Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cardio vs Weight Training

The great debate! Cardio or Weight Training to lose weight?

134 lbs, doing only cardio...
I have to tackle this debate in my own words. I've been there so many times myself. I used to be the chick doing (I kid you not, 4 hours of cardio per day) and eating MAYBE 1000 calories. It was in my
opinion that the greater deficit I could create the more weight I would lose (and more quickly it would happen). However, it wasn't until I began my own journey and educating myself did I realize the importance of the nutrients that makes up my daily calories and the importance of being in weight room.

I hear it all the time, 1. "I don't want to get big". 2. "My jeans get tight when I lift weights". 3. "I don't burn as many calories compared to when I do cardio." I've heard it all... I've used those excuses myself!

Let me ask you this? What is the purpose when it comes to working out? Is it to lose WEIGHT or lose BODY FAT? Is it a number on the scale or is it to look good and feel good in your own skin?

For me, like my last post, it was ALL ABOUT THAT NUMBER ON THE SCALE... I'd step on it week after week, "C'mon on 130lbs????!!!!"

Me at 160 lbs...
However, after hitting my lowest weight of 134lbs, I took a look in the mirror and realized I was just a smaller version of my old body that I didn't like. I would look through Oxygen magazine and envision sexy legs, arms, abs just like those ladies. But how did they get there? The secret revealed... they're not living their life compulsively weighing themselves! Of course they watch their weight here and there, but their focus is on pushing weight, not weighing. It's IMPOSSIBLE to build sexy
muscles if it's not challenged. And isn't that what we're chasing? We all want to feel some sort of sexy, pretty, strong, beautiful, empowered and not live behind baggy sweats and t-shirts right? I know... I'm guilty of it! But since we're being real, let's put it all out there. Why are you doing what you do? Why are you doing hours and hours of cardio? Or, better yet, why aren't you doing ANYTHING about health? We tend to get in this deadly cycle, or also known as a rut. We let time pass where we stop caring and we stick to what's comfortable.

I found this awesome article about weight training on (I'll post the whole article link below)

"Many women will shy away from lifting weights, particularly going heavier (more than 5-10 pounds) simply because they believe that doing so causes them to develop rippling muscles that give
off too masculine of a look.
This is an unfortunate misconception because the fact of the matter is that females do not have enough testosterone in their body to develop this degree of musculature naturally, plus in order to
build that type of muscle even with testosterone present, a great deal of food must be provided (which is another thing that most women are not doing).
What lifting heavy weights will do though is raise their metabolic rate, promote greater fat burning, and help give them more definition when they do lose the body fat off. As you can see, what most women fear is actually what they should be doing. So, make sure you're not making that mistake."

Hormones, we all have them! So how does hours of cardio harm our bodies?

"Another difference between weight training & cardio training is the type of hormonal environment they promote.
Weight training tends to put the body in an anabolic state and encourages muscle mass gain or muscle maintenance.
Cardio training, on the other hand, promotes higher levels of cortisol release, and this is the primary hormone that does encourage lean muscle mass loss, as well as fat accumulation around the abdominal region.
Because of this difference in hormone levels, that's another big reason why you should tend to sway yourself more towards weight training as a means to lose body fat compared with cardio."

Lastly, the calorie burn of cardio verses the calorie burn of weight training...

If you do a longer cardio session, you could burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-800 calories, depending on the exact length and intensity level. That is a fairly decent number and will definitely help with your fat loss goals. 
However, since you must burn off 3500 calories in order to lose 1 pound of body fat, if you do enough of these cardio sessions, and make sure you're not eating these calories back, weight loss will take place.
But, keep in mind here again that you are going to have to keep doing those long cardio sessions. Time will likely become a big factor with this one, as well as boredom could start to play a role over time as well.

I share all this to HELP you understand the importance of weight training. Yes, I do cardio myself. I
teach spin for goodness sakes! However, I lift 6 days a week and my cardio is limited to only the 4 spin classes I teach within a week. No more hours on end of cardio for me. Men tend not to deal with such cardio issues, but women do. We stress and for some, it's our way of zoning out and having just me time. Whatever your reasoning, I share to give you something to think about and begin considering. If your not sure where to begin, maybe talking with a personal trainer who has background is weight training would benefit you. To each their own, I just hope to shed light on all those CARDIO QUEENS OUT THERE.

Click here to read the entire article:

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