Cardio v Resistance Training

When it comes to the pros & cons of resistance training versus cardio training, I have to say that for me resistance training wins hands down.

Yes, cardio training most certainly does have benefits, including weight loss and increased stamina. But on the downside your average cardio workout can get very repetitive & monotonous, with boredom soon setting in. There is also a risk of injuries, especially to the knees and feet, due to the repetitive nature of cardio, and damage to the joints. Dehydration can also occur due not stopping to take on water. Don’t be surprised either if you end up feeling less than relaxed after your long run. A long cardio session will increase your cortisol levels which is the hormone associated with stress.

If you’re looking to increase your fitness, your strength, or tone up you want a training routine that gives you variety, a workout that is hard work but fun. That is where resistance training comes in!

Resistance training gives fast results, improved muscle strength and tone. Resistance work covers a wide variety of exercises – using a range of equipment, free weights including kettlebells, dumbbells, weight machines, resistance bands – TRX, even just your own body weight – sit ups, pull ups. With the exception of weight machines, resistance equipment is generally inexpensive, portable and comes in a variety weights suitable for all shapes / sizes / fitness levels.

In terms of any weight loss you are aiming for, resistance training is again the winner for me. Although you may find you’ve burned more calories by the end of tough running session, an hour later your body will have reverted to burning calories at its usual rate. If we compare that with a resistance workout, you’ll carry on burning calories at an increased rate for anything up to one and a half days later.

With resistance training, your body ends up moulding to the type of resistance you throw at it, i.e. heavy weights equals bigger muscles, whereas lighter weights & high reps will seriously burn fat but will not bulk up your muscles. Doing a resistance workout using lighter weights with high reps will define and tone your body shape in a way that you could never achieve with cardio training.

Resistance exercise will require attention to technique, both to get the best out of your workout and to avoid injury. This is where a personal trainer can help you. They will take you through a variety of exercises, ensuring that you are using the most appropriate equipment and weight for your fitness level and body size. So, if you’re looking to achieve your desired body shape, or just maintain your fitness, please contact me today!

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