Finding the Right Balance of Cardio and Weight Training
Q: I get questions a lot from some of the people who join my online health and nutritional groups. Whether it has to do with the eating plan or exercising. So this was a question that was asked recently. Why does my online workout program consist of just one or two days of pure cardio and three or four days of weight training? Although I love weight training, I’ve always thought it’s the cardio that really helps a woman like me lose the weight. Why so little pure cardio?
A: Okay — I love dispelling this myth. As I was once a believer that cardio was the choice when it came to weight loss! I thought spending an hour or so running on a treadmill or doing cardio workouts everyday would make me lose weight faster.. So not true!! Resistance training when done in circuits with cardio intervals is the best way to lose weight for the following reasons:
1. Resistance training will help burn intramuscular fat and create lean muscle tissue, but you can’t build muscle mass unless you are lifting extremely heavy weights and eating more calories than you are burning in a day. Additionally, it is VERY difficult for a woman to gain muscle mass because we simply don’t have the testosterone needed to build muscle tissue the way men do.
2. Resistance circuit training burns more calories than straight cardio both during the workout and after. This is because you are getting the benefits of a resistance-training workout and a cardio workout all in one. Additionally, you will burn more calories for up to 24 hours after weight lifting than you would with cardio alone because your body has to work hard to return your muscles to a pre-lactate state (the state before training).
Here is what cardio is good for: weight-loss extra credit. In other words, you can only train your muscles so many times in a week without overtraining them, which is counterproductive. Your muscles need adequate rest and recovery time for best results, but you can do as much cardio as you want. I mean, you can’t run a marathon every day, but you can do the cardio exercises from your fitness programs, jog, bike, use the elliptical machine, or swim pretty much as often as you want.
Please come back and look for Part Two of Cardio Myths and how we often think differently..
I hope this post helps some readers understand that cardio is good for you but resistance training combined with cardio will ultimately give you the better results. For more information, please feel free to contact me for more nutritional and fitness information. Please leave me a comment on what types of cardio/resistance training you do and the results you are achieving from your workouts!! I’d love to hear from you!
For more information, please visit my Fitness Tips and Tricks Page!