by Christina Perinhas …

Most people who want to get a hard, fast fat-burning workout that brings quick results are usually thinking cardio, cardio, and more cardio. Sure, running on the treadmill, taking a spin class, and other calorie burning classes definitely have benefits: you’re shedding those calories steadily, getting rid of fat, preventing heart disease and high blood pressure, avoiding type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, even helping to prevent stroke and certain types of cancer.

However, resistance training just twice a week can help prevent another kind of fat–intra-abdominal fat, the kind that wraps around organs and constricts blood vessels. Resistance training also gives your metabolism a spike after a workout, because your body is trying hard to help your muscles recover. Building up your lean muscle tissue, rather than solely shedding your fat by doing cardio, actually helps your body burn more calories in the long run. On average, you burn an extra 120 calories per day for every 3 pounds of muscle you gain.

Strength training will also help keep you off the sidelines, helping to prevent injuries before they happen. The repetitive nature of cardio puts serious pressure on your joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons and even the cartilage between. If there is a weak link somewhere in your body, the chances of becoming injured from that cardio workout routine increases. Functional strength training teaches your brain to allow muscle contractions that are quick enough to prevent or minimize injuries; you’re also strengthening key muscles that protect your spine and joints. Strength training has tremendous benefits, including making your cardio better–so don’t skip that resistance training during the week!

4 comments

  1. Comment by anne

    anne February 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Antonio’s piece is a great reminder that we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater! Nobody is perfect and we all slip up sometimes. The important thing is to forgive yourself and get back on track. Thanks, Antonio!

  2. Comment by Ellen Johansen

    Ellen Johansen February 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you for this article. It is so easy to not get to the weights as the week progresses. Cardio workouts seem so easy to complete, almost a no-brainer; Shoes, clothes,gloves, hat, iPod, and out the door. Weights take concentrated focus on alignment, patience in repetition and rest, and persistence in doing the whole work out and not cutting out at the end. Yes, it is important because it is what we don’t see going on in our muscles and tendons that get us in the end if we don’t keep them strong. My running workouts depend on strong muscles everywhere in my body not just my legs.

    Well done! Hope to read more of your insights soon.

  3. Comment by Philip Townsend

    Philip Townsend February 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    does weight lifting burn calories at all?

  4. Comment by admin

    admin February 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Philip- You’re burning calories just by breathing! Anytime you expend energy you burn calories. As far as how much you burn during strength training, it’s not as much as when you do sustained cardio exercise. But with cardio exercise there is very little of what they call Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (PEOC), which means you only burn calories when running; not much happens afterwards. Strength training builds lean muscle tissue. The more lean muscle tissue you have the more calories your body burns throughout the day, when you’re not exercising. This is just one reason why it’s important to incorporate both into your exercise program. Why don’t you come into the studio for a complimentary assessment? I’m sure we can help answer all your exercise question and provide you with some feedback on what type of program would best suit you.

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