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Cardio V Resistance Training for Aesthetic Goals:

So, after hitting the sauna after a heavy leg day today I got talking to two lovely ladies about health and fitness which sort of gave me the inspiration for this blog. The women were beginners in the gym and were looking to “tone up” (build muscle and drop fat) yet they were only using the cardio machines to do so.

The women were interested in the free weights area yet like so many women I talk to they were a little unsure and intimidated to enter that space and lift some weights… (pending a blog post on women and the feeling of gymtimidation).

For so many years cardio and high intensity exercise that gets a good sweat on has been the driving player in women reaching their physique goals but what if I told you that the treadmill and stair master may not be the best option if you are looking to trim your waist, grow that booty or tighten up those triceps?

I will explain now a little about the two different systems of training and which one I believe to be best if your goal is to improve your body physique:

Cardio Training: This refers to any exercise that gets your heart rate up for a prolonged period of time. There is low impact cardio training such as walking and high impact cardio training such as running/rowing machine/swimming. Yes, cardio training will burn calories which is a great tool when trying to drop body fat however if you are to jog on the treadmill for 30 mins and burn say 200 calories that is all the calories you will burn in that session. This differs greatly to resistance training. Also, if you are only completing cardio exercise to change your body composition and the body has built no lean muscle tissue then the physique may have a “skinny fat” appearance.

Resistance Training: Usually performed with weights to strengthen the muscles in the body. The more we lift and strengthen the muscles in the body the less space there will be for excess fat therefore leading to a more “toned/slimmer” appearance. Yes, both fat and muscle weigh the same in the body however the physical appearance of both will look considerably different. A woman who weighs 130 lbs consisting of mostly fat will look a lot different to a woman who weight 130lbs consisting of more muscle to fat. When we lift weights we are breaking and tearing down muscle fibers. The body has a big job to do in the hours after this to repair and grow these muscles back bigger and stronger. This leads to a heightened metabolism which means you will burn even more calories up to 72 hours after a lifting session. The more lean muscle we have on our body the less space there will be for fat to be stored therefore leading to a more defined and sculpted appearance.

So, there you have it, if you are still on the fence and a little unsure as to whether you should be hitting the treadmill or the barbell then please take into consideration a couple of the points I have made above. I recommend a combination of both, some low impact cardio such as walking a couple of times a week along with 3-4 resistance style weighted workouts. Again, there is no one size fits all when it comes to exercise, and it is so important that you find a program that works with you and for you!

I hope you found this blog helpful!



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