One of the most frequent questions I am asked is, "Should I do more Cardio or Weights?" The answer is simple, and the results are backed up by science and a plethora of reputable studies:
Do weights. . . with a side dish of cardio. . . but why?
Studies show you are burning more calories when lifting heavy weight with short breaks in between sets, than you do with cardio. Studies also show your body will continue to burn a higher rate of calories hours after weight training than cardio.
After having my three children, I found myself with dozens of extra pounds that I was trying to "burn off" on the treadmill. I lost initial weight but plateaued, felt constant fatigue and couldn't get rid of the cellulite and jiggly waist and thighs. Doing hours of cardio wasn't delivering me the body I was working so hard for. The cardio or weights question wasn't clear, so I started doing research to answer my own questions. For my full story, diet plan and exercise plans you can read The Tiara Diary.
I discovered that I actually needed to reduce my cardio, increase my calorie intake and build lean muscle. It went against everything I was conditioned to believe but it worked! If I have only 30 minutes to work out, I take the entire 30 minutes to lift weights. The results have been dramatic and I have sustained my fitness level for years.
I put together a cardio or weights workout plan in which I decided I would combine weights and resistance training into 4 workouts each week. I separated the different body groups into 4 categories and if I had time each week I may do 1 or 2 sessions of cardio for a maximum of 20-minutes. No more than that.
At first I wasn't sure if it would work, but the science and studies told me it would. It was a challenge to reverse my initial ideas about cardio or weights as a permanent fat loss solution, but thankfully I stuck to it for the few months it took my body to build the lean muscle I needed to burn the unwanted fat.
The most surprising side effect was the new definition and body shaping that occurred. Everything got tighter! My cellulite decreased, my energy level went up, my confidence improved, the list goes on and on. I achieved a level of fitness I didn't know was possible after having 3 children and have maintained it by holding to my belief that a focus on weight training with some cardio is the best plan.