This is a question I get asked a lot and I’m never really sure how to answer it. The truth is that most weeks I do very little, if any, ‘intentional’ cardio. That’s not because I think cardio is bad or not effective, I just train differently and it works for me. I do 4-5 weight sessions a week for 45 – 60mins, training to a high intensity and getting the heartrate up.
Again, that doesn’t mean cardio doesn’t work, I just find it really boring and I believe exercise should be fun. If your not enjoying your workouts, chances are your not going to keep doing them. However, whilst I don’t do any intentional cardio in the gym, I do lead a very active lifestyle outside of the gym. If you follow my Instagram, you will see I take my son Odin for regular weekend scooter adventures, I complete resistance/cardio circuits and I walk a lot.
So this is why I prioritise weight training over cardio…
Weight training continues to burn fat
Even after you stop weight training, your metabolism stays elevated for 24-36 hours, post training. That means your body continues to burn through calories, long after you leave the gym. If your doing cardio training, once you stop, so does the calorie burning.
It helps my arthritis
As outlined in my blog post, benefits of weightlifting for arthritis I am able to stabilise my arthritis through weight training. Suffering from joint pain, requires me to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, to maintain mobility and lessen my discomfort. I find that when I complete certain cardio activities such as running, using the cross trainer and group classes, I get pain and inflation in my joints for days, following the exercise. Weight training can cause me some discomfort at times, but it is only temporary and is always worth the effort.
I feel a sense of accomplishment
I love challenging myself in the weight room. Setting heavy lifting goals, beating my 1RM, trying new exercises and sculpting my muscles, gives me a sense of accomplishment and encourages me to keep pushing myself. A feeling I simply don’t get from cardio training.
I like being strong
This is probably the main reason I prefer weight training, over cardio, I like to be strong. I love entering a gym, heading over to the squat rack, loading up the barbell and lifting heavy stuff! It’s a great feeling to know I am strong, capable and powerful. Whatever is happening in my life, I know the gym and the weights will always be there….
I will leave you with this thought…
"A well built physique is a status symbol. It reflects you worked hard for it, No money can buy it, you cannot borrow it, you cannot inherit is, you cannot steal it, you cannot hold on to it without constant work. It shows discipline, it shows self respect, it shows patience, work ethic and passion. That's is why I do what I do." Arnold Schwarzenegger