What is cardio…?
Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise, which is also known as aerobic exercise. This gives me flashbacks of ever so popular aerobic VHS tapes from the ’90s….paging Richards Simmons and Cindy Crawford...
But today this has been replaced with popular cardio workouts such as running, cycling and swimming.
The great thing about cardio is that it is highly beneficial to your heart and respiratory heart. Improving your muscle strength, cholesterol and reducing stress are just some of the key benefits which every man needs in their life these days thanks to our hectic lifestyles.
When it comes to weight loss, cardio is still one of the most popular methods alongside weight training.
Calories burnt during a workout is calculated on your body weight and how intensive your workout is. The more you weigh, the more calories you will burn per session regardless of the activity.
Compared to weight training, you generally would burn more calories during an intense cardio session. Great news right, well it’s about to get even better…
You might have heard about a “runner's high” which seasoned runners experience. This is when a runner has a euphoric feeling after a few miles of training. The result of a “runners high” is the feeling of reduced stress and anxiety. They also feel lesser pain, which ultimately makes them feel like they can keep going and going and going for miles to come. Now you don’t have to be hitting the pavement hard to achieve this high, any intense aerobic exercise can trigger this feeling
So in short, cardio gives us the following…
Calorie loss + runners high + mindful health and endurance.
What is the deal with weight training?
Weight training (aka strength training) is a form of anaerobic exercise. Depending on the output of your weight loss goal, weight training is a key element. The guys you see pumping iron at the gym, their main goal would be to look muscular and bigger, hence you will not see them on a treadmill running. But strength training is not limited to weights, it also includes pilates, yoga and bodyweight exercises such as push-ups.
*DID YOU KNOW: Aerobic means “with oxygen” and anaerobic means “without oxygen”
As previously mentioned, you will most likely burn more calories during a session of cardio than you would in weight training...with the same amount of effort.
Benefits from anaerobic exercise include reduced depression symptoms, fights osteoporosis and lowers your risk of diabetes. Because you feel stronger physically, this has a significantly positive impact on your mental strength. Weight training teaches you to persevere and overcome mental hurdles.
When it comes to weight loss, weight training continues to burn calories after your training session. calories after training...sounds like there is a catch, but there isn't.
This is how it works….
During an intense workout, the body produces lactic acid which is stored in your muscles. It is a type of fuel your body needs to continue working out. This acid does not cause soreness in the muscles, this is caused by tiny tears in the muscles due to exercise.
After an intense workout such as weightlifting, your body continues to work to burn off this acid, subsequently burning more calories well after a weight training session!
Depending on your fitness goals, weight training is by far more effective at building muscle than cardio, but cardio burns calories more effectively in the same amount of time. In my opinion, choosing a fitness route should be a combination of both to reach your full potential.
It is important to remember though that even if your weight doesn't change whilst weight training, your body composition may be improving.
To really challenge your mind and body, your training should include a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It is also important to remember what you put into your body is just as important as training further optimize goals ( see our post “The truth about the six-pack” ).
Diet and exercise will only benefit you in the long run…
Hope you enjoyed this!
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