Woooo! I'm back for another blog, peeps! And it's a good one. Today I'll be tackling a discussion that everyone in the fitness industry LOVES to weigh in on: cardiovascular training versus strength training. I'll be considering whether one is better than the other, if one size really does fit all, and the benefits of including both in your training regime.
How many of you have witnessed at least one individual you follow on Instagram or Facebook claim that that "weight lifting makes you bulky," or my other favorite, "women who lift weights look like men." MAJOR EYE ROLL. Or, on the flip side, that strength training is the be all, end of form of training. This particular attitude is most likely a response to the days in which us women only ever went to the gym to hop on the treadmill/elliptical/bike/stairmaster because a) we didn't know HOW to use weights, or b) we were terrified that we would make a fool of ourselves in front of a bunch of men, or c) all of the above. And they're partially right! Cardiovascular exercise can only do so much! The biggest con of engaging in cardio ONLY is the fact that it builds minimal muscle. Sure, if you run a buttload or row a buttload you will begin to see some muscle definition in your legs/arms, but in general weight training is where you're going to tap into your strength and really begin to build muscle and thus muscular definition. Oh, but make sure not to get too bulky... (sigh)
Here are my two cents. I LOVE cardio. "Well of course you do," you're probably saying, "you're a runner." Well, yes, obviously I love it for that reason, but I also love what it does for my heart, my lungs, and my body. It leans me out like strength training never does. It allows me to dance all night long, and hike at high altitude for as long as I want. As much as I love the weights and will always, always include them in my training regime for the injury prevention benefits they provide me, cardio wins the prize... IN MY OPINION. For MY body. Just mine.
For I know many people who feel the opposite. Clients and friends who prefer strength training for the way it makes THEM feel and perform. Until they began implementing strength training, their bodies just didn't respond the way they wanted.
Guys, this is the beauty of life and of human beings. We are all individuals! Not a single one of us is the same. Our bodies are not the same, our brains are not the same, and, most importantly, our GOALS are not the same. So please, before you make some long-winded post about how terrible cardio is, or that woman over there lifting weights is too jacked, consider that your body is unique to yourself, and to yourself only. The person reading your post is, without a doubt, different from you in many, many ways.