If you hate lifting weights and prefer cardio over strength training I have all the praise hands emojis for you.
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I get it. I feel the exact same way. How you can top a runner’s high with bench presses? You can’t. But strength training is a necessary evil. Even if you aren’t working out for a goal and don’t care one bit about gaining muscle, you still need to strength train. Here’s why you should suffer with the rest of us:
Your Metabolic Rate is Crucial
When you lose weight, about 20% of it will probably be muscle. The less muscle you have, the lower your metabolic rate (how you burn calories). So as you lose weight, your metabolic rate will decrease and you’ll have to eat less to maintain your new weight, or to keep losing weight. But, if you take your time and lose weight slowly, you may be able to maintain your progress. Strength training more often than doing cardio can help you maintain or build muscle, which can increase your metabolic rate. The more you’re burning, the more you can eat and still reach your goals!
You Can Eat More Food
Muscles need fuel and lots of it. If you’re doing cardio only to lose weight you’ll eventually hit a plateau and either need to add more cardio or eat less calories. Sooner or later it will become unmanageable. There’s only so many hours in a day to workout and you can only cut calories so much. Strength training, as I mentioned above, lets you eat more while still reaching your goals. Even if you don’t care about gaining muscle, you probably care about your long term fitness goals and success, and if you’re just doing cardio, you’ll definitely burn out.
Your Results Will Be Sustainable
If you have to keep increasing cardio and decreasing calories, you’ll cease to exist. That’s how that works long term. But, if you keep increasing your weights, gaining muscle, getting stronger, and eating more, you’ll become a badass. That’s how that works long term. Strength training is more sustainable than cardio alone, and it makes your results sustainable too.
Strength Helps Prevent Injury
Weak bodies get hurt. The more you push yourself to eat less and do more cardio, the more likely you are to get hurt. Granted, doing strength training poorly is a really great way to get injured as well, but that’s another blog post. Strong is the new skinny y’all. Get on board.