Sometimes, very often in fact, I feel like I wasted SO much time messing around doing intense cardio, day-in, day-out.
For more than a year I was lost in the triathlon and marathon vortex.
I started out doing this stuff because I wanted to lose weight, get fit, and most of all I wanted my dream body.
I wanted to look toned and slim, and lose my pear shape. That is and has always been my main goal.
Well, I did lose a lot of weight.
But I still had my huge butt and thighs. Still had flabby arms and a rolly tummy. In fact, when training for the Ironman I put on weight. About 6kg actually. What the eff?
What I DID get from doing triathlon though was the true belief that I can do anything. Anything is possible and all that shemoz.
It’s all part of the journey, I guess, and I’m glad I did it. But if I’d known any better way back then and with better guidance, there’s no way I would have put off getting the body I want for that long. Na-uh, I want abs, yo!
Since I started doing weights about seven months ago, after being introduced to them by my partner Adam, I have seen so many changes in my body it’s quite ridiculous.
When I was doing cardio, cardio, cardio all I saw was the scale very, very, very slowly going down. I basically only got slightly smaller – obviously fitter, too…
But with weights, holy crap I’m like a new person!
I actually have muscles, I have strength, I have confidence. I can flex, and there’s actually something there!
I’ve lost fat, my body shape is changing and I just feel like a completely different person.
I have lost weight quicker and more easily than I ever have before. But what’s even better is that I really don’t care too much about the scales or my weight at all anymore.
Obviously I like to check in with the scales fairly often, because I like to take many measures of my progress, but I care more about the fact that I can do now do push-ups on my toes and lift heavier than 15-year-old schoolboys.
(I don’t go into schools and challenge them to a lift-off or anything… they come into the gym… I swear…)
I think you should join me in lifting weights, my friend. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
In my experience doing buttloads of cardio everyday to get slim or tone up (hot tip: “tone” is actually just muscle, and SURPRISE you have to lift weights to build muscle) just does not work by itself.
Signing up to an endurance event with the belief that would help me lose weight was the gosh darn silliest thing I’ve ever fallen for. (Even sillier than the time I believed gullible was taken out of the dictionary.)
For the love of baby animals, if your goal is the same as mine then don’t do it, because you probably (almost definitely) won’t lose weight that way.
Here’s eight reasons why I love lifting weights instead of doing lots of cardio:
❤ You become strong, and that makes you feel pretty damn awesome about yourself. Being able to lift heavy shit is much more empowering than being able to run 5km in 20 minutes – which I’ll totally never be able to do FYI.
❤ The risk of getting injuries is much lower than if you’re running or cycling. No shin splints, broken bones, sore feet or knees, no falling off bikes or potentially getting hit by cars. It’s way better for your joints and there’s nowhere near as much damage being done to your body.
❤ You can sculpt your body. Build a big, round squat booty, strong arms, ripped abs – whatever you please!
❤ Your body continues to burn calories loooooong after you’ve finished a weight session, and cardio only burns them while you’re doing it. Clear winner = weights.
❤ I find that cardio makes me WAY too hungry. Like absolutely ravenous. Then I eat like everything in sight, which is obviously not ideal when trying to lose weight.
❤ It’s much less stressful. I was constantly worrying about my next training session, or the fact that I was too slow, not fit enough, would make a fool of myself etc etc. With weights, I literally can’t wait to get up in the morning and go to the gym. It is my actual favourite part of the day.
❤ Results come quicker. Not just weight loss but you will be up to the next level of lifting well before you can beat your cardio PBs. The picture above was three months ago and I’ve made huge progress since!
❤ It’s actually the perfect complement to sport. I became much faster at running when I started working on my leg strength.
Obviously any kind of fitness that makes you happy and gets you active is the main thing, because the way you feel is more important than anything else. (Write that down.)
But I love weight lifting and I highly recommend it, if you’re not already doing it.
At the moment I do one or two cardio sessions per week (high intensity and for 30 minutes tops), and lift five days a week, so I can confirm a mixture of the two is great! Obviously teamed with healthy food!… (Write that down, too.)
What’s your experiences with cardio and weights? Like one better than the other? Tell me why in the comments below!
Hey, friend! Just so you know, I’m not a health professional and the purpose of my blog is to share my experiences in the hope of inspiring you, not to give professional advice. Please talk to your doctor if that’s what you’re after. Click here to read my disclaimer.