Friday, September 27, 2013

Which is best? Cardio, HIIT, or Strength Training....

This  was my total calorie burn in 1 hour and 7 minutes of lifting.  

I still LOVE cardio too but I like to keep it short and sweet.  Cardio is good for your health and doing a reasonable amount is great for staying lean.  You need to lift to build those lean muscles and then you have to feed the muscle with food and then you burn the fat with cardio! Got it?!  

CARDIO: is the most basic thing you can do when it comes to burning calories.  It doesn't require weights, or knowledge of exercises.  Just a pair of running shoes and your legs.  It's tough to mess up on a open road, treadmill or elliptical.  Go about 3 miles and burn around 300 calories give or take.  Then all you do is eat less calories than you burn in a day and you will lose weight.  EASY right?!  Cardio is great for keeping your heart in shape but it doesn't train your heart for extreme stress when we experience rapid changes.  Steady cardio only burns calories while you are moving.  Not much happens afterwards.  

HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training- this style of cardio blows steady cardio out of the water.  Why?  When you do HIIT your body and metabolism function at a higher rate of burned calories for hours and hours after you stop.  Meaning I just did HIIT this morning and I am burning calories while I am sitting on my butt typing.  How? during HIIT you are forcing your heart to adjust to the changes of your speed, incline, level, etc.  You are making your heart work outside of its norm.  All this changing and sprinting causes your metabolism to work in high gear for hours after you finish your workout.  The other great bonus of HIIT is that you can lose up to 3x the amount of fat in half of the exercise time.  20-30 mins is all it takes!  Great when you are short on time.

STRENGTH TRAINING: If you are wanting to do more than just lose weight and really want to get in shape, cardio and HIIT alone are not the best ways to shape your body.  We all want to have that "toned" or "defined" look.  Not the soft look= AKA, skinny fat.  Cardio does help with weight loss but not nearly as much as you think! Combine cardio and weight training and now we are talking.  The best kind of exercises to burn the most calories are moves that use the largest number of muscles; SQUATS, LUNGES, DEADLIFTS, etc. I love doing these exercises in a circuit with little to no rest between them.  I get a killer workout, sore muscles, and I know I am burning calories fast and the calorie burn doesn't end when my workout is over either.  I am still burning calories 2 days later from that workout!!!

Cardio is for you if you have all the time in the world or if you just really love running/treadmill or elliptical.  If you have spent months doing steady cardio, try varying the speeds every once in a while.

HIIT is for you if you don't like lifting weights but you still want to burn calories as quickly as possible.  You are limited on time every day.  And you like pushing your body to its limits.  If you do HIIT correctly, you should be worn right out to the point that 20-30 mins is literally all your body can handle.

Strength Training is for you if you want to "tone."  and let me just get this off my chest, I HATE the word "tone"!!  Its called MUSCLE!! so just put on your big girl underwear and say, "I want to get some muscle!" You get a "toned" look by building muscle.  I promise no one is going think you instantly turned man because you said muscle instead of tone.  You can not "tone" a muscle.  You either put the muscle to work and let it get bigger so it is visible or you avoid working your muscle and it will get smaller and have nothing to show. Weight training is for you if you like burning calories while sitting on your butt pinning!  And if you are afraid of lifting weights, give it a shot 2-3 times a week and just see if those stubborn areas get smaller or if the weight starts coming off quicker.  Do cardio on your off days to knock off a few more pounds.  And guess what?!?  Your weight might actually go up.....muscle is more dense than fat.  Muscle takes up less space in the body.  The more muscle you have on your frame, the heavier your weight will be, BUT the tighter, smaller, and less jiggly (think= bra bulge, lower belly, butt....) your physique will be compared to someone who might weigh less but also has less muscle and a higher body fat %.

With all that being said.....If you eat poorly, none of the above matters.  If you are interested in getting in shape, the MOST important thing you can do for yourself is adjusting your diet.  Diet is responsible for 80-90% of your successes or failures ( I am not perfect!  I am preaching this to myself as well.  Damn Yogurtland, Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos, and Slurp!)  Even if you spend 5-10 hours a week exercising, that still leaves over 150+ hours for you to mess things up.  AHHHHHHHHH!  If all you are about is losing weight, the FASTEST path to achieving that is with a freaking kick-ass diet.  A diet eating real foods: veggies, fruits, complex carbs, and lean meats.

Seriously though, all the above is just the personal trainer in me speaking (I have studied a lot on this stuff) and really it honestly comes down to I just want you to be happy and healthy.  It's up to you to find a great combination of cardio and weight training that keeps you motivated and keeps the weight off.  There is no wrong or right way to get in shape.  But I will say with complete confidence, that if you want firmer, tighter, rounder, less jiggly anything, it requires building muscle.  Find what works for you and be consistent.  If what you are doing isn't working, take some advice from this post and see what kind of results you get. 

1 comment:

  1. While the mainstream fitness media still insists that aerobic
    exercise is a great way to lose weight, Turbulence Training users
    know that interval training is the better way to burn body fat.

    Still not convinced?

    A recent study published by the North American Association for the
    Study of Obesity, subjects aged 40 to 75 were instructed to do 60
    minutes of aerobic exercise per day for 6 days per week for an
    entire year.

    Given the amount of exercise, you'd expect weight losses of 20, 30
    pounds, or more, right?

    Well, the surprise findings showed the average fat loss for female
    subjects was only 4 pounds for the entire year, while men lost 6.6
    pounds of fat over the year. That's over 300 hours of aerobic
    exercise just to lose a measly 6 pounds of blubber. Not time well
    spent, in my opinion.

    So what's the better way? Stick with Turbulence Training, using
    interval training and strength training to get better bodysculpting
    results. With intervals, you'll achieve more fat burning results in
    less workout time.

    The next time you are out exercising, perform a session of interval
    training. If you are walking or running outside, find an incline
    that can challenge you for 60 seconds, then walk down for 60-120
    seconds, and repeat up to 6 times.

    If you walk or run on a treadmill, adjust the incline or speed to
    safely increase the challenge for 60 seconds, then return to the
    normal pace for 60-120 seconds, and repeat up to 6 times.

    You can also use a rowing machine, bicycle or stationary bike, or
    even an elliptical machine to do intervals.

    But whatever you do, stay away from boring, ineffective cardio
    exercise workouts and stick with Turbulence Training for your fat
    burning program.

    ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

    Save time, burn fat,

    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Author, Turbulence Training

    "I'm 25 and was seriously overweight at the start of this year. I've
    been doing the TT for Fat Loss Workouts and after 5 months of
    training. I've lost nearly 28lbs. I want to take this opportunity
    to thank Craig for making your knowledge so accessible and your
    articles and blogs that not only make us think about our
    lifestyles, but encourage us to change them for better health."
    Kevin Thow, Sydney, Australia

    Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> Cardio is a Waste of Time for Fat Loss <=====

    "Turbulence Training makes so much sense and I really enjoy the
    different workouts so never get bored. From an aussie that was
    looking for something other than just another weight workout
    with the same old moves this has been a real eye opener for me and
    I have been telling my friends just how great the TT method is."
    Kelli Tomkins, Australia