Cardio Vs Weights: Which is right for me?
When it comes to working out, we all have different goals and aims. Some of us just want to lose weight, setting targets for pound dropping on a weekly basis. Some of us want to tone up, creating a defined set of abs and a slender physique. As for others, they focus on body building, aiming to strength train and sculpt their bodies.
So the question lies within the workout: Do I focus on cardio, or do I hit the weights? Well the answer is varied. Both of these workout techniques benefit all of the above, it just depends on what you personally want to achieve.
Let’s think about Cardio. Your face is dripping, your breath is getting shorter, and those feel-good endorphins are kicking in. It’s true when they say cardio helps burn more fat and calories in a shorter space of time than weights. Not only does cardio help to burn, it boosts your metabolism and improves lung capacity too. Whilst intense activities such as aerobics, biking or running work wonders for weight loss; this doesn’t mean weights should be disregarded. Although high intensity workouts may burn more calories per minute, weight training continues to burn calories even after your workout, which is why the two work brilliantly hand in hand.
With cardio, you lose all types of body masses. With resistance training, you lose fat. Losing muscle mass may make you appear lighter on the scales, but this doesn’t necessarily give you the body shape you may be after.
If losing weight is your overall goal, then cardio is the stepping stone for improving your fitness and kicking those calories. But in order to give you a toned, shaped body; weights are needed to be introduced. Look at spending the majority of your time working on high intensity exercises, before finishing off with a little light weight training. There are some great at home videos, such as Cardio Drills, that will really start busting the fat away!
And it works the opposite way round too. If you’re after general body conditioning, muscle maintaining and improved strength, then weight resistance training is your answer. For gaining muscle size, it benefits to lift heavier weights in lower reps, and for toning up, look to using lighter weights. The great thing with toning and muscle building is that again, you don’t even need to leave your home to workout; home videos can easily help you out from the comfort of your own bedroom. There are excellent ones such as the Leg & Bum workout, or the Tone Zone, which can be squeezed in before work in the mornings.
Depending on your aim, it may be ideal to dedicate 3 days a week to cardio, and 2 days to weights – or vice versa. This way your whole body begins to reap the rewards from a full body work out. Weights can help isolate certain muscles and body parts, yet cardio will assist with an all over fat burn.
Overall, the key is to make sure one compliments the other. Concentrate on your personal goals and implement a training program which uses both. Variety is key, which means you won’t get bored of your regime, and boredom is often the main reason people quit exercising!