There is so much exercise advice out there it’s hard to tell which is the right plan to follow. In this article I’ll help you understand the role of both cardio and resistance training so your training time is the most effective.
First…what’s your goal?
If your goal is to lose fat then yes, you need both. If you goal is to get lean, then yes, you’ll benefit from both.
Both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training have benefits and play a role in your health and in getting you the physique you want.
There’s the obvious health benefit to your heart for cardio. The more you train aerobically, the more fit your heart becomes therefore working less on a day-to-day basis. There’s also the benefit of burning calories if fat loss is part of your goal. That’s all very logical, but not usually motivating.
Then there’s the endorphins. The awesome endorphins. This is the part I love! It’s the part you’ll love too. Heart-pounding, listening to loud music, jumping around, or whatever form your cardio takes puts us in a good mood. It lifts our spirits and puts us in a good mental state. From there we are better equipped to reaching the other goals in our life.
It can be challenging to start this portion of your exercise routine and stick with it but once it’s a habit you won’t want to miss it. (I get VERY grouchy without it.)
But what about resistance training?
Lifting weights also has some pretty awesome benefits. It helps build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis. It helps you get stronger for everyday life like lifting grocery bags.
As for its roll in your figure, lifting weights totally rocks! It’s what separates the pack. Muscle is calorie burning machinery. Building muscle helps with the fat burning process because a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat (approximately two times more at rest and up to ten times more when exercising intensely). Forget diamonds! MUSCLE is a girl’s best friend.
And just wait until you notice you can lift more than before, do more reps than before. Lifting has a way of making you feel like a total bad-ass. You can wear that smile all day long because that feeling will outlast your best mascara.
Speaking of lifting more…in order to build muscle you’ll need to push yourself. You want to be able to do 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions, WITH GOOD FORM, so that you can barely crank out the last few reps, if you can do them at all. It’s called working your muscle to failure. That’s how you make them stronger – rip them up so they have to grow back stronger in case you ever do that again. And of course you will. That’s the goal. You may feel some soreness. Great! It’s a sign that your plan is working. If you stop feeling sore after a challenging workout, that’s okay too. Many people report that after they’ve been doing resistance training for a while.
And before it comes up let me address a common fear among women. You won’t get bulky from lifting, even if you lift heavy. Your body does not have enough testosterone to do that. You won’t look like a beefy body-builder, I promise. It takes a very specific and INSANE amount of lifting, diet, and tanning to do that. Okay – the tanning is optional. But trust me, you will not look like that just because you lift.
Don’t forget the most important component…
Remember the 80/20 Rule? The 80/20 Rule states that 20% of your effort will deliver 80% of your results. The 20% effort is proper nutrition and it is responsible for 80% of your weight-loss/get lean and mean results. First, exercise good habits in the kitchen. Then exercise…it’s the icing on the cake. (Sorry for that reference there.)
How do you fit this all in?
Typically I recommend 3 days a week of cardio and 3 days or resistance training. You only need 20-30 minutes a day, especially if you’re just getting started.
I would encourage you to make the most of that time by performing highly efficient workouts that combine resistance with cardio. HIIT Training (High Intensity Interval Training) is an example of this. It burns more calories not only while you’re working out, but up to 24 hours after your workout! Hello!! A longer fat burn gets two thumbs up from me.
Need some help putting this together?
Book at free planning session with me! I’m a Strategic Intervention Coach through Robbins-Madanes Training Center and a Certified Life Coach through International Coach Academy. I specialize in health & fitness because it’s my passion.
I’d love to spend some time on the phone with you helping you determine how to get started or what to do next. Schedule your appointment HERE.