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Entries in strength training (1)

Friday
Nov202015

Which Works Better - Cardio or Strength Training?

A recent review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders compared the effectiveness of diet, exercise or diet with exercise for weigh-loss. The author, James E. Clark, found that diet and resistance (strength) training was best for body composition changes. Interestingly, the paper showed that the combination of diet and resistance training (RT) was more effective than diet and endurance training (ET) or resistance training combined with endurance training. RT was more effective when exercises were done using progressive amounts of weight for 2-3 sets of 6-10 repetitions, using whole body free-weight exercises. This type of training resulted in lower levels of body fat and the retention of muscle mass. Maintaining or increasing muscle is important when losing weight. Additionally, RT lowered total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, along with reducing fasting insulin levels. The author concluded that the “focus of treatment should be on producing a large metabolic stress (as induced by RT or high-intensity ET) rather than an energetic imbalance (calories in vs. calories out) for adults who are overfat.”

A Case Against Cardio, a blog post written by Mark Sisson, covers the paper above and goes on to show that resistance and high intensity cardio training proved superior to low intensity cardio training for treating women with PCOS, patients recovering for heart failure and aspects of vascular function in type 2 diabetics.

If you are currently engaging in long duration (30-60 min) low to moderate cardio training (i.e. running, biking, etc.) and enjoy it, don’t stop!

But if you are not achieving your goals using this protocol, based on this research, it may be time to make some changes to your training regime.

Besides being better for weight loss and improved blood numbers, a resistance workout or high-intensity cardio session can be done in 15-20 minutes. Even if it’s been a while since you last exercised, you can still engage in this type of training. You just need a routine designed to accommodate your current level of fitness.