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Cardio VS resistance: getting the right balance, belly fat & spot reductions

By principalfit | In Uncategorized | on February 25, 2015

Hi guys,

Hope all is well. It’s been a fair few months since I last wrote a blog, it has been a busy few months with Principal Fitness and everyone wanting to get into shape in January but I have found myself with a spare few minutes so I thought I would write down a few things that have popped into my head over the last few weeks, all fitness related of course!

Firstly I wanted to talk about the big question of cardio vs resistance work. Everyone you speak to will have a certain opinion on which training method is best for burning fat. Within the industry people will talk and argue about this all the time. We know within the science that performing a well-structured resistance programme can be very effective for burning fat (I won’t go into detail with this as I have talked about it before). I am finding however that people who perform resistance work are dropping cardiovascular work from their programme altogether and on the other hand people who focus on mainly cardio work will rarely perform resistance work. Now for me this is a mistake.

In my experience the clients who get the best results have a programme that incorporates both sides of training. Having a training programme that focuses on both aspects of training alongside a quality nutrition plan creates the optimal state for the body to utilise fat storages (of course other factors do play a part). Performing cardio work has huge benefits and will make your resistance sessions more effective. The fitter your heart and lungs the harder you can push with the weights and on the other side the stronger your muscular system the more strength and power you will have and the more efficient your cardio training will be. The key is getting a balance between the two.

This brings me onto the next topic of core work. Again over the last few years there has been a lot of negativity surrounding isolation work on the core. The general thoughts nowadays is that doing endless amounts of sit-ups or other core exercises is not going to make you lose weight. This of course has some truth because generally core exercises aren’t going to burn masses amount of calories due to the small demand placed on the body. Your body won’t need a huge amount of fuel to get the job done.

However like the cardio work we have seen people drop core work from their programme altogether. In my opinion this is a mistake, doing isolated core exercises is important for getting a better looking physique, like any muscle group if you want to improve the muscle tone you need to stimulate the areas. However you will need to incorporate this with a good resistance and cardio programme. Again the key to success is to have a balanced programme that works all areas of your physique.

Whilst we are on the topic of core I will go into the next section that I want to talk about. We get a lot of questions about how to lose the fat from the stomach area, well lots of different areas really. What we need to remember is that it is virtually impossible to do spot reductions in fat, for example if you wanted to lose fat from one specific place it won’t happen without other areas being affected. We need to understand that your muscular system and fat storages are two different systems. This comes back to people trying to lose stomach fat by performing lots of sit-ups. The fact is you will not burn off the fat unless you are creating a demand by the body to use it for energy. If you did lots of core exercises your core will get stronger and will feel more toned but the fat will still be present on top if your energy balance remains the same. So for this example to get a better looking core you will need to add into your programme sufficient training to create a state in which your body wants to burn fat, as well as doing your isolation work and address your nutrition needs.

I think the take home message from this blog is to try and understand that you will need to take a holistic approach to hitting your goals in the sense that you are wanting to get a balance between an effective resistance programme that also incorporates cardiovascular work. We want to make sure your nutrition supports your goals in order to create an energy balance that causes the desired effect.

Hope some of that makes sense!

Thanks,
Charlie

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