We all know that exercise has many benefits, cardiovascular and resistance exercise are both great to help us get in shape, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal health but in the same way they both have some unique benefits they also have some differences and we need to understand this differences to get the best results.
Many of us think of cardio as the way to get lean, to get in shape and to lose weight we think we need to do it even when those sessions are long and boring. This is not completely true, cardio is not the best way to lose fat and get in shape or stay in shape, it is helpful if we use it the right way but it´s not necessary so if your goal is only to lose fat and look good physically you can skip it but cardiovascular exercise has incredible benefits for our health which we talked about in past posts.
The reason why many people in the industry make us think that cardio is a great tool for fat loss is this, there are research that shows that one hour of cardio compared to one hour of resistance training burns more calories while we are doing it so, thinking about weight loss as calories in and calories out if we want to lose fat we need to do cardio to burn more calories right?
Not so fast, … with all types of exercise we send signals to our body and our body will respond accordingly to that signal. With cardio we are sending the message to our body to become more efficient at using calories.
If we´ve been spending the last years without doing any exercise, the moment we start working out it will feel like hell, we´ll be so tired and we´ll burn a lot of calories but with time if we continue doing the same exercise, for the same amount of time at the same intensity it´ll become easier and easier and our body will burn less calories every time we do it. If cardio is the only exercise we do, we may start losing muscle and now that our body has adapted to that activity our metabolism slows down. Our body adapts to that activity and becomes more efficient at using calories.
After following a weight loss program based on cardio for a long period of time we´ll need to do more exercise and eat less to sustain our results this is why it´s almost impossible to maintain the results when we stop the program.
With resistance training the signal we are giving to our body is to get stronger, when we are doing resistance training we are giving a stimulus to the muscles and that stimulus let our body know that it needs those muscles so it needs to get stronger and grow to be able to make it through the next workout. This increases our metabolism because our muscles need more energy. If we want to get in great shape and sustain it without too much effort this is the way to go, focus on resistance training and we cannot forget all the benefits that is has for our health too.
We´ll be talking about improving body composition in different posts which means to lose fat and gain or maintain lean muscle mass, the way to do this is by making resistance training the base of our workout programs and we add some cardio according to our goals.
The best option for any workout program is to fit both resistance and cardio training, the way we design our program will vary according to our goals, there are different tools, types or techniques we can choose for each but what I recommend is to focus on resistance training for muscle growth (we don´t need to get big if we don´t want to) and add cardio to helps us achieve our goals a little faster so that we get the health benefits of both of them.
It´s not necessary to do both types of training the same day, we can create a workout program where we do resistance training some days and other days cardio or if you love working out like I do you can do both the same day every day if the program is designed correctly.
Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account which is your preferred type of exercise, are you more of a cardiovascular activity kind of guy or girl or do you prefer resistance training?
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