Cardio vs. Strength Training

To lose weight, should I spend my time on cardio machines or lifting weights? My advice: It depends what you mean by “lose weight.” If you are obsessed with that evil little number on the scale, cardio is the way to go. If you want to look toned and shapely under those fall sweaters and sexy skinny jeans, though, it’s time to cozy up to strength training.

Cardio or Strength?

According to a recent Duke University study, aerobic exercisers lose more weight in less time, when compared to strength trainers. That makes sense when you look at each exercise minute per minute, as cardio inarguably burns more calories than strength training.

Unfortunately, (and I say that because I LOVE me some great cardio workouts) cardio doesn’t do much for your muscles. In one Penn State study, dieters lost 21 pounds whether they performed cardio or strength training. But when examining the cardio group, 6 of those 21 pounds came from muscle, while the weight training clients lost almost pure fat… This means those skinny jeans are going to fit a whole lot better and you’re going to be looking leaner and tighter because of it!

Why do our bodies respond this way? it goes without saying, strength training is the number-one way to build more muscle. As you build and strengthen your muscles, you can expect to burn and additional calories each day because your muscles need more fuel! (Approximately 120 calories per day burnt for every three pounds of muscle gained)

But before your bike starts collecting dust or you hang up your running shoes, know that incorporating cardio workouts into your weekly regimen is a great way to reduce stress — a great solution to burn off that nervous energy for other stress-eaters out there like myself… don’t be home alone or near the pantry/fridge when those stressful situations kick in!

The best solution? A fitness plan that includes both cardio and strength training. Stay tuned to the newsletter and my blog for great strength training and cardio workout ideas and if you’re ready to make the next step… join me for my upcoming September/October challenge group where I will show you how to incorporate both strength and cardio into your daily regimen along with great clean eating tips and tricks!

Contact me if you’d like more details on the upcoming group or fill out the challenge group application.

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