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Cardio vs strength training? Why not enjoy the best of both

There is still an assumption that doing long bouts of steady-state cardio is the best way to burn body fat. Cardio is not a bad thing and it depends on what your goals are, but if you are only working at a continuous steady pace you are limiting the effectiveness of your workout.  

Last month, I posted a blog on the benefits of adding sprints to your workout. It’s all about changing the speed and intensity of your workout to burn more calories and get better results.

Weight loss goals

If your goal is weight loss, strength training is the way to go. If you train intelligently, you can combine both at the same time.  

This can be achieved by incorporating interval training that will allow you to complete a high volume in a short amount of time, followed by a period of rest. If you’re a beginner, then 30secs work, followed by 30secs of rest is a good start. 

Ideally, investing in a set of dumbbells would be great – they are easy to store, making them perfect for both home and outdoor workouts.  

Where to start – Best strength training exercises for beginners

Keep it simple and start with compound exercises. These are movements that work multiple and large muscle groups. Working large muscle groups with added resistance is going to elevate your heart rate – and here is where the cardio hits in!

Performing a squat and deadlift will hit the front and back of the legs, as well as the glutes. Shoulder press, chest press and rows will hit all the major muscle groups in the upper body. If you’re short on time these exercises are an awesome choice.

Still not convinced? Then read on and find out what happens to your body when you start strength training.

Your appearance will change

Weight loss and fat loss are not the same thing. Strength training, combined with good nutrition, will have a positive effect on your body composition, meaning you’ll look more toned and trim.  

Strength training can also address muscle imbalances; rounded shoulders and ‘nerd neck’ can be corrected by strengthening weak muscles and stretching out the tight ones. Adding in some strength training exercises can really have an impact on the way you carry yourself and as a result, your confidence.

Your bones will get stronger

Weight-bearing exercises are even more important as we get older. You’ve heard the saying, if you don’t use it then you lose it. The same applies to strengthening our bones; an inactive lifestyle can cause loss of bone density. Needless to say, a good diet that includes lots of calcium and vitamin D goes hand in hand with developing and maintaining healthy bones. 

Your metabolism gets a boost

Strength training will help build and preserve your muscle mass. Why is this important? Because muscles are metabolic! Meaning they burn more calories even at rest which can help with weight loss. Also, the more muscle you have, the more intensely you can work out; meaning you will train for longer and harder resulting in more energy being burned.

If you want to look better and feel better then get started now with a complete workout programme that includes strength training. Phone for a free consultation or book a taster session by filling out your details. What are you waiting for?

Claire Greenhouse
Claire is a mobile personal trainer and the founder of Claire G PT. She is passionate about sharing the lessons learned on her own journey to help others become fitter, stronger, happier and healthier.

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