No. Unfortunately, Cardio is not Fitness
In our last article, we helped you re-evaluate your Cardio routine by highlighting the 5 key differences between a good & a bad cardio workout. Unfortunately, the picture is far from complete.
The thing is, Cardio alone will do very little to get you results.
I can already hear the protests — “Not true! I’m a runner and I get results!”
But what really do you mean by results?
Results in fitness, by definition means “the body’s capability to function efficiently and effectively in work & in leisure. To have the ability to look & feel great at any age, any time.”
Sounds fancy. But if you break it down, results can be measured through 4 parameters –
Simple enough? Great.
The problem begins when we start training. Our first instinct is to jump on the treadmill and chug away. Every. Single. Day.
We measure our strength and stamina by the amount of time we’ve spent running. And worse, we tend to think we’ve done a lot, and are “getting fit.”
And this is a problem because Cardio only addresses 1 out of the 4 parameters — Stamina. Strength, Flexibility & appearance take a back seat.
Sure, if you’re overweight and run 6 days a week, you will lose some fat. But will you be able to sculpt your body and achieve the desired body shape?
The answer is no.
So what’s the solution? Two words — Weight Training. It’s a must have for everybody’s fitness journey. Still sceptical? Let us spell it out for you.
To start off with, let’s answer the million dollar question –
How do some people stay thin while others don’t?
The answer lies in your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). BMR is essentially the rate at which your body burns fat. The higher your BMR, the more calories you burn. For a lot of us, a high BMR or a good metabolism is a god given gift.
It’s why some people can eat and eat and eat, and still stay thin. It’s also why others seem to absorb fat just by touching a cupcake.
Now the good news is that you can increase your BMR. The bad news is that Cardio won’t help you do it. The secret lies in weight training. Because the more muscle you have, the higher your BMR/metabolism.
So if you want to turn your body into a fat burning machines, weight training is your best friend.
But what else can weight training do?
Weight training is the magical solution to an injury free life
One of the most common reason why people stop working out is injuries. They can be incredibly frustrating, especially because you were so excited about working out and getting in shape. These injuries could range from a pulled muscle to a strained ligament or even acute pain in the back.
Most injuries can be prevented through weight training.
Even if you’re a cardio junkie, you still need a strong set of muscles and tendons to hold your body together, or you’ll end up with ‘overuse injuries’.
Weight training is a full body workout
Walking, running or jogging are majorly lower body workouts. None of them focus on the upper body, and it remains under-developed.
It’s like buying a house and furnishing just one half of it — not a place anyone would like to live in.
This ‘half-focus’ creates an imbalance of strength between your upper and lower body, resulting in a several issues, including back & knee pain along with trauma in your other joints.
But a combination of weight training & cardio is perfect. It gives equal importance to the development of the upper & lower half, ensuring you’re a specimen of good health.
Weight training is the secret to Eternal Youth
You already know how important muscle is. But if you stick to just Cardio, not only do you NOT build significant muscle, you’re also losing what you had. But how?
Well, people lose up to 2% of muscle mass every year, which eventually can result in upto 50% of muscle loss. This is so critical that there’s even a medical term attached to losing muscles with age— Sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is the leading cause of age related issues like low bone density, osteoporosis, osteopenia, and even arthritis.
This Muscle loss is also the reason why old people start to look “old” & frail. The muscle loss leaves them in a weakened and fragile state.
If you want to know how to have the body of a 30 year old even when you’re 60 — look to weight training. It’s the secret to eternal youth.
Take for instance, Jim Arrington, an 80 year bodybuilder who trains 2 hours every other day. He doesn’t look 80 and I bet he doesn’t feel like 80 either.
Now if you’re wondering if weight training is for you, here’s a list of people who shouldn’t train with weights —
That list is empty for a reason. Everyone — man, woman and child can engage in weight training.
Women can train with weights as much as any man. There’s a popular misconception that if women begin lifting weights they will become big, and “manly.”
This could not be further from the truth. Women, relax. Your body doesn’t have the necessary hormones needed to build muscles. You will not bulk up. The women who do put on muscle have insane training regiments and rely heavily on supplements.
If you still don’t trust us, trust Bollywood. Every female celebrity indulges in weight training. Here’s the proof-
Don’t let age hold you back either. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60. If an 80 year old man can lift weights, so can you.
We’ll just leave here with a piece of advice — if you feel like you’re ready to start working out, don’t just start walking or running, throw in some weight training. Schedule your week with 2 days of Cardio and 2 days of weight training.
Create a balance.
If you don’t know where to start Weight Training or Cardio from, register here for a free, trial plan.
P.S. — The only parameter we’re left with is flexibility. We’ll be coming up with another article on the importance of flexibility and how it can be achieved, soon. Watch this space!