• Lizzie Astin

Cardio VS Weights - What's The Real Difference?


When you have a weightloss goal, the bottom line is you will lose the pounds quicker if you are doing cardio regularly. Cardio has other benefits too, it improves your cardio vascular health, over time reduces your resting heart rate and is great for that endorphin buzz.

However, when you are in the gym checking out the girls with the awesome bodies, the great shape and killer curves you are much more likely to find them in the weights room.

Putting it in lament terms, cardio is a sure fire way to lose weight but it won’t do much for your shape, you will be a skinnier version of you and it’s unlikely you will develop much tone. Weight training including kettle bells and TRX will develop shape, tone and help to reduce body fat.

During cardio exercise also known as aerobic your waste products are carbon dioxide (breathing) and water (sweat), your calorific burn increases during the exercise and returns to normal very quickly afterwards. During weight lifting also known as anaerobic exercise your waste products are carbon dioxide, water and lactic acid (the burn), your caloric burn increases during the exercise. But here is the difference, it remains elevated for up to 36 hours afterwards, due to exercise post oxygen consumption or EPOC. Weight training can actually burn more calories overall.

So which is better? As a specialist in body transformation I know that it is not always as simple as not being sure what exercise you should be doing but more, doing it. So which is better? The honest answer? The one you will do!!

For maximum efficiency I suggest 20 minutes of cardio per day ideally in the morning, this will get the blood flowing, the endorphins zapping and charge your day. During the day you have the opportunity to fuel for a strength session which I suggest 3 times a week.

Strength training is weight lifting and it comes in many different guises, machines, free weights, kettle bells or TRX, what you are doing is creating weighted resistance that your body works against, developing and strengthening existing muscle tissue.

A strength session normally involves rest between sets, psychologically it can be a little more manageable as you are generally only working for one minute at a time, then resting for 30 – 60 seconds. I would generally recommend splitting your 3 sessions into different areas, giving the muscles time to recover in between. For example you might work legs one day, back and biceps one day and chest and triceps on another. Or you might opt to work one day on lower body, one day on upper body and then do a kettle bell and ab workout on the third session. Strength sessions need only be a maximum of 60 minutes and must include a warm up and a cool down.

When you begin strength training it is much more important to recruit the correct muscles and build connections than it is to lift heavy. It is important to truly feel the deliberate intent of the lift and understand the difference between working muscle pain and injury pain, it is hard to maintain correct form when the weight is too heavy, start light.

The other benefit to weight training – you can take a bit of time off your training schedule and you won’t lose any progress, you can eat more and it will actually help your progress and you can lift things up easily in your day to day life!

If you would like to strength train but you don’t know where to start you can apply for a free consultation and I will walk you through everything you need to know, just click here!


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