Cardio vs. Strength Training

When I talk to those that don’t usually exercise, one of the first things they tell me is “I hate running. That’s why I don’t exercise.” People assume that in order to lose weight and be fit, you have to run or do long sessions of cardio.

Personally, I am a fan of cardio. I semi-enjoy running and, to me, there’s nothing like a good sweat to clear your head. But there are some misleading mindsets when it comes to types of exercise that I want to touch on:

  • You’ll burn more calories in 1 hour of cardio than 1 hour of strength training

    • True. However, strength training has an after-burn of fat effect.

    • The more muscle you have in your body, the more your body burns at rest.

    • You burn 10 more calories per hour for 36 hours after a weight training session (depending on intensity).

      • “10 calories? Big whoop.” But for 36 hours, that's pretty significant. Especially if you are watching your calorie intake.

      • Cardio burns fat

        • True. It also burns muscle.

        • When you lose muscle, you lose metabolism. You lose your body’s ability to burn calories.

        • Cardio is more effective for weight loss

          • True. You have to ask yourself what you want more: a short term or long term solution?

          • It’s okay if you want a short term solution. I’ve wanted that too.

            • In fact, you could start with cardio only, experience some weight loss (and hopefully get motivated by the results), then move into strength training.

            • Your best bet for a permanent solution

              • Change your body composition. This means change your muscle to fat ratio, not necessarily the number on the scale.

              • How? A combination of cardio and strength training - and doing it CONSISTENTLY.

              • Consistency is absolutely key. You cannot change your body in a month.

There is nothing that benefits your cardiovascular health like cardio. However, thinking that cardio = fat-loss and weight training = bulking is simply not true. A combination for a well-rounded routine is the best option for everyone.