Cardio Vs Weight Training – Which should you choose?
So you want to be in the best shape of your life? You want to look and feel younger?
Are you better to hit the pavement, or the gym?
Should you choose the aerobics room or the weights room?
What’s the best way for women to go about it?
While aerobics classes and cardio have their benefits, you are actually far better off focusing your weekly training around the weights room. You see, despite the fact there is a huge misconception out there that if a woman lifts weights, she will become “bulky” or “butch” this is definitely not the case. Women simply do not have the same hormonal make up as men to develop the same muscle mass a male can when he lifts weights. For women, weight training is a whole different equation.
Female clients who visit Shredded Health & Performance for the first time often worry about getting big and bulky, however, after their first month of completing a proper weights program though, their fears diminish. Why? Because after only one month of weight training most women drop a dress size or 2, have greater muscle tone, improved strength and lose more body fat than they have ever been previously capable of doing despite their best attempts at completing countless aerobics classes each week.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- Excessive Aerobic Training can lead to increased cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that actually makes you store fat. Excess cortisol production also accelerates aging because it increases free radicals in the body. Free radicals or oxidative stress is exactly the reason why apples go brown!
- Weight training improves your Growth Hormone production. Growth Hormone helps the body to burn fat, slows done aging and is absolutely fabulous for improving the health of your skin, hair and nails!
- Long Term Aerobic Training can compromise your immune system as it can lead to the break down muscle tissue and increases adrenal stress. On top of this excessive cardio style training like pounding the pavement can also increase stress fractures and cause overuse injuries whereas a customised weight training routine can strengthen weaknesses and improve bone density.
- Weight training helps to maintain and even improve your lean mass. You want to hold onto and even improve your lean mass (muscle) as the more you have, the more calories you burn even when you are sleeping.
- Weight training improves your insulin sensitivity. Being insulin sensitive means your body will use your food for fuel rather than store it as fat. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to lose body fat
- Weight training has the added benefit of increasing your strength levels as well as your bone density. These are both extremely important, particularly as we get older.
Silvana (Shredded client) chooses weights over cardio.
Now, as mentioned before cardio does have it’s place and we do recommend cardio to a lot of our clients but we ask them to mix it up and do more interval work or circuits over long steady state which is extremely time costly and limiting.
Your body is an amazing machine that adapts very quickly to exercise stimulus. A 5km run will always be a 5km run, so your body will get used to the stimulus cardio training provides.
To get great results, you must keep changing things up! This is important for both cardio and weights. For this reason we constantly change the exercises, the reps, the tempo and the rest periods of our clients’ programs so that they never adapt to the same exercise program.
Keeping your body guessing will keep your body getting good results.
So there you have it! A balanced training program is the key, but keeping things in balance actually means doing a lot more weight training than cardio.
See you in the weights room