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Weights or Cardio??

The way I see it is that moving your body and exercising effectively is like paying the rent … and it’s due every single day.  So many people will say that there’s a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to work out – however it’s my belief that exercise of any kind trumps sitting down, so just getting moving is always a good start!

Although there’s no exact ‘right’ way to exercise there are some ways of working out that, when combined, produce some terrific results.  And all we have to do is apply a little science to the subject.

Let’s explore what we know so far :

Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, therefore the more muscle or lean mass we can build, the higher our metabolic rate and the better we make use of our energy stores.  Plus, when we do a weights work out, we burn fat for fuel – sounds delicious, I know!  So bottom line, when we work those muscles – even just a little bit – it’s causing a spike in our metabolism.  Not to mention that resistance is exceptionally important for our bone health, but I’ll cover that another time.

Okay, now let’s talk cardio – and when I say ‘cardio’ I’m talking the HIIT kind.  High. Intensity. Cardio. Intervals.  Don’t be scared when I say high intensity either, because everyone’s level of high intensity looks different – it can be from six pushups per minute right through to a hundred pushups in a minute, depending on the person and their starting baseline.  When it’s done properly, HIIT training for 30 minutes not only burns glucose for fuel, but it creates EPOC – or Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption … meaning that you continue to burn energy for many hours after you’ve finished exercising – winning!!

These two types of exercise are worlds apart in the way they work in the body, and both of them have benefits in their own way – so I believe that to get the best of both worlds we need to combine these two types of exercise to give ourselves the best possible chance of success in achieving our goals, improve our physical tone, our fitness and our metabolism.

I always recommend exercising six days a week with a 30 minute HIIT session each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and a 45 minute resistance session every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – giving the body a chance to recover between each exercise modality and allowing each type of exercise to be effective over time before busting it out again!

Oh … and when I say that your exercise session should be no longer than 30 or 45 minutes, I mean it!  Unless you’re training for an endurance event, that’s all you need!