Fitness Training: Should I be doing Weights or Cardio to get in shape?
I’m sure I have written posts on this topic before and so have many others. Yet there are still people out there with beliefs that one or the other is the best form of fitness training to get lean and ‘in shape’.
There are many ways to skin a cat…. (a lovely expression). It’s also heavily dependent upon what you consider to be ‘in shape’. Both will be somewhat ineffective if you’re paying no attention to your nutrition and resting to be honest.
If you were an individual that decided to do purely cardio that may involve intervals and steady state varieties. You will have a good chance of losing some weight if you were either doing your intervals intensely and with good work to rest ratios or spending in excess of 45 minutes doing steady state and doing those around 3-5 times a week.
You will usually always burn more total calories during a 45 minute session for example when doing cardio compared to the average weight training session of the same length of time. Assuming you had no idea roughly the total calories you want to be consuming throughout a day, you may get lucky and have a greater chance of creating a calorie deficit. This most likely will lead to a weight loss…. initially. The caveat being that there is a good chance you will have lost muscle mass in the process which may accelerate the rate of your weight loss on the scales. Especially if you have not been eating sufficient protein daily, which is often the case for many. If you are striving for the shape and physical attributes of an endurance runner however, then go for this approach.
If that isn’t what you have in mind for being ‘in shape’ and rather you’d view someone like a sprinter, bodybuilder, rugby player or gymnast to be ‘in shape’, I’ll let you in on a secret. They haven’t gotten their physiques through solely pounding on pavements or treadmills (shock horror!!). They will each be very familiar with working against resistance or working at short but intense pace. The rugby players and very occasionally bodybuilders and gymnasts will also do endurance work and you don’t usually see many of them wasting away exactly, so the inclusion of cardio doesn’t always make for skin and bones.
So which one? It depends what type of physique you’d prefer.
People often think you won’t lose weight when doing only weight training. If you are thinking like this and your dream is to look like Emily Skye, Kayla Itsines, Rachel Guy or a men’s health cover model then you may have to have a complete overhaul on what your beliefs in this regard are. Numbers on a scale will not reveal whether you are in shape or not although they are not totally unimportant. A person can most definitely lose weight and body fat through weight training. Many studies conflict in terms of which is better for fat loss or weight loss and usually because the way in which they have all been conducted will have been different.
Very often the case is that there is little consideration for the subjects nutritional habits when taking part in the studies, which will have a colossal impact on the outcomes of either training modality.
If you want to appear ‘toned’, lean or muscular, see my next blog post to see what my recommendations would be. For bespoke nutrition and training plans you can drop me a call or message to discuss the best way for YOU to get the body you want.