Strength Training or Cardio?

It’s early in the week and many of you are returning to the day-to-day grind after having a break for the holidays. Maybe you ate a little too much during Thanksgiving weekend and you want to shred some calories. Maybe you’re dreading getting on the treadmill, spending two boring hours in the same space to find out that you only burned 100 calories.

The traditional notion has always been that if you want to lose weight then you perform cardio for a minimum of 30 minutes. If you want to gain mass or get toned then you strength train. We now have scientific research that shows strength training burns more calories, drops more fat, and is better for your heart than cardio. Now, this does not mean to stop doing your cardio activities. By all means continue to perform your cardio. This just simply means that if you’re not incorporating strength training into your routine then you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Strength training does not have to involve free weights. You can use resistance bands, body weight, jugs of water, cans of soup, or anything in the house that will provide resistance. Now let’s take a look at the research.

Researchers from St. George’s University in Grenada analyzed the health and exercise habits of 4,086 adults. The results showed that both activities improved cardiovascular health, but greater improvement was seen in those that strength trained. Resistance training led to a greater decrease in body weight, incidents of diabetes, and blood pressure. In both activities cardiovascular risk factors were reduced by a minimum of 30%. However, the numbers reached almost a 70% reduction in cardiovascular risk factors with those whom engaged in strength training.

In adults aged 45 and older, strength training reduced their BMI, diabetes, and blood pressure. Cycling or running only reduced the body mass index. The research also suggests that senior citizens could get greater results from carrying heavy shopping bags than going for a walk. There might be some out there that cringe at the idea of doing a bunch of strength training. According to the Public Health of England, 30 minutes of moderate intensity training five days a week and strength training twice a week is great. However, if you can’t dedicate seven days a week to training then I personally suggest a rotating schedule. For example, this week you could strength train on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and do cardio on Tuesday and Thursday. Then next week you do cardio on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and strength train on Tuesday and Thursday. This way your training program never becomes old and redundant.

So hopefully that bit of information helps someone that has been questioning this. If you need some inspiration then check out the link for the workout video of the young lady in my featured image. This is 77-year old grandmother and power lifter named Willie Murphy. Her workout is insane and will probably put some dudes to shame. Here is a link to watch her workout. Hope you enjoy. https://youtu.be/0zjhSlJN-Qw

 

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