer at any age; it is never too late. I now have a better butt than both my daughters and one is in her teens and the other in her 20’s haha! Please keep preaching this Chalene!!!!

    • L F says:

      Hi Kim, I need to lose between 20-30lbs. Did you lose it first and then do strength t?

    • Diwi says:

      Stop comparing yourself to your daughters. It’s sick and not something anyone with good maternal instincts would do. You could’ve said all that without it. If you can’t understand why, seek help

    • L F says:

      @Diwi it is a bit weird….

    • Diwi says:

      @L F Absolutely. And she said it like it was normal…It’s not
      As to your question above, I have a question. Do you like to walk? I know this is about strength training as cardio instead of extra cardio, but if you like to walk, walking on the treadmill at a slight incline and a speed of at least 3-3.5 (start at whatever you can manage comfortably) for 30-45 minutes will help you start to drop the weight. Start at 30 min and gradually increase your time at least by the 2nd month to keep the results coming but don’t go over an hour at a time to avoid fatigue.

      Running is not at all needed unless you desire. And once you get going with the treadmill you can do the same thing walking outside at a park, track, or in your neighborhood on days you don’t feel like the gym or to break the monotony. The treadmill is suggested to start because it gives you the reference point for the pace you need to be walking (faster than your normal walk but you don’t have to speed walk lol) to get results. The incline (doesn’t have to be too high but moderate) is to mimic the terrain of outdoors and provide resistance which is key in any type of strength training.

      You should see about 15-20 lbs come off within a couple months being consistent. You’ll want to do this every day ideally but at least 4xs a week. The more days you do it, the less time it will take to see results. If you do less than 4 you’ll still get results but it will add about another month’s time to your goal. Then you can maintain and tighten your weight loss by weight lifting and strength t. Or you can just begin strength training at the level you are now. Either way, you will lose it with dedication! Good luck!! 🍀

    • L F says:

      @Diwi Thank you so much. I do like to walk but do not do it enough! You just motivated me! Ty again.

  • Gavin R says:

    Ernestine Shepherd at 75 absolutely KILLING IT. So impressive and inspiring! ❤

  • Liz says:

    A young woman at my gym had an AWESOME body. I noticed she did 22 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of weight lifting. It took me a few years to get with but I finally did. Now in my 50’s my body is in the best shape ever.
    Thanks for sharing this info Chalene and you look great!

  • ZibratesMom - Gifts for Life says:

    I love it when my arms and thighs are toned – it’s been a few years. I used to do at home strength training 3 days a week – I’ve had nine babies and it’s how I lost all my baby weight; plus some walking. At 48 now, I gained 14 lbs over the last two years due to emotional stress and lack of sleep. Ugh. Seeing my arms get saggy has not been cool – even my teen daughter mentioned it. 🙄😬 So… I’ve been trying to get back on track – thanks for this encouraging video. You just reminded me that I used to do 3 days a week for about 20-25 min and throw in a few walks a week. It’s so simple. 🙌🏻 I needed that reminder. I also just joined a gym with my daughter to help motivate me.

  • Raquel Silva says:

    Such an inspiration! I’m about to turn 40 and after having kids it feels almost impossible to get in “shape”, but this video is truly an inspiration that it is possible to have a healthier better body in this stage of life. I would love to see more videos like that. I have done strength training in the past and agree that I felt great doing it, just still have that stigma that “I’m too old to get back in shape” so this video was great to inspire me to get back on track. However when I did work out a lot I also didn’t eat that great, so would love to see videos on the diet side – diet as in what do you eat? Now answering your question … can I say all of them? I mean I would love to see more definition across the board. But if I had to choose I guess would be arms. What about abs? I didn’t see any abs exercise in your routine…

  • deborah bell says:

    Such common sense advice Charlene. I’m 61 been exercising 40 years. Recently started focusing on strength this year. You are so right. We got brainwashed in the 80s by Miss Fonda lol and got too wrapped up with the number on the scale. Strength training is the way to go.

  • Betty Price says:

    CHALENE!!! You are permanently a part of our family history because we loved your Turbo Fire videos and there were seasons where me and my kids would be doing them in the living room. 🙂 I do very much believe in strength training in all the ways you discussed and that has been my focus for fitness in my 40s. I also do it because it helps to avoid things like scoliosis (which my mom has) and for women especially as we age, weight lifting helps increases bone density and helps to stave off osteoporosis. I love lifting and have ZERO regrets. I love the way tops fit me and hang on my upper body. I love the way my glutes and legs look in shorts/skirts/leggings. And it’s much easier on my joints. But I am grateful for the cardio and how empowering it was (and still is when I do it!) and grateful for all that has been part of my fitness journey. Thank you for being courageous in your vulnerability to share this important message and show that growth on every level can happen at any age. And that we can keep growing and learning to be better. You rock, lady! #goals

  • Nesspie31 says:

    This hit me so hard! I was such a cardio queen, an over exerciser and ended up with so many injuries. I’m paying for it now. I still struggle with knowing what type of workout I should be doing but trying to listen to my body. You should totally come out with something for older people,those who have injuries, and also autoimmune diseases. We don’t have many out there!!

    • M F says:

      I fully agree and same!!! Love this video and also got so many injuries from over doing or doing it not in the right way. Please post more about strength training routines and meals.

    • lori lair says:

      Have you tried a parasite cleans for your autoimmune issue. Research.

  • BeautyNTheBeat says:

    Been a fan of yours for years . My Turbo jam and turbo fire days you were that person that got me through. But, I must say , Chalean Extreme is my favorite to this day. I am obsessed with hitting play and grabbing my weights because I just know that I’m in for a great full body workout. Thank you for your contribution towards health and wellness.

  • Aurora Padilla says:

    I think it takes so much courage for you to be so transparent with your exercise/health journey. I have lost 40 pounds and kept it off for 8 years and I have changed my “formula” several times to see if I see differences and it is hard to figure it out. Thank You for sharing your thoughts and research information!

  • Yoga with Kathy says:

    Hello Chalene! Great vid! I mostly do yoga, but at 57 I know I need to do more strength training, but….I don’t really like doing it lol. So this made me very happy to hear you say 20 minutes 3x a week can make a big difference!! I am going to start small and build a good habit of S.T. 3x/ week. You have really motivated me, so thank you for this great video and to let me know I can do it!!!

  • >