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Interesting Article on Strength vs. Cardio (Read 2374 times)


Think Whirled Peas

    I was reading the Detroit News Online and noticed this article. Can't say I agree, but thought it would spark a little bit of discussion: Strength vs. cardio Some exercise experts kick aerobic workouts to the curb Patti Ghezzi / Cox News Service Almost 40 years after Dr. Kenneth Cooper coined the term "aerobics," a concept that would later spawn a generation of spandex-clad cardio junkies, some trainers are steering their clients away from traditional cardio-intensive workouts and toward mostly strength moves. The reasons: Many exercises that are good for the heart are hard on the joints. And cardio training without muscle conditioning leads to loss of muscle and bone density as well as fat, experts say. Even Cooper now believes strength training is important. Some people -- those fighting aging and those with injuries -- benefit from more time on muscle conditioning than cardiovascular exercise, he said in an interview from his Texas clinic. He cites Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, a one-time cardio king who shifted to more intense weight training. Cooper does not believe cardio is a bad habit altogether. "If you go strictly muscular-skeletal conditioning, it's a major mistake," he said. "You'll wear out." Jim Karas, author of "The Cardio-Free Diet," believes cardio workouts overstress the body and work against those trying to lose weight. Karas, who helped Diane Sawyer get svelte, experienced a revelation in the '80s when he was an aerobics instructor. He saw shocking amounts of excess flesh, even on those who came to class religiously. Then he looked in the sparsely populated weight room. "Everyone was so lean!" he said in an interview from his Chicago studio. Karas changed his approach and found he and his clients could keep weight off more easily with strength training rather than aerobics. For those who love cardio workouts, Karas recommends no more than 30 minutes at a time, because of potential joint damage and his belief that cardio stimulates the appetite. He favors "compound exercises" that combine upper and lower body moves and get the heart pumping. "My whole goal is I just want people to stop pounding their bodies," he said. "When people hear 'exercise,' I want them to think of strength training." Meanwhile, Cooper, 76, suggests an ongoing shift to more strength work as you age. His advice is based on his experience. As he aged, he had endurance but he lacked strength. He started lifting weights. Some younger athletes need to shift away from cardio because of injuries, he said. "If your body starts breaking down, listen to it."

    Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

      You ever read any of his books (Ken Cooper) ?

      Vim

      Ed4


      Barefoot and happy

        Eh, "cardio" can mean a lot of different things. Lots of people do burn themselves out and hurt their joints, but that's because they're doing it wrong. Smile
        Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.
        Scout7


        CPT Curmudgeon

          I'm not even sure how to address the article. Firstly, it points to a subset of people (those exercising strictly for weight loss). Secondly, it glosses over a fair amount of other benefits for running, and focuses on nothing but the old, tired arguments against running.


          Idiot

            The place where I do my personal training (I won't sell anything I promise, just give a viewpoint opposing this article) preaches a five-pronged approach to fitness, keying on the following components: - Strength - Cardio - Flexibility - Nutrition - Rest Different folks will have differently weighted interests, but there is something to be said for balance.

            I decided that if I'm going to call myself a runner, I should probably run.

              The average American is so pathetically unfit and overweight that it seems to me discouraging ANY kind of exercise in favor of another totally misses the mark. Especially when some of the key conclusions are drawn from observing the physiques of a group of weight lifters compared to a group of aerobics class participants.

              Runners run.

                Not being anything near an expert I can say from experience that I have never been as healthy as I am now using both running and strength training to build an over all strong body. I have tried running exclusively and weight trainning almost exclusively over the years and it is not until now that I have tried them together. It is the combination of the two that seems to have made the difference.

                My sport's your sport's punishment

                 

                2012 goals

                              

                100 Km month         150 K month      200K month

                5K run    10K run     20K run              30K run

                sub 30 min 5K         sub 55min 10K

                PWL


                Has been

                  Different folks will have differently weighted interests, but there is something to be said for balance.
                  Exactly. It all goes back to one thing--moderation. There is very little in this world that is inherently bad or good for you, as long as you use moderation. "Bad Things" like McDonald's fries are not necessarily bad--as long as you eat them in small quantities and not very often. And "Good Things" like running are not necessarily good--try going out and running 300 miles/wk and see how good it is for you. Balance and moderation are my mottoes. Sorry, I'm in a frustrated and kind of preachy mood. Blush Perhaps I should retire to bed and stop bothering this otherwise cheery running community.

                  "I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong."--Bertrand Russell

                  jcasetnl


                    The average American is so pathetically unfit and overweight that it seems to me discouraging ANY kind of exercise in favor of another totally misses the mark. Especially when some of the key conclusions are drawn from observing the physiques of a group of weight lifters compared to a group of aerobics class participants.
                    Very well said! Another angle to this debate is I think the idea is frequently put forth to sell magazines and excercise equipment. The cover reads: "Are you training COMPLETELY wrong?" I have a coworker who is in good shape, but he probably spent 50x what he had to in order to get there. He honestly can't concieve of running in anything but technical shirts, $50 running shorts, $150 shoes, a heart rate monitor/GPS, etc. And then of course, he has like 30 different pills he eats. (He literally eats a fistfull of pills at lunch every day). It's really a motivation killerfor a lot of people - "I worked so hard but apparently I was doing it all wrong. What's the point..." Not to mention, exercise is supposed to be enjoyable on some level. Anybody read calvin and hobbes? There was a great series where calvin wants to become a competitive gum chewer and subscribes to Chewing magazine. He follows his chewing workouts religiously and quotes from articles which debate whether it's better to chew a small piece of gum really fast or a big wad of gum for fewer chews. He equates progress as a gum chewer to how much fun he must be having. The whole idea is that adults obsess too much about the sports they participate in and forget to just go have fun.
                      The whole idea is that adults obsess too much about the sports they participate in and forget to just go have fun.
                      I'd quote your whole post because it's rad, but it's right above this one. Nicely said. Though I guess some would argue that the gear and the obsession is what makes it fun. Just ask Trent about his Garmin. Wink


