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What’s the harm of only doing cardio when I work out?

Jan 8, 2014

Bruce Kelly
FT Media

"Cardio-only means you won't be able to build muscle. Only strength training builds muscle which means your lean body mass is higher which in turn leads you to burn more calories at rest as well as at play, which is key in maintaining or losing weight. Also, strength training obviously can improve functional strength, mobility, power and agility all of which are important to improved function and quality of life."

Gwen Beckcom
FT Mission Hills

"The harm of only doing cardio when you work out is that you will be missing out! Weight training helps to improve so many other physical needs than just cardio alone. For instance, weight training improves bone density, mental focus and clarity, range of motion, fall prevention, stability and balance, lean muscle (which provides several physiological benefits), cardiovascular function, stress relief and the coordination of muscles working together.

"Weightlifting has also been shown to greatly help the elderly stay in shape by keeping the brain active and the nervous system and body attuned to the coordination of movement. All of these benefits help to prevent sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass that begins in our 40s. Weightlifting also helps to increase your metabolism and melt away visceral fat as well as fat that builds up around the body’s organs, which has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

"If you're like me, you want to get the most out of the time you spend exercising. If you're not adding resistance training, you're cheating yourself out of the many benefits that provides. So sprinkle in two or three weight training sessions per week into the mix and your body will love you for years to come!"

Stacy Adams
FT Central Georgetown

"Ever wonder why the majority of New Year's "resolution-ers" see little to no change, despite logging in hours of cardio? The answer is simple: Cardio alone will not get you long -term results.

"The main idea of cardio is to condition your cardiovascular system: your heart and your lungs. Yes, you do burn calories. However, you do not build muscle or elevate your metabolism by doing cardio. If you are on the right training program, customized to your individual goals, the basis of your program should be resistance training and cardio should complement your program, not be the basis.

"In addition, you can't out-train a bad diet. For the best results, focus on eating a clean, balanced diet and trade in some of your cardio workouts for more time in the weight room. You'll spend less time in the gym and see better results!"

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge

"The harm of only doing cardio when one is training is loss of muscle and bone density. We do resistance training to build lean muscle and cardio activity to strengthen the heart!"


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