There are two types of people in this world: People who
love tolerate cardio, and people who absolutely dread it and avoid it at all costs. I, like most, hate cardio and prefer to lift heavy in the weight room. The good news is that according to US Health, “Strength Training beats cardio when it comes to fat loss and improving overall health.”
Cardio was the reason I used to hate working out. Back in the day, I used to think it was the only answer to losing weight and getting in shape, but boy was I wrong. Luckily, I found strength training. I noticed that my body significantly responded to strength training than it ever did from cardio. According to some research, a steady-state cardio session burns calories not only from fat but also from muscle. Strength workouts, on the other hand, build muscle and burn calories, even after you have left the gym to go about your day.
US Health says,
Without question, lifting weights is the most important thing you can do in the gym for your health,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Brad Schoenfeld.
Lifting rules all. If you’re only going to do one type of training at the gym, it should be strength training. I am totally down with this, especially since cardio is like my arch-enemy. And now the answer to the good ole question, “Should you even bother with cardio?”
Yes and no. Even though strength training is important, cardio still has its benefits. During a cardio sweat session, like running or biking, your heart and lungs have to work faster and harder than they do during a weight training session. Cardio enables your heart and lungs to become stronger and more efficient in the process.
Yes, I know, the treadmill completely sucks. The minutes pass slower than a sloth. It’s torture. But breaking a sweat on that treadmill enhances your body’s ability to fuel your muscles with more energy. Cardio can help achieve greater workout performance. And better performance means better results. But what amount of cardio is necessary?
Ideally, studies suggest that we get some form of cardio exercise every day. *sigh* I know, you were probably hoping for some infrequent amount. On the bright side, the recommended daily amount is not much. It’s not like we have to train for a marathon every day. Ten minutes daily would suffice. For reference, in my own fitness regimen, I incorporate at least 10 minutes of cardio, and it works wonders.
The amount of time you decide to devote to cardio all depends on your personal fitness goals. If you’re training for a marathon, obviously, you’d want to incorporate much more to build endurance. If you’re training for a competition, your focus would be on weight training. All in all, it’s a healthy combination of both strength training and cardio that will give you the best results.