Cardio versus weights? In the last few years this has been a common question amongst personal trainers and their gym members. If you want to lose weight and be healthy, surely the best way to do it is to do lots of cardio? After all there are some great benefits to doing cardio. The first one is the improved condition of your heart. Your heart is a muscle after all, just like any other, and in order for it to become strong it must be worked. If you fail to work it, it\’ll weaken over time and this can cause a variety of negative health effects, including but not limited to heart disease. You\’re following me, right? OK so what about cardio for losing weight, you ask? The \’fat burning zone\’ is a term that gets used a lot in the industry. It is the most economical heart rate zone for your body to metabolically burn fat, however the problem is, as soon as you leave this zone you immediately lose the benefit.

This is where the benefit of weight training really begins to take place and there is plenty of research that demonstrates that after a weight training session the metabolism is boosted for up to 36 hours. This means that while you\’re at home watching TV on the lounge following your gym session, you\’re already burning over 10 percent more calories every hour — for almost the entire next day. If you\’re to work that out on a monthly basis — it starts to add up.

Aside from the metabolic effect of weight training, lifting weights has other significant health benefits too. Lifting weights stresses the muscular system — in a good way — which causes an increase in the bodies lean muscle tissue. An increase in lean muscle tissue can help manage the symptoms of many serious, chronic conditions such as the pain of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, diabetes and obesity. From an aesthetics point of view, lifting weights shapes and tones the body and helps you feel better about yourself too.

So the benefits of weight training is fairly clear to see, but the question that gets asked especially in women is: “If I lift weights won\’t I look big?” The simplest answer is “no”. In order for muscles to increase in size the hormone testosterone has to be in abundance and women have a much smaller amount of testosterone in their bodies, compared to men.

So it\’s clear that both have benefits, and incorporating both aspects into your weekly routine will give you the best results for overall health and wellbeing. At Talise Fitness we have a large class timetable which allows you to lift weights and improve your cardio vascular system. These classes include tabata, spartan, grit, body pump, Talise Power fit and kettlebells.

To kick start your New Year\’s fitness goals visit talisefitness.com and discover more about their cardio and weight training programs.