The aerobic vs strength training paradigm is a rather interesting one. Do you remember those cheesy 1980′s workout videos? Aerobics and cardio classes were all the rage back then.
But since then our culture has had a shift in mentality. It may be a slight shift, but trends are showing that cardio overload is becoming a thing of the past. Is this good or bad?
Perhaps we should take a deeper look at the aerobic vs strength training debate. It was not until the 1960′s that we discovered a need for regular cardio conditioning. A gentleman by the name of Dr. Cooper did research into why strong, healthy people could not participate in endurance activities without becoming winded and tired.
Endurance activities include anything where your heart rate is elevated for more than a few minutes. So going for a jog or doing 35 minutes on the treadmill counts as endurance cardio.
Dr. Cooper’s results showed that we needed to participate in endurance activities to become better at them. That makes sense, right?
You see… up until that time we were not particularly focused on fitness. We really did not need to be. Most of the people back in those days worked hard all day long. They moved more than we did. They did not eat nearly as much as we did.
Fast forward to the early 70′s and 80′s. With Dr. Copper’s results in hand and a growing waistline… cardio was the answer.
Aerobic vs strength training activities was not much of an issue then. We were pretty much involved with aerobic work. Do you remember Jazzercise in the 70′s? What about Richard Simmons in the 80′s?
As I mentioned at the start of this page, we are going through slight change in perception. We are beginning to realize that there needs to be an honest look at aerobic vs strength training information.
Which is better? Which should you do?
I’m here to tell you this… you need to do both. Aerobic vs strength training is a conversation for those that want to pick one or the other. But you cannot afford to do that.
Each of these exercise methods works the muscles and the body in different ways. Cardio builds strong hearts and lungs. It increases red blood cells and it improves circulation.
Strength training adds lean muscle to our bodies. It adds strength. It reduces blood pressure and fights off osteoporosis.
Why have the aerobic vs strength training debate when you can simply have both? That’s what I would recommend. Ask any fitness professional who knows her stuff. Ask her what they best exercise program is for fat loss and she will tell you this:
Cardio should be done at different intensity levels and different session lengths. Consider doing a low intensity/long session, a high intensity/short session and a few medium intensity/medium length sessions.
Strength train each muscle 1-3 times per week. You should lift a proper weight and perform the proper amount of sets/reps for your strength training method.
It is a mix of both cardio and strength training that will result in fat loss. It is not about aerobic vs strength training activities any longer. We’re past that and smarter than that!
Let me say this… there are still some folks who want to believe cardio is a bunch of baloney. There are still some folks who want to believe strength training is for fools. There are some folks who believe doing tons and tons of cardio is best. There are some folks who believe doing strength training everyday is the way to go.
The best way to a healthy life is to live your life with a mix of cardio and strength training. Eat well and move often. That’s how simple it is.