Give Me Strength!

How do you spend most of your time at the gym: doing cardio or strength training?  My guess would be cardio because it burns more calories on a minute-by-minute basis.  But is cardio really the way to go on a daily basis? 

Spinning, running, and walking are all important to up our heart rate and keep those calories burning.  However, there comes a time when doing too much cardio isn’t necessarily a good thing!

The fact is, you may see diminishing results with too much cardio because it requires you to increasingly do more if you want to continue to see results.  In addition, you can reduce muscle mass, as well as have a higher probability of sore joints.

Sound familiar?  If strength training isn’t part of your workout routine, consider incorporating it.  Strength training is an excellent complement to cardiovascular exercise and here’s why:

 1.     Strength training increases our metabolism.  It’s true!  Strength training will help increase and maintain muscle mass, which helps boost our metabolism.  And a boosted metabolism is key to helping us lose weight and stay in shape!

2.     Strength training burns fat.  Increasing lean muscle mass contributes to weight loss.  Lean muscle burns more calories than body fat, so the greater the muscle mass, the more fat burned. Sounds pretty good to me!

3.     You’ll look better in clothes and swim suits!   Cardio may help burn calories, but strength training is what changes the composition of our bodies.  To get that toned look, strength training needs to be incorporated into our workouts.  Toning is just another word for muscle!

4.     Strength training burns calories more efficiently.  As I stated earlier, even though minute-by-minute, cardio burns more calories, once we’re off that treadmill or elliptical, the calorie burn ceases.  With strength training, it might not feel like we’re working so hard (we don’t drip sweat the way we do in cardio!), but the fact is, now we continue to burn calories 24-48 hours after our workout: sign me up!

5.     Strength training increases bone density.  Strength training is great for protecting our bones.  As we age, we lose bone density, so this type of exercise is crucial.  By stressing our bones, we increase our bone density – and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 

In addition to strength training, I also highly recommend circuit training.  Circuit training is basically the same as strength training, but with one essential difference: the concentration is on endurance.  We do similar exercises, but with very little rest between sets.  This keeps our heart rates elevated and burns even more calories than traditional strength training!

We need both cardio training and strength training, so before you freeze your membership at your favorite spin studio or sell your treadmill, just remember that what’s important here is incorporating strength training into your established routine.  I promise it will help you achieve the results you are looking for….. Long term! 

Let me know how are are doing, I'd love to hear from you!

Now drop and give me 20!