I know some of you are already disagreeing with me, but hear me out. I am not at all saying that cardio is bad. I am stating reasons as to WHY strength training is better.
Weight Training changes your body composition for the better
- Most of us know by now that it is diet that helps us lose weight, but it is resistance training that changes your body composition (your body fat percentage). Doing cardio does help with fat loss, but it only breaks down your existing tissue – and can leave you with a soft or a skinny fat look. To get that sought-after ‘’sculpted’ look, you need to lift heavy weights. Doing hundreds of reps with pink dumbbells is basically another form of cardio, and it’s not going to change your body shape.
Once your diet is under control, you must lift weights to build lean muscle tissue. Cardio does not build lean mass. Depending on your starting point, cardio is often unwarranted and can in fact make it more difficult to lose the last dreaded 5-10 pounds. When you are already doing an hour of cardio a day and eating like a bird, the only way to continue to lose fat is by eating even less and increasing cardio. UGH. Sounds horrendous.
Weight training burns more calories than cardio
How many of you believe that doing cardio burns more calories than weight training? If you go by the overstated amount on your elliptical screen which says you burned 500 calories during a moderately paced 20 minute jaunt, then sure. Dependent on the time and intensity of your workouts, it is often true that cardio burns more calories than a weight training session. BUT……
The main point here is that it is only true for the duration
of your workout. When you watch one of your favorite TV shows on the treadmill for an hour, you are only burning calories while you are on the machine. The minute you step off, the calorie burn stops (I am referring to steady state cardio). With weight training, although you may not feel like you are working as hard because you might not sweat as much, you will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. Not to mention the fact that for every pound of muscle you build, you burn an additional 50 calories at rest – so you are burning more even when you are not doing anything at all!
Cardio provides you with a baseless reason to pig out
How many of you have told yourself that because you ran for an hour you ‘deserve’ to have that piece of cake or bowl of ice cream? Magazines drive this by regularly highlighting info that tells you how many minutes of exercise you need to do to burn off certain indulgences. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. You can’t reverse the damage of a candy bar by bouncing on the stairmaster for 30 minutes - and it’s completely misrepresented way of thinking in itself.
However – most of us do not seem to come up with the same silly justifications for weight training. For some people - cardio can increase your appetite far more than weight training does – despite the latter burning more calories overall. In the book the Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, Tim actually tells people not to do any cardio at all for this reason.
Weight training gives youself-confidence
Lifting gives you a strength that in turn gives you confidence. Knowing that I am physically stronger than the majority of women and even some men carries over into all aspects of my life and makes me feel unstoppable. It really does. I can’t remember my mindless running on the treadmill or elliptical workouts, but I DO remember the first time I did 10 pull-ups, squatted my bodyweight, or deadlifted over 150 lbs 10 times. How about you?
Weight training gives yousculpted body parts
Sure there are some folks who are lucky enough to get a toned booty and a six pack from running, but I don’t know too many like that. If you want a perkier butt, sculpted thighs, non- jiggly arms, you need to lift weights – period. You’re not gonna get bulging biceps from the elliptical.
Again, I am not saying that cardio doesn’t have its place, but strength training has a far better place in your workouts.
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