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Weights or cardio?

This is a question that confuses some people. Which one gives me the best benefits? Shall I do them both together in one sitting? What are the benefits of both? Which one will give me the best results quickly? So many questions and I will try to answer some below.When I decided to start losing the extra weight that having 3 kids gave me I read up on both cardio and weights. I really didn’t know much about both but after reading up on them I decided the best route to take would be cardio for the weightloss.

So I started running on my treadmill in my garage 3 times a week and then 4 when I started seeing the weight dropping off! Cardio especially running is a great way to kickstart your weight loss but there are a few things to remember - don’t push yourself too quickly, take it slowly and build-up the distance. It will promote weight loss but won’t tone you, and you have to make sure you warm-up, cool-down and most importantly stretch. Buy yourself a foam self-massage roller and your hamstrings, quads and IT band will thankyou!

After a 6 month period of running my knees started telling me they weren’t enjoying it anymore so I had to change the way I looked at exercise. My first thoughts were of fear that all the weight would come back on if I didn’t run, but then I found the indoor rower which is low-impact so easier on your joints and it does tend to tone you more too. I also bought a spinning bike which is another great low-impact cardio workout, so using them both kick started my fitness routine again and they were great rehabilitation for my runners knee!

By this time I had probably lost 2 dress sizes so from size 16 I was down to a 12. People were commenting about my weight loss and I felt good! My interest in exercise was growing and I started reading up on the benefits of resistance exercise. It became apparent to me that mixing in a strength routine into my sessions would not only benefit my rowing but would totally change my body shape! So me being me I went all out and bought a second-hand squat rack and weights and set to work. I used an app to track my weights which told me the reps/sets I needed to do and wow what a difference it made! My rowing improved immensely, I felt stronger and more importantly I got leaner!

I have mentioned before in my other blogs about how women fear heavyweights, they fear getting huge but ‘the proof is in the pudding’ guys - I am not huge! I use weights now twice a week usually in the evening after a morning of cardio with 6 hrs between. I deadlift and squat heavy weights but the lean muscle I build burns calories. Yes I watch what I eat but I do have a little cheat day once in a while to treat myself after all my hard work. Lifting weights can empower you to feel stronger and with strength comes a sort of confidence cardio doesn’t give you. Its one of the best feelings to be able to - complete a pull-up, a proper push-up or a deadlift personal best!

So go on give it a try! With all my clients I try and add in a bit of resistance exercise into their programs and for some I will start to push them to start picking up the barbell, and they too will see the difference to not only their body shape but also their outlook on life.

Finally after reading this I hope you understand what my answer is - both! Weights and cardio are the way to go not only will weights improve your bone strength, build lean muscle and your confidence it will help you in your everyday life tasks such as picking up children, boxes, shopping bags and then add cardio to the equation which will improve your aerobic system and release those happy hormones you are on to a winner!!

Give them both a try. Always remember to get advice before starting a weights program, especially for posture and technique once you’ve got that you will be flying!

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