I think that when most people start working out to get into shape, they gravitate towards endurance (i.e. cardio) training. They typically go to the gym and get on the bike, treadmill, elliptical and might leave the weights to another time…
But is is really important to combine both resistance and endurance training in your overall exercise routine to ensure a proper and thorough program.
Let’s take a look at what the basic differences are between these two types of exercise.
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Resistance training is a form of exercise where you are using some type of resistance (i.e. free weights, machines) with the intention of developing muscle strength, power or muscular endurance. In addition, this form of exercise develops strength and functional capacity
in all ages and in both genders.
Resistance training is typically structured around using sets and repetitions (reps) of a certain exercise. For example, 3 sets of 10 reps, means you perform 10 reps, take a short break, perform 10 more reps followed by another short break, and then perform a final set of 10 reps for a total of 3 sets.
There are many different forms of resistance training
– from Crossfit to circuit training to traditional periodization, utilizing sets and reps. Some people gravitate to a certain form of resistance training for personal reasons and how it suits them.
Sometimes, resistance training can have a cardiovascular benefit too. For example, performing 3 sets of 15 reps on the squat with 1 minute rests between sets will definitely get your heart pumping and make you sweat.
Primarily, resistance training is performed to develop strength and build muscle
. It should not be overlooked as it goes a very long way to enhancing your metabolism and giving you a lean looking body
Endurance exercise is a form of exercise where you perform continued movements designed to get your heart rate up and make you sweat for an extended period of time. There are so many variations of endurance training such as: running, swimming, biking, burpees, stairs, sprinting, utilizing different cardiovascular machines (i.e. stepper, bike, elliptical, rowing machine, etc.)
The intent of endurance training is to develop the cardiorespiratory system
. Basically, you want to enhance the quality of your heart and blood vessels. Besides the obvious health benefits, endurance training will help you:
-Shed fat and keep you lean.
Endurance training can be continuous for an entire session (e.g. 30 minutes straight of running) or it can be done in intervals.
This is where you perform an exercise (i.e. running) and do it very hard for a short period (e.g. 2 minutes) followed by a less intense period (i.e. jogging for 2 minutes).
Endurance training isn’t designed to build skeletal muscle or develop strength, but it develops a very important muscle – that is your heart!
I highly recommend that you utilize both resistance and endurance training in your overall program. This will ensure that you have complete development in strength, muscle, functional capacity, cardio and help you stay lean.
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