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Cardio Training vs. Strength Training

A comparison of cardio training & strength training and a look at which type of training can give the overall best body transformation results!

        Which type of training warrants the best results, cardio or strength training? To many people, this question is almost like asking, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”  Both types of training are highly beneficial for your overall health, both will increase fat loss, and both will transform the way you look; so which is truly “best”. The answer to this question can be based upon many variables such as what you are specifically trying to accomplish with the training you are doing, how much weight you want to lose and how quickly, what physical conditions you may have etc. but we will discuss this question in general terms of becoming “fit”…

       The winner of the contest strength training vs. cardio is….. Strength training! Here are just a few reasons why…

1)Exercises which place any sort of resistance on your muscles not only help to build your muscular strength or endurance, they help strengthen you bones as well. This is particularly important for middle-aged women in prevention of osteoporosis.   

2)Building up your mass of muscle rather than solely shedding your fat by doing cardio helps your body burn more calories in the long run… On average, you burn an extra 120 calories per day for every 3 pounds of muscle you gain just being sedentary after doing training with weights!  This is because your body uses more energy to retain muscle than it does to retain fat; so the more muscles you put on your body and fat you eliminate, the more efficient your metabolism becomes!

3)Lastly, exercises which are solely cardio based like running or biking may help you initially lose weight, but they will not transform the overall shape & tone of your body. Toning your muscles drastically changes the way you look…  Someone who is thin from doing a lot of cardio will not look as “fit” as someone who still has progress to make in their weight loss, but has gotten where they are currently by working with weights/resistance. Strength training forms your muscles into tighter, cleaner lines on your body which studies have shown are observed to be more attractive than the look of a body with only little fat mass, but not much muscle tone.

       As I mentioned earlier, many different variables can play a part in the answer of this question for each individual person.  The most important thing is for you to know 100% what you want to “get” out of your training… Someone who is an athlete (this even varies from one sport to another) will need much different things from their training than someone who just wants to change the way they look by becoming fit, so their balance between cardio & strength may vary.  In terms of general fitness, everyone, even people whose main focus is increasing muscle tone/strength needs cardiovascular training in order to keep their heart healthy, but for no one should it be the bulk of a training session. In order to get the overall absolute best results, the two types of training should be
mixed with the main focus on strength training and the lighter on cardio based
exercise.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

indrani chakravarty January 18, 2013 at 09:51 AM
If fatloss has to be speedy then interval training cardio should be done for sometime,then followed by strength trsining
Ashley Del Monte Anton January 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Yes as I said in the article definitely depending on people's specific needs cardio & strength need to be mixed slightly different. I stated above that there are many different variables which determine what kind of exercise is best for people and this article is just a general statement for people who want to get fit at a steady pace. You are right about the interval training boosting someone's fat loss; but actually the very best way to incorporate this is still to mix straight cardio (running, biking, etc) in the same training as strength (as I suggested above). If fat loss needs to be very quick, you can even switch back and forth between the two types of training (cardio & strength) a few times during the same workout and make sure your strength routine is rigorous with minimal rest times between your exercises so you really feel your cardiovascular system working throughout your entire workout. To do this the absolute best, if your strength movements have good form, you can take the same technique you use in interval training for running, and apply it to your strength moves to really burn the fat, but they need to be done properly :) Thank you for commenting :)

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