The right balance between resistance and cardiovascular training can help you get the most out of your workout regime. Besides following a healthy diet, the easiest way to achieve weight loss is through a programme that combines both types of trainings.
MH spoke to UK-based health and wellness expert, Jessie Pavelka, to get an insight into how much cardio and weight training one should do to maximise fat burn. According to Pavelka, “Resistance training combined with cardio intervals provides the user with dual benefits. However, there are many different approaches to such a workout. Some cardio intervals may last upwards of 60 seconds, and while it's great to push your body to the edge and experience your anaerobic threshold"
It is suggested that very high-intensity cardio sessions could interfere with your ability to maintain and grow lean muscle mass. So it depends on what you want and what your fitness goals are. If you want to build and shape the body and increase muscle mass, then intervals may not be the best approach. On the other hand, if you want to build strength and endurance, then go for it!
How to Combine Resistance Training And Cardio
Generally speaking, people either love cardio or absolutely hate it, and the same is true for weight training. But once you figure the benefits of both, you’ll see a good reason to maintain a balance.
You can start your workout with cardio as a warm-up and end it with weight training in the same session. Alternatively, you could begin with weight training and end the workout with a run or sprint. Doing cardio and weight training in a single session may also help improve your endurance.
It is observed that resistance training, when combined with cardio intervals, gives excellent results. Says Pavekla, “Yes, resistance training is one of the better ways to target visceral fat and is a sure way to increase lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle tissue we create, the more efficient our body becomes at metabolising and fuelling our miraculous machine – the body.”
Resistance and weight training burn more calories than cardio, both during and after the workout. In fact, you will continue to burn more calories (for up to 24 hours) after weight lifting because your body has to work hard to help your muscles recover and return to the pre-lactate state i.e. the state before training. The so-called “after burn effect” is officially known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or simply, EPOC. And it isn't new in the world of fitness. There's a strong correlation between the number of calories burnt post exercise and the activity’s intensity. Simply put: The more intense the exercise, the more oxygen your body consumes afterwards.
Weights For Lean Muscle Mass
Pavelka says, “While there are many ways to approach a healthy physique, for those who want to maintain and grow their lean muscle mass, it is necessary to embrace weights! Increasing your volume and decreasing your reps is one small change you can implement to achieve muscle growth; however, don’t discount the power of light weights with high reps.”
Note: when increasing weight you must pay very close attention to form and technique; make sure you are getting a full eccentric (stretch) and concentric (contraction) movement with each rep.
By following the right regime, you could get the right balance and benefit from the best of both worlds!