What is best for weight loss? Should you do more cardio or pick up the weights. You can probably find an answer on the internet to honestly support whichever you’d prefer. And, if you’ve been following me for any amount of time online you may already know my answer. Personally, I love strength training. I love the way it makes me feel and look. But outside of my personal opinion, strength training gives clients more bang for their buck. No matter what any of my client’s goals are, they are always going to benefit from building strength. That’s the beautiful thing about strength training… it’s not one-dimensional.
Want to lose weight? Strength training
Want to tone up? Strength training
Want to work on balance? Strength training
Want to increase bone density? You got it! Strength training is the answer.
Want to get faster, stronger, etc.? Pick up the weights
Now the real question is, how should you strength train? Should you be focusing on single muscle groups, full-body circuits, high reps, low reps, etc.? That’s where your overall goals come into play, along with how much time you have to dedicate to each of your workout sessions.
In an ideal world, we would all be strength training 3-4x/week and doing cardio 2-3x/week, but most of us just don’t have that kind of time. And I am by no means saying that cardio is bad for you and you should avoid it at all costs but what I am saying is that you are going to reap more benefits with strength training.
What tends to happen when people focus on cardio only is that at first you do see results but over time your metabolism catches on, starts to adapt, and then suddenly you’ve hit a plateau. Suddenly you are left wondering why you still feel like you’re burning major calories with long intense cardio sessions but your overall progress has stalled.
Whereas the opposite happens with strength training, you may not see immediate results with strength training 3x/week, however, it helps build a more efficient metabolism long-term which means you won’t quickly hit that frustrating plateau and will also be left with what feels like more flexible nutrition habits. In the long run, whether the goal is weight loss or not, you should focus on building a flexible metabolism and the only way to do that is through strength training.
Also, I can’t speak enough about what strength training does for your confidence. I can personally attest to weighing 135lbs and feeling awesome, and weighing that same amount and feel like absolute crap. The difference is in strength training.
This is another reason why I like to focus on tracking client progress through measurements and progress photos rather than just the scale. The scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I have seen many clients stay at the same weight while decreasing overall inches and changing their body composition.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, I personally love what I like to call Lift & HIIT. This is my signature online group training program and it is essentially 90% strength training and 10% HIIT intervals, giving clients a nice mix of heavy strength training to build lean muscle and cardio intervals to maximize the calorie burn in a short 30-40min session.
As always I hope that you found this episode to be helpful, and would love to connect with you further in our Making FIT Work community on Facebook, or on Instagram at @fitwith_nina.
Until next time…be strong, be healthy, be happy!