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