Riordon vs Reneau

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weights or Cardio?

Weights or cardio? This seems to be the long debated question among many people, especially women in the gym. Which is going to burn more calories? Well it's sort of a trick question which is why I believe there is so much confusion over it. One it GREATLY depends on how you are doing the chosen exercise, whether that be cardio or weight lifting. Are you doing circuits? Running? Walking? Uphill? Fast lifting? Slow lifting? There are so many ways to exercise.

So let me say it like this. During the exercise itself, again depending on how you are approaching the session, typically cardio is going to burn more calories in that one session than lifting will. HOWEVER, in the long run, building muscle mass will help you burn more calories during your non-training hours because muscle takes more calories to function than fat does, increasing your total caloric output for the day. This is why you see body builders or Strongman competitors eating so much. It takes quite a few calories to feed all that muscle mass!

Now, do you have to become bodybuilder huge to get good results? Of course not. But every pound of fat that you replace with a pound of lean muscle mass is that many more calories your body will use up to function.

I see many women get frustrated with their weight and force themselves to nothing but endless hours on the stairs or treadmill. Trust me ladies, you will lose those inches much faster if you add weight lifting into your training regimen. And lifting is hard. So drop those five pound weights and challenge yourself with heavier lifts to help increase your muscle mass. You're not going to build so much muscle that you're going to start looking masculine (which is the fear many women share with me). Lifting can give you very feminine curves to your muscles. You can build the mass with heavier weights and less reps (5-8), and then cut your muscles down and tone them later by using lighter weights with high reps (12-20). You want to give your muscles a day off every few days so typically I follow a schedule of which muscles I am working on every day and then every fourth day I devote to cardio. However, I do add 20 minutes of cardio to the end of every lifting session.

So hop off those stairs and head over to the weight section the next time you're in the gym and watch your progress speed up! If you're not sure where to start, do a little research on lifting routines (there are SO many out there on the internet) and choose a few exercises that interest you. Or better yet, hire a personal trainer and let those guys put their educations to good use with you!

That's it for this week! Please remember that these tips are only advice from my own personal training and research, and are NEVER meant to replace the consultation of your healthcare provider. If you would like to email me your personal fitness or nutrition questions to be addressed on the next segment, send them to and I'll be sure to respond to each one! Otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter @babyfacemma or find me on Facebook at!

Until next time!

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