                      Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                        I think that weight lifting can lead to weight loss much more easily than running, but that they work well together. The problem with running is that you see huge gains when you first start, but just plodding along quickly leads to a plateau once you get closer to an "ideal" weight. Mixing up your training is a lot easier with iron than with running shoes, and moving from jig jogs to a fat burning weight loss program to an interval program and then to something that combines them all is probably the fastest way to see your gains continue w/o plateauing. It's also a good way to stay in shape in off seasons when you are a competitive runner so that it only takes a few weeks to get back into competitive form.

                        Run to Win
                        24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                          As someone who has seen huge improvements from strength training, I would agree. If given the choice between doing strength training or cardio, I would pick strength training. It has more long-term benefits than cardio, simply because it builds muscle, which will allow the body to continue burning more calories after the fact. Cardio (unless it is HIIT) doesn't give this benefit. Alwyn Cosgrove (well known in the bodybuilding/weight lifting industry) lays out how best to achieve "fat loss" if on a pressed schedule, in this article: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1526539&cr= His number one recommendation if you can only do ONE form of exercise is Resistance Training. Being a woman, it is also important to me that weight lifting can help slow bone loss. Smile Following a workout regime that was primarily Weights 3x, HIIT 2x, and Steady State Running 1x (this is per week) between January and May of this year, I raised my RMR by 200 (from 1640 to 1840) and even lost scale weight in the process (about 7). Honestly, the running had no impact on that change, it was due to the weights and the HIIT. With all that said, I think it is also important to do what you ENJOY! If you hate weight lifting, then by golly, don't do it, or find some form of it that you DO like! One advantage of running is that you can have measurable and competitive progress (by racing or just seeing pace time improving). It is hard to get that same level of joy from increasing your bench press or squat. Big grin
                          ---- Cynthia
                          downshiftbarbie


                            The reasons: Many exercises that are good for the heart are hard on the joints. And cardio training without muscle conditioning leads to loss of muscle and bone density as well as fat, experts say.
                            Just to set the record straight, any load-bearing exercise will increase bone density. Fat people do not have as many problems with osteoporosis as skinny folks-- even standing up is load-bearing activity for them. This means pretty much everything except for swimming counts. Even little old ladies who walk increase their bone density. Running is great for bone density, just ask your knees if any load-bearing is involved during a run. Second, loss of muscle? huh? Where'd my quads come from, then? Just get up off the couch and do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. That's the point. Sorry for the rant, but I get riled up when people get told not to exercise for just about any reason.
                            Some runners drag a tire. I drag a Great Pyrenees.
                            va


                              Hmmm, interesting stuff... Hi Blaine, I think the only real reason weight loss would plateau in people running to lose weight, is if they increased their food intake such that they were no longer were running a calorie deficit. People trying to lose weight by running often use "all that running" as a justification to increased their food intake (I know I did). Hi Cynthia, A 200 calories RMR increase sounds great. I am curious how you determined that your RMR increased by that amount. Also, how exactly is burning calories through an increased RMR better than calories burned through increased phsical activy (e.g., through running)? It takes me less than 2 miles of running to burn 200 calories. I am averaging a deficit of 750 calories per day (1.5 pounds of fat loss per week), mostly through running. How much weight training would I have to do to increase my RMR by 750 calories?
                                Hi Cynthia, A 200 calories RMR increase sounds great. I am curious how you determined that your RMR increased by that amount. Also, how exactly is burning calories through an increased RMR better than calories burned through increased phsical activy (e.g., through running)? It takes me less than 2 miles of running to burn 200 calories. I am averaging a deficit of 750 calories per day (1.5 pounds of fat loss per week), mostly through running. How much weight training would I have to do to increase my RMR by 750 calories?
                                Stephen - I had my RMR tested at a gym. There are several devices that can be used to test RMR. MedGem and Body Gem are two devices that are quite similar. They connect to a computer (via a serial or USB port I believe) and you breathe into a tube for about 5-10 minutes. The software on the computer determines your RMR based on the breathing patterns. I was tested through the Body Gem method. A third way is through a device called BodPod. You can Google it for more info, that is actually the most ideal because it will also determine your body fat % (I wasn't able to find a facility locally with a BodPod). Increasing your RMR allows your body to burn more calories simply by being. So that means while you are sleeping, watching TV, driving, your body is more actively burning more calories. Any calories you expend through increased activity (running, walking, elliptical, etc) is just additional cardiovascular benefit on top of it. Obviously everyone is different in how many calories they burn. I can't really tell you how much weight training it would require for you to increase your RMR by that much. Until you have a benchmark, you also don't really know how you compare to the "average". If you are interested in knowing your RMR you can probably Google one of the terms I mentioned along with your city and possibly find a gym or university that performs RMR testing. I found mine by just looking up the websites of the large gym chains in my city and finally found one that offered it. I have been following the Body for Life weight lifting and nutrition plan for about the past year and that is primarily how I laid out my weight lifting plans. My goals have recently changed as I am gearing up for a half marathon next March so my weight lifting time will most likely be cut back but that is ok, goals sometimes