There are always myths out there about exercising. I used to only do cardio when I would work out thinking that it would give me endurance and strength, however, I wouldn’t see any muscle toning in the areas that I desired. Granted I had never really worked out in a gym before and I had no real guidance when it came to physical fitness. I was so into cardio that when I initially began working with a personal trainer back in 2018, I didn’t know what to expect. Before we created a personalized plan for me to become physically fit, she gave me a strength test that included pushups, situps, wall sits, and last but not least, weights. She wanted to see what my body was able to handle physically. After going through what seemed like forever, but in reality was only the first ten minutes, I was exhausted. I had no desire to continue forward. Listen, I wasn’t as strong as I had been lead to believe all these years.
I was so hard on myself and thought, “I don’t think this is going to work.” My trainer could see my mind taking the wrong turn and she said, “STOP! Don’t sike yourself out. Your muscles have been dormant for a long time, but what we did will be used as a guide to build up strength in your core that will enable you to build strength in every other area of your body.” When she said that to me, it made me feel assured that what I was doing was going to work. She was so confident and had total faith in me that it made me confident to have faith in me too.
After the session was over, I realized how I had been coveting cardio as if it was all I needed to lose weight. I quickly learned that building muscle was just as important as burning calories. Weightlifting can be beneficial in that it allows you to build muscle and by building muscle your body is able to then lose fat. Strength training also allows you to have a more toned and defined look in your body than cardio. Provided you are doing weight training, which are calories you burn at rest, and in turn you will build more lean muscle.
Cardio workouts burn more calories than weight training, however, your metabolism has the ability to stay elevated longer after a weight training session than a cardio one.
Cardio has a bigger influence on cardiovascular (heart) health than weight training due to the fact that you are working your lungs and heart longer. Another way to increase your level of intensity with cardio and it be equivalent to running on a treadmill for half an hour would be to implement HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your routine. HIIT allows you to do short, intense workouts alternating with low intensity resting periods within 10-30 minutes. These types of workouts also burn calories in a short period of time.
Both weightlifting and cardio are essential to losing weight and building the best body you desire, along with eating the proper meals and having the required amount of water intake. Each provides something different when it comes to sculpting your body. If you are not sure where to start, a Certified Personal Trainer is able to guide you through your fitness journey. They will help you create and set not just daily and monthly goals, but a long term fitness plan. They only want what’s best for you and they will work with you to design a fitness regimen that’s tailored to your needs. If you’re not able to afford a personal trainer or gym membership, there are a plethora of fitness apps you can download that will create a workout plan just for you based on your fitness goals. When it comes to working out, you have to be all in or all out.
You must actively participate in your health journey. Patience, discipline and consistency are required, but most importantly, having a strong mind is essential if you desire to transition into a healthier lifestyle. We are in the first month of 2019, you still have eleven more months to transition into a better you. Whatever you decide, weights or cardio, make sure that it fits your needs and your body goals. We’re rooting for you all of 2019 and beyond.
By: Etosha Bahaiddin