Cardio and Strength training are the two most popular workouts for weight loss, but it could be a little tricky to know which one of them is better for the best results. Some fitness experts will lean on Strength training as the best way to lose weight. The body will shed excess fat and build muscle mass which burns more calories for energy during strength training. Whereas some experts will focus on cardio as the best way to torch mega calories and sweat out more along with the increase in heart rate. But, do you know what is best for you? For weight loss what exactly you are supposed to do?
It’s an all-time debate about which is better for weight loss goals – Cardio or strength training! To put it down in simple words, identify your Fitness goals. “It worked for my fitness, so it will work for yours too” it’s a complete disagreement. It’s because each one of us has different fitness goals. The key to weight loss is to combine Cardio and Strength training to maximize results as both forms have their time and place within a fitness regimen. All you need to have a well-defined fitness plan.
Cardio and strength training both can be beneficial if done correctly and in a proper routine. Most people make mistakes of completely ditching one method for the other, but both methods are important components when it comes to all-rounded weight loss.
Let’s understand Cardio
Cardio is a cardiovascular activity also known as an aerobic activity that keeps your heart rate up and elevates it during the workout. It is defined into categories of low-intensity training, moderate-intensity training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Cardio builds endurance by training your muscle ability to deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles, thereby strengthening your heart health and lungs. It regulates blood sugar levels, lowers body pressure, and reduces the risk of a heart ailment, usually, you will burn more calories during a cardio workout.
Make sure you run or do an elliptical for 15 min and take a 5 to 7 min break and do some weight squats along with some stretching. Break that chain of being on the treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes at a time by doing some pushups or jumping jacks in between each 10 to 15 minutes. Increase the rounds of reps as you decrease the amount of weight to get a better understanding of how your body is reacting to certain programming.
Cardio helps you:
- Improves cardiovascular health.
- Cardio exercise can benefit Joint health.
- It helps to increase blood circulation, which leads to clearer and healthy skin.
- It increases the oxygen supply in muscle allowing it to work harder.
- Helps in regulating healthy weight by burning more calories throughout the day.
- Help in Reducing Chronic Back Pain.
- Improves brain power that leads to higher concentration and thinking skills.
- Combat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or stress.
- Cardio increases lung capacity as one may push breathing ability.
- Strengthens the immune system.
How Often you should do Cardio?
To balance the workout routine with strength training, cardio must be done at least 30 to 40 minutes three to four times per week. Aim to complete 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity workout 5 days a week or 20 to 60 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout 3 days a week. Depending upon what type of cardio you choose, 10 minutes of running per week may provide a mood boost. This hourly number of cardio workouts will allow muscle maintenance and strength gains. If you don’t like walking or running, there are other tons of options like rowing machines, cycling, swimming, kickboxing, functional movements, calisthenics, and plyometrics. Choose types of cardio that you enjoy doing it. Don’t overdo it, as it will hinder the effects of strength training by the loss of muscle mass.
Dive Deeper into Strength Training
Strength training is also known as a weight or resistance training program. It works on three basic principles – lifting, pulling, and pushing. It’s designed to build muscle mass and improve overall muscle strength and bones against outside resistance such as weight machines, free weights, dumbbells, and resistance bands. The body weight is used for resistance, by doing pull-ups, push-ups, crunches, leg squats, or push-ups against a wall. Strength training is said to be the key to flexibility, endurance performance, mobility, and aids weight loss. Strength training is beneficial for people of all ages to prevent the loss of lean muscle mass.
Strength training helps you:
- Increase muscle mass and muscle strength.
- Develop stronger bones by increasing bone density and reducing the risk of bone fractures.
- Manages weight loss by increasing metabolism to burn more calories.
- Protects joints from injury and improves flexibility.
- Manage signs and symptoms of chronic conditions such as back pain, heart ailment, arthritis, obesity, and depression.
- Improves concentration and learning skills.
- Manages blood sugar levels.
How Often you should do Strength Training?
To keep the body functional in the long run, Strength training should be done at least twice to thrice each week. Try to include full-body workouts along with compound exercises such as pushups and plank with one-arm row, lunges with lateral raises, and squats with shoulder presses, are a few examples. Don’t forget to include core exercises. Target the major muscle groups of your upper and lower body, including your chest, shoulders, back, arms, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. For beginners go for 12–15 reps per set and later increase reps and weight as you get skilled with lifting weights. Working out twice or thrice a week allows you to learn the skills of lifting and prioritizing intensity in workouts.
Get the Best of Both Worlds- Cardio & Strength
Increase the pace of workout activity by combining cardio and strength training. While aiming for strength training add some cardio activity by taking shorter breaks to keep your heart rate high. Add some weight as you do low reps to increase the intensity of your workout and build muscle strength. While high reps and low weights aim to tone and build endurance. While strength training, add a cardio round by the end of the session aiming for at least 5 minutes of high-intensity run. Don’t forget to take rest intervals after every high-intensity workout to recover your muscle and rebuild tissue for stronger muscle strength. Fueling your body right is essential for weight loss goals. Add an adequate amount of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats to your nutritious diet.
You might be unsure how much and how often you should do it. Ideally, both methods complement one another therefore combining cardio and strength training on the same day will be the most efficient for weight loss. Cardio is important when it comes to heart health, weight loss, and the capacity of the lungs, while strength training is the most effective way to burn fat and get a toned body. The cardio and strength training should have an equal proportion of the time. Although, cardio is a great way to break fat, get your heart pumping, and sweat out mega calories. But, always start with strength training first, your muscles are ready to do some serious weightlifting. Do it while your muscles are fresh, and don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout. So, be ready to incorporate consistent lifestyle changes by doing Cardio and strength training simultaneously.