BASH BULLETIN: WHY WE SHOULD STRENGTH TRAIN OVER CARDIP
An ever-growing body of research is bearing out the truth that strength training can provide the same—if not more—results and emotional perks as classic cardio. Today, the narrative about how women’s bodies can look, feel, and move has finally begun to deeply transform—and strength training is feeling the love.
Strength training builds muscle—which might also help you slim down in a different way. How?
There are two common barometers for weight loss: what your scale says and how your clothes fit—and strength training helps improve the latter. Strength training helps to build muscle, which takes up less space than fat. The outcome is less inches on your body, which might mean a smaller pant size.
You’ll still burn some calories while you’re lifting—but a big payoff is the calorie burn that happens afterward, aptly called after-burn: Muscle is constantly being broken down, recreated, and synthesized. All these processes require energy. And the more muscle you have, the more energy it takes for this process. BASH workouts burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories AND THEN add about a 150 calorie after burn to that total. Not bad for 50 minutes of workout!
One more perk of strength training: It can give you even more energy and endurance for your regular cardio training, helping you go harder, faster, and longer. Translation: You’ll burn more calories all around that way.
The best types of strength-training exercises incorporate multiple muscles—a.k.a. compound exercises. That includes exercises like our BASH full body flows which incorporate more than one muscle group in a single rep. Compound movements will recruit more muscles, leading to more calories burned after exercise.
Our metabolism is like a pie chart. The biggest chunk is our basal metabolic rate (BMR), the energy we use at rest. The energy we burn during workouts is a pretty small slice, making it unrealistic to manage weight and health just by burning calories through cardio. Instead, your best bet is to increase your BMR by building muscle (which your bod burns calories to maintain), with strength training.
Furthermore, excess cardio eats away at your muscle stores which might get you to “skinny” but won’t get you tone and tight. Even at rest, more muscle means more metabolic activity.
That’s not all. Research has also found that while cardio can be hugely beneficial, it doesn’t stimulate your bones to stay strong over time. Here, too, strength training is the better bet.
Women need to maintain our power. Women generally have a lower proportion of type II (i.e. fast power-producing) muscle fibers than men (though we typically have a greater proportion of type I endurance fibers). So hitting the weights to build and maintain as much strength, power, and force is important, especially with age. We start losing muscle around age 40 (maybe even earlier). That loss, especially of those powerful type II fibers becomes more pronounced during the menopause transition, as hormonal changes accelerate the loss of lean muscle mass independent of aging. Without intervention, you can lose up to 50 percent of your lean skeletal muscle mass by your 80th birthday.
Having said all of the above, I was a cardio junkie running marathons for years and thought I looked great. However, when I look back at my pictures, I like the way I look with less cardio and more strength training in my fitness program. At age 51, My body has never been more tone and tight.
These days, I do cardio for my mind and mental health, as an addition to my strength training. But cardio is not my main method of fitness. It is just an added bonus if my schedule permits it. Strength Training is on my calendar six days a week.
BOTTOM LINE: STRENGTH TRAINING WITH CLASSES LIKE BASH FITNESS ONLINE ARE GOING TO HELP YOU BUILD LEAN MUSCLE AND THAT IS THE KEY TO SUSTAINABLE AND LONG TERM HEALTH. STRENGTH TRAINING IS THE CLEAR WINNER!
This is the foundation of our BASH program along with a clean, unrestricted diet made of sensible choices like proteins and the right fats and carbs. Stay tuned for the next BASH BLOG regarding clean eating!
As always, I wish you a super happy day! See you in your next BASH CLASS!