Why cardio isn’t enough?

If you’ve ever done a TNT workout, you may have noticed that the focus isn’t on just cardio. Some days there are cardio activities, for sure, but most every day there are weights or at least challenges with body weight, as part of the workout. Why do the trainers have us lifting weights? And why does Samantha keep giving me a heavier weight than I already chose?

So, technically, “cardio” is any exercise that raises your heart rate. So, pretty much every TNT workout has “cardio.” But more loosely, I think we all perceive “cardio” as those exercises that aren’t so much weight-bearing or focusing on this muscle or that one, as exercises that we find the challenge is just breathing and not getting completely worn out, all over. Things like walking, running, skipping, high knees, butt-kickers…

So why don’t we just run around the mat every day? Well, let’s start with the fact that doing a wide variety of exercises, at varying weights, speeds, and difficulties, will mean you have a more well-rounded conditioning. Just doing something like running, for example, will neglect many of the muscles that you simply don’t use in running. And, many cardio exercises do put a special kind of strain on certain parts of your body – like anything, too much of a “good thing” with exercise, can actually be bad.

You don’t want to hyper-focus on anything. The “focus” should be on being generally strong and healthy. Switching from cardio to weight training often will help you be more generally conditioned, and note that developing strength in weight training will actually counter some of the strains that cardio exercises put on your body. If you’re specifically trying to lose weight, know that many studies have found that a combination of resistance and aerobic training, is more effective for weight loss than either of them, (cardio or weight training) alone.

Now let’s get science-y for a second – metabolism. When you have more muscle, you will naturally burn more calories, at rest. According to the Mayo Clinic’s article about Metabolism and Weight loss, “…muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does…” and “…muscle mass is a key factor in weight loss.” “The bodies of people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.”

What more? How about doing the activities in your life that sometimes come up, that require your strength? It’s no fun to be a “weakling” in the wrong moment. Picking up children, carrying groceries, moving furniture and laundry….there are plenty of things in life that are that much easier, when you’ve got some muscles to help you along.

Personally, I love the variety. I think it’s really hard to do one type of exercise for too long, because it’s boring, and because I’ve noticed the deficiencies that comes with a too-repetitive motion and routine. TNT Fitness Boot Camp team members work together to create thoughtful, timed, well-planned workouts, that over a regular period of time, target every muscle, and enable a deep, comprehensive kind of fitness.

Every kind of athlete can appreciate the variety and challenge the trainers present. And, to answer my own question from earlier, Samantha gives me heavier weights because she knows I can do more, and this is the kind of motivation that I often need, to make steady progress! The trainers not only help me get stronger physically – they show us TNTers that we are capable of more than we know!

If you’re not already a member, come in and check out our boot camp! Member or no, we look forward to training with you!

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