Cardio VS Strength Training: Weighing out the Pros and Cons!

Treadmills can provide a great cardio workout for those rehabilitating from injury, since the belt of a treadmill helps move 25% of your body weight as you run. Although the impact of the treadmill does less damage to your joints, it gives you a false indication of what speed you can actually maintain outside. Running on pavement can be detrimental to your joints (hips, knees, ankles) and lead to stress injuries. Problems are multiplied if you have a poorly formed running stride. It is said that the body is impacted about 5,000 times per 30 minutes of running, which can take a toll on the body over time. There is a time and place to use the treadmill for weight loss. Fasted cardio promotes the most amount of fat loss and this is how it works: In the morning before you consume any food, run on the treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes at an intense speed. Doing cardio on an empty stomach will force your body to use stored fat to help complete the session. Immediately after, be sure to consume a complex carb and protein rich meal to help you recover and refrain from over-eating later in the day. 

Strength Training 
There are many different types of strength training, and training programs should be dependent on the goals and capabilities of each individual. Movements like the squat, pull up, overhead press, deadlift, push up and bench press improve overall strength. If done with low weight and high repetition, the workout tests your muscular endurance
 as well as your cardiovascular endurance. Not only will you transform your body, but you will also find every day tasks more comfortable as a result of your stronger muscles correcting posture and stance. The main exercises that I've mentioned above actually help decrease fat, especially when you increase the percentage of weight that you use. Doing 12 to 15 reps of a circuit style program including those movements will spike your heart rate and challenge your overall endurance levels. Keep the rest to a minimum, and ensure your form is correct!

At the end of the day I use both methods to help my clients reach their goals. Using machines like the treadmill and bike can be beneficial for most people, but they must be used correctly. Using intervals on machines are much more effective than longer, slower bouts when aiming for high intensity and overall endurance improvement. Not only are shorter but faster intervals much eaasier on your joints, but combining both cardio and strength-training will help you achieve weight-loss faster. There are several ways you can you combine these two methods to create an effective workout.

You can create variations of the workout depending on the ratio of work to rest periods you take. A popular method is "tabata" which is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. You can do one movement such as double under skips, sprints, thrusters(squat and shoulder press) and kettlebell swings or combine two movements and increase the rounds by 3 or 4. Regardless of which approach you prefer, both strength training and cardiovascular endurance are essential factors in healthy and lasting weight loss regimes.

Written by Jerome Ferguson-Cumsille


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