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Cardio Vs Weights: How Do You Find The Right Balance?

Some runners will tell you the key to becoming a better runner is all in the miles. Cardio is key, and the more you do, the better your fitness will become and the more you can run. Other runners swear by weight training to give them an advantage come race day: hitting the gym builds muscle that is essential to increasing your speed and fitness and turning you into a better runner.

But who, if any, are right?

If you’re just starting out and still figuring out what is best for you, all this may be a bit confusing: someone on one shoulder telling you one thing, another person pulling you in the other direction. To help bring some clarity to your workout, we’ve taken a look at what you can expect from each routine:

Most people will tell you that cardio is for fat burning and weight training is to build muscle. This is correct to some extent, but if you focus on cardio alone, you need to work at an intense level for 70-80 minutes to switch your body to fat burning mode, which is difficult even for top athletes. Cardio will eventually make you slimmer, but there won’t be any muscle definition underneath when you’re done. If you work on weights only, then you’ll bulk up, women and men alike, but there won’t be any leanness to your body.

To combat the negatives from each it is best to use a combination of the two.

The best routines allow you to incorporate both steps into your training sessions. Rowing machines are great cardio exercise whilst also helping you strengthen your back and shoulder muscles.

If you spend more time in the gym it is recommended that you start with a 30-45 minute cardio routine: this can be anything from treadmill, stationary bike, stepper, or a HIIT routine. Follow this up with some weights to strengthen. If you’re just starting, work on resistance training; squats, lunges, push-ups etc. before working up to dumbbells and more advanced weight exercises.

There is no universal recipe for success, so find a combination of cardio and weights that works best for you. If you are training for running events, draw up a schedule that helps combine cardio and weight training with some rest days in between to get the perfect balance of cardiovascular endurance and strength, whilst giving your body plenty of time to rest and recover.  



19th April 2018, 13:10
Page updated 19th Apr 2018, 13:10
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