Conventional wisdom equates “exercise” with “cardio”, but recently, many fitness gurus insist that strength training is where it’s at. When it comes to getting the body you want (toning, torching calories or improved health and fitness): should we focus on cardio or strength training?
Here are 3 myths surrounding cardio and strength training that will make you rethink traditional gym routines.
Myth #1. Cardio burns calories fast
Minute per minute, cardio indisputably burns more calories than strength training, but it may cause you to burn fewer calories overall. Strength training gives you a metabolic spike for an hour after your workout as your body helps your muscles recover. And it builds lean muscle mass, which fires up your metabolic burn throughout the day. For every 1.5kg of muscle you build, you can expect to burn an extra 500kJ a day – just vegging – because muscle takes more energy to sustain.
|Myth #3. Crunches are not actually the best way to flat abs.
They don’t burn off a lot of calories, so they don’t help in a major way with fat loss. What is important to understand is that there’s a big difference between strengthening your ab muscles and losing the layer of fat on top of them. In order to lose fat, your body temperature must increase enough to trigger the metabolic effects necessary to burn fat. Using one small muscle group, such as the abdominals or the biceps, is not significant enough to create the amount of heat necessary for fat burning to begin. This is why high-intensity, full body activities that use multiple muscle groups more effectively engage your entire core and create a ton of heat in the body. These exercises will also help build muscle and give your body the toned shapely appearance everyone is after.
Pole fitness is a combination of strength AND cardio training. It demands the strength of gymnastics, the focus of Yoga and gets the heart racing better than any treadmill. One of the most inviting things about pole fitness is that those who are very seriously into the sport tend to develop lithe, toned, and flexible physiques that are more “cut” and less massively built. This is because many pole dancing moves require you to use your own body weight as a resistance, producing lean muscles that avoid the bulk that you might gain by using weights.
Despite its intensity and results, pole fitness is a fun and safe way to build strength in your body at your own pace. Through repetition and practice, your strength and flexibility grows and you are gradually able to undertake more advanced moves. It is also a great cardio workout that require every major muscle group in the body to work in synergy, so it benefits your weight management goals and helps keep the heart and lungs healthy. On top of all that, when your workout is also your hobby, it takes the boredom and monotony out of keeping in shape. It keeps you wanting more – the challenge of gaining more strength and endurance, and becoming more flexible. We’re confident you’ll keep coming back for more!