Deeply disturbing women and body image facts
While it’s more complicated than just one or the other (you should be doing both), strength training clearly has an advantage in the following areas.
1. Total Calorie Burn
Cardio is a calorie killer for sure, but nothing beats strength training for overall burn.
Muscle is harder for the body to maintain than fat. As a result, your body will use more calories to support its muscle base, which is why the recovery period after strength training gives you a metabolic boost. You’ll continue to burn calories galore even AFTER your workout. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you burn while you’re just hanging out. The heavier you lift, with less rest between exercises, the more you’ll burn during AND after a workout.
Getting rid of the fat is not enough to have a six pack or reduce cellulite. You need to build muscle under the fat to have a toned appearance. Not only will muscle help burn the fat faster, but you’ll lose more inches as the muscles develop. To stop the jiggles, you need to be lifting.
In women, studies have also shown a stronger correlation with weight training & body image than with cardio & body-image. People like what they see more when they’re lifting weights.
Hmmmm… Says a lot doesn’t it?
3. Injury Prevention
Strength training increases bone density, of particular importance to women (osteoporosis). This can help prevent broken bones over time. By far, strength training prevents injury more than cardio. That is, of course, if you’re using proper form. Cardio often requires the same movements over & over, which can be taxing on your joints. You can rectify this by changing up your cardio routine often.
This doesn’t mean that cardio doesn’t have its benefits. For one, you can burn more calories during a cardio session, it improves mood (serotonin and other lovely body drugs) and can’t be beat when it comes to strengthening lung power & your heart muscle. Plus, many people find cardio more fun to engage in, which may make it easier to actually DO.
My advice? Do both.
Studies show the more muscle you have, the more calories you can burn during cardio. Combining the two gives you the best of both worlds, and a tighter, leaner, stronger you.
If all you’ve been doing is cardio, you need to add 2-3 days of strength training to your routine. Hit all the major muscle groups at least twice a week & you’ll notice a boost in your results & a tighter body.
If you’ve been strength training only, add in 2-3 30 minute cardio sessions to your routine. You can combine the cardio days with strength training. Some studies even show that you get more benefit out of your cardio routine AFTER you lift weights.
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