My answer in short, is BOTH. But lets delve into WHY!

First off let me start by addressing this very common mentality people still have of needing to separate cardio exercise from weight training. This way of thinking is out-dated and just plain false. Many of us are still influenced by this old-school mindset which falsely labels and separates 2 “types” of exercising at extreme ends of the spectrum- Either you weight lift to bulk up like a bodybuilder OR you do an hour of steady state aerobic exercise to lean out like a marathon runner.
I was hesitant to cover this topic of weight loss and exercise since I find that when people begin an exercise regime with the main goal of losing weight (other than for extreme health concerns), they are setting themselves up to fail. Why? Because they think if they could just lose those 20 lbs, they will feel more in control of their lives and ultimately be happier. In retrospect I am sure many of you can agree with me that this is usually not the case, perhaps based on your own personal experiences with unsustained (and sometimes even sustained) weight loss. Instead I try to encourage that shift in mentality towards seeing  exercise and a healthy diet as a way of living which we all owe to ourselves. Getting and staying healthy is an ongoing yet rewarding journey toward improving the quality and longevity of our lives.

That being said, weight loss is STILL one of the top exercise goals I hear from most of my female, as well as male clients now too! Fair enough, since it is true- expending more calories through physical activity can help shed and keep off the extra pounds. However people seem to be finding it harder to take weight off, and even harder to keep it off. Admittedly much of this issue has to do to our Standard American Diet (SAD)- yes it is pretty SAD. This is a whole other topic in itself, but, with regards to exercise most people go at it the wrong way. They want to look thin (sometimes too thin in my opinion, but again another topic) yet also want that toned look. They want to be able to keep the weight off they lost and not keep yo-yoing up and down. They want to feel solid. They want to have everything perking up and looking tight. None of these things could ever occur without the presence of lean muscle mass and that, my friends is achieved with resistance training NOT aerobic exercise. You need the weight-bearing component to look and act the part.

Of course, there is no one size fits all model of training. But I do believe everyone can benefit from integrating both strength and aerobic exercise. Why not even combine both elements all in one workout? A great way to achieve this is through circuit training. This is how I base most of my workouts as well as my clients’ and my bootcamps. I believe this is the best way to target your heart, muscles, core and balance all at once for best results.

A good example of a circuit training routine is 30 seconds of 4 or 5 exercises, going through the circuit for a set number of rounds, say maybe 4. Start with jumping jacks, then pushups, jump squats, burpees and finish with dumbbell shoulder press. All of a sudden you’re getting the consistent calorie burn of a steady state aerobic workout, with the lean mass and metabolizing building benefits of strength training.

Remember the more lean muscle weight you have compared to fat, the more calories you burn at rest. So when we speak about someone having a fast metabolism- this is what we mean. They are able to burn more energy throughout the day at rest. Yes there is no doubt some people have a naturally faster metabolism, but we can definitely improve from our starting point by increasing our ratio of muscle mass to fat mass through strength training.

So get to the gym… Wait you don’t even need a gym to do this kind of routine! I even created a simple circuit for you below to help get you started. So now there are definitely no more excuses for excuses!

Excuses Quote Pic

Perform this circuit of 4 exercises for 30 seconds each with minimal rest between. NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED. Just your body weight!
Go through the circuit for a set number of rounds, say maybe 4.

  1. jumping jacks
  2. pushups
  3. jump squats
  4. burpees

Give this mini circuit a try and If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to share them on my Twitter or Facebook Pages

If you’d like to book a Personal Training Assessment with me, please do so by contacting me here. Or join one of my Bootcamp classes – Mondays 6:45am at Quad East and Thursdays 6pm at BOS bootcamp.