No matter what you are into, I believe it's crucial to find a type of exercise that you find enjoyable in order to stick to it and reduce the chance of "Maybe I'll go to the gym tomorrow". Regardless, I still believe everyone should give strength training a shot. I mean, even your grandma can benefit from it!
If you are short on time, you must prioritize your type of exercise and the first one on that list should be Resistance training. Many people are confused because of what is promoted in mainstream media, and they choose cardio over weights. Big mistake!
Here are my top five reasons why I think strength training is better than cardio:
Weights change your body composition -for the better-.
One of the first things I tell my clients is that your nutrition is what helps you lose weight, and resistance training is what changes your body composition. Doing cardio does help with fat loss, but it only breaks down your existing muscle tissue – leaving you with a soft, skinny-fat look.
To get that coveted ‘lean and toned’ look, you need to lift weights. Heavy weights. Doing a million repetitions with pink dumbbells is essentially another form of cardio, and it’s not going to change your body shape. (Looking at you Tracy Anderson Method). If your fear is becoming "bulky or too big", relax. Your body is design to be lady-like because of your hormones. A lot of women fear they will become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger just by doing a few reps every week with heavy weights. This could be a little offensive to someone who spends at least 2 to 3 hours every day training specifically to look that way. So no, it won't happen unless you eat like a male bodybuilder on their bulking phase.Once your nutrition is under control, you must lift weights to build lean muscle tissue. When you are already doing an hour of cardio a day and eating like a bird, the only way to continue to lose fat is by eating even less and increasing cardio work.
Ughh...That sounds like a total nightmare.
Weight training gives you confidence
Lifting weights changed my life for the better. Lifting gives you a strength that in turn gives you confidence. Knowing that I am physically stronger than many other women and even some men carries over into all aspects of my life and makes me feel unstoppable. Sometimes I feel tempted to wear a Superhero cape when I'm lifting next to a guy. #empowered.
Lifting will improve your health
Strength Training has been shown to help manage, control or even prevent a myriad of diseases. It helps prevent osteoporosis, manage blood pressure, prevent back pain, improve balance, regulate blood sugar, lower risk of diabetes among many other benefits.
Your brain gets stronger too
You know that old saying "Mens Sana In Corpore Sano" (Healthy mind in a healthy body)? Well, research has shown that lifting weights definitely helps to combat depression symptoms, contributing to a better self image, improved humor and a more positive outlook on life. Less yelling, more smiling.Weightlifting also teaches you the skill of perseverance, the ability to overcome discomfort and challenge yourself. Weight training teaches you to push yourself when everything tells you to stop, when your muscles start to give out and it burns. You learn to be patient and consistent.
A quickie will do
A quick 20 minute heavy-lifting session will yields better results in your overall health/ aesthetic goals than a 90 minute steady cardio session. More time for you! (And less "I don't have time to exercise" BS).
So, in my humble opinion, there is a place for cardio training; but for maximum fat loss benefits and efficiency, lifting weights is the winner in this debate.
Where to start?
A novice program will start with a small overload and simple movements As you get better, the load and the complexity of the moves will increase to keep challenging you so you don't reach a plateu.
Want to get a program to start adding weight training to your fitness routine? We can help.
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