It’s the new year. I’m sure you’ve got all sorts of fitness goals. One of the most common fitness goals is to either get in shape or lose weight. The default go-to for that is usually hopping on a treadmill. I have a new challenge for you. Let’s make your goal to focus on adding more resistance training (if you haven’t at all yet), and lower or eliminate the amount of cardio you do.
Speed Up Your Metabolism
If getting in shape and looking more toned is a goal of yours, there is no better way to do that than incorporating resistance training. When you build more muscle onto your frame, you increase the amount of calories you burn at rest. You heard that right? MORE calories burned at rest. This is exactly what you wanted isn’t it?
When you focus solely on cardio, your body gets more EFFICIENT with calories. So you’re literally training for the opposite effect in this case.
Providing A Stimulus
There is nothing inherently wrong with cardio. If you enjoy running, or are looking to improve your cardiovascular health, then some form of aerobic cardio is necessary. The problem is, far too often we get clients who are using it exclusively for losing weight. And again, cardio has its use there, but it is being abused.
Cardio doesn’t provide enough of a stimulus for muscle growth. Even those sprinters with muscular legs are still Incorporating a lot of weight training to help with their explosiveness.
The other problem with clients doing excessive cardio is sustainability. Sure, you may have the dedication to do 6 days of cardio a week to hit your New Year's goal. What is your plan 6-12 months from when you hit your goal? Are you going to forever keep up with the ridiculous amount or cardio it took to reach that goal?
Resistance training on the other hand doesn’t require much. Just 2-3 days of full body sessions with an appropriate load being used will be more than enough to get you the body you want. Your body will further increase calories to adapt to the heavier weight vs the efficiency cardio provides on caloric burn. I would imagine 2-3 days is way more sustainable than 5-6.
So here’s the challenge. This year try to incorporate 2-3 full body days of resistance training a week. If you want to retain the cardiovascular benefits of aerobic exercise then I may suggest a more sustainable alternative. Try increasing your NEAT. In other words, instead of dedicating a session to cardio, try going for a 10 minute walk after every meal. Or find your average step count and increase it by 2,000. What you should find is, after even 6 months of this new routine, you will achieve a much healthier, shaped and toned body than you would have achieved by just doing cardio itself.