This has been a contentious issue for a long time, and after working with the best researchers and athletes for many years, they have become strong advocates of weight training as one of the finest types of exercise.
Even though I enjoy weight lifting, I get pleasure from hearing them speak about it in that manner, but also after 20+ years of working with many amazing people as I became known as The Keto Pro, I've found out that its more complicated as science says it is, due to several factors, and there is where the great debate begins, which one is the superior form of training? and even greater question, which one benefits the most to someone that is doing keto. So here is my perspective of cardio vs weights!
First let's explain what is cardio, and what is weights, cardio is any type of movement that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there for an extended period of time, this could be running, biking, swimming, rowing etc. Weights or resistance training is any type of exercise that works against a force, typically gravity, in order to move weight through space.
This could benefit you by helping to improve things such as bone density, balance, and coordination. It can also help you to build muscle, and lose fat specially even better if you are doing keto, because movement will push ketones into the brain cells and boost your mood and focus. Its potentially less impact on the joints, which is great for people who have joint challenges. Cardio can be detrimental if done for a long period of time above 75 minutes it can have a negative effect, by increasing cortisol levels which hinder fat loss, impacting your stress levels and hormonal imbalances.
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There are several reasons to believe that weights are better than cardio, the main one being that when you do weights you are putting your body under a lot of stress, and this forces your body to adapt by getting stronger and growing muscle. This is something that cardio does not do, and this is why many people who want to get bigger and stronger will lift weights. Also, when you lift weights you are burning a lot of calories, and this is important for people who are trying to lose weight.
What I discovered while working with individuals who wish to improve their health is that there's also an emotional, psychological, and biochemical component to it all. When we tested with some people, we found out that individuals who don't enjoy going to the gym have a harder time achieving their weight loss goals because they feel intimidated when they go to the gym. They are hesitant to go back because they don't like it there, which raises their stress levels and prevents them from having a good time, which leads to them quitting. They are more prone to get hurt and less likely to return. At the same time, people who are enjoying this activity will receive all of these wonderful and potent neurotransmitters.
At the end of the day, it all depends on what you're willing to put up with long term! What do you enjoy doing? And what can you keep doing for a long time while still enjoying yourself. Try to find activities that you like to do and that will make you want to come back for more, because at the end of the day we are all human beings with different biochemistry, psychology and emotions. And those are the things that matter when it comes to finding something sustainable for you! But also be open to use a little bit from other forms of exercise so you can give your body an escape from routine and you will find yourself getting further and faster ahead !
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I hope this gives you a better understanding of why there is a debate on cardio vs weights, and gives you some clarity on which one might be better for you. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!
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