One of the most commonly asked questions I get asked as a personal trainer is, “What is better for me… Weight or Cardio?” Truth is, it really depends on your goal and what you personally want to achieve. Now, most people I meet have a common goal of fat loss, and if this is the case for you as well, then I have to say there is a fair amount of evidence to suggest that weight training, or resistance training is better than steady state cardiovascular training.
There is a lot of debate over this subject in many fitness circles, but when I go in to the gym and from the comfort of the
Leg Press machine or free weights area, see all these women slogging it out on the treadmill or cross trainer, I wonder how long they actually plan on keeping it up?!
Now in my opinion, there is a difference between fat loss and weight loss, and that is what people fail to embrace when they start their “fitness journey”.
Weight loss can be a mixture of losing water, fat & muscle. It can make you slimmer, it can make you weigh less and it can result in what I call “Skinny-Fat”. Someone who looks slim from the outside, but still has a higher fat percentage in relation to their weight.
Fat Loss on the other hand, results in lean mass sustainability or gains, with a reduction in the percentage of fat percentage in relation tot heir overall weight.
Now, fat loss, needs a little more explanation…. Your weight may not change hugely, however your body shape may change drastically. I weigh more now than I did before I became a trainer, however I still fit into my favourite size 8 jeans that I have owned since I was 18 years old (I am to 34 years old!).
So, when you set your goals, you need to understand that size & weight don’t always match. Here is another example. I have clients come to me at a reasonable weight of 10stone 7lbs, and they want to lose weight. That’s fine. I ask them what kind of body they want, and in many cases they say like mine. When I ask them how much they think I weight, they generally say between 8stone 10lbs-9stone 2lbs.
When I tell them that I weigh 10stone 3lbs, they are quite shocked!!! But I have a greater muscle percentage than fat percentage. So although I am slim, I am TONED!!!
So do you want to lose weight or fat? That’s your first decision.
If you want to lose weight, then cardio will be enough to help you get on your way. But be warned that “Skinny-Fat” may be the result.
If you want to lose FAT on the other hand, then resistance training and weight training IS the way forward, mixed with some HIIT training for fitness gains.
Cardio training when done effectively, burns a greater amount of calories overall. Which is why so many people see it as a necessity when trying to lose weight. I have no problem with cardio training, I use to do LOADS of it, and still do as it has some fantastic health benefits from improving your luna g capacity, strengthens the heart & can improve your mood. Cardio will not achieve a “toned” physique though, so if this is your goal, cardio alone will NOT get you the result you want.
HIIT training is the new Buzz word in the gyms at the moment here in the UK, and has been for about the last 12-18 months, if
not longer. High Intensity Interval Training, I ain’t gonna lie, HIIT workouts can be blinkin’ tough, but the results you get are much more impressive when compared to the results of Cardio training alone. HIIT Training has some major benefits for the body, including fitness gains, muscular gains, effective fat metabolisation and increased metabolic rate for a prolonged period AFTER your workout. When combined with a resistance training workout, the results will be visible sooner!
Weights will NOT make you bulk out girls! I promise. I weight train A LOT and I am not bulky. I am not a body builder! I am not a figure model! I am flexing my muscles in the mirror! I am just a good size, with a good shape, a firm butt and a flat stomach! You can still look feminine with muscle tone! Increasing your muscle mass not only means that you burn more calories naturally, but also means your body will use up fat stores more effectively! I mentioned that cardio may burn moe calories overall, however resistance & weight training will burn more calories over a period of time. The increased metabolic rate that you induce through weight training, can last up to 72 hours…. WHAT????? All of my PT clients do some weight training in their sessions and some HIIT training! Their results show which is more effective!
What Side of the Fence Am I ON?
I agree that cardio training has its place in the health and fitness of everyone, we could all be fitter, healthier, faster and more mobile. However, if you want to reduce the overall fat levels on your body, then you need to pick up a set of dumbbells, start lifting weights, push, pull, heave & press and start to increase your muscle mass in order to reduce your fat mass. Whilst at the same time, start to introduce HIIT into your workouts. Get the best of both worlds, burn off the fat, build up the muscles and improve your fitness!
In my opinion, Weights win hands down EVERY TIME!
Enjoy! 🙂 x
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