STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO? DISCOVER YOUR FITNESS IDENTITY
So you’re here because you read the title of this article and you’re wondering... Which type of training is superior? Which will yield the best results? Which one is best for YOU?
You may find yourself surprised at the result!
Take our quick quiz now to find out your fitness identity:
1. Do you want to increase your cardiovascular endurance?
2. Do you want to improve your overall health / reduce YOUR risk of chronic disease?
3. Do you prefer training in the morning instead of the evening?
4. Do you use exercise as a form of stress release?
5. Are you looking to improve your sleep quality / energy levels?
Add up how many times you answered YES and how many times you answered NO, write them on a piece of paper, rip that piece of paper up and throw it in the (recycling) bin, because none of those answers actually matter.
I know, I tricked you ha ha! I’m tricky like that. Don’t be mad! I’ll explain, and then you’ll feel better, in fact you’ll probably thank me.
The real answer is: BOTH.
Both strength training and cardio training are capable of providing you with all of the benefits listed in the “quiz” above.
And you can do either, or both, depending on… (this is the important bit guys)
Your personal preference.
This is what it mostly comes down to. Realistically speaking, for most people, the most important factor that will determine which type of training is best for you, is the one you are going to show up for, week after week.
The one you look forward to.
The one you can set goals for that excite and motivate you.
Before you go planting your flag in one camp though, I’d like you to consider this:
We are not married to one style of training for the rest of our lives.
Much like the friends and acquaintances who enter and leave our lives in different stages, the type of training that is best for you will change throughout your life.
As your lifestyle changes, as you grow older, as your values change, and as opportunities to explore new areas of fitness open up.
And finally I’d just like to remind you…
How do you even know until you’ve tried?
So maybe you’ve been a cardio bunny for as long as you can remember. Are you possibly identifying yourself as a cardio bunny simply because that’s all you’ve ever known?
Maybe your body is screaming to pick some heavy shit up, but you’ve never actually given it the opportunity.
OR maybe you put all of your energy into lifting the heaviest weights possible because it’s exciting, but you’ve never given yourself the opportunity to feel the stress release of a long distance run.
So now that I’ve had my fun, here are my top three tips to actually discovering your true fitness identity.
1. Figure out what you enjoy, and what will keep you motivated to get to the gym each week.
2. Try Incorporating new types of training. Go in with a positive approach, an open mind and give it more that just a few sessions. Everything sucks the first time!
3. Accept that we as humans are fluid beings and our needs will change throughout our lives. Strength training may become more important for your health as you get older, or you may find that for a period of time, the only training available to you is outdoor running.
We can argue the pros and cons of strength versus cardio all day, but the truth is, unless you’re a pro athlete, there’s no need to attach yourself to any one style. Why identify with only one type of training when you can reap the rewards of many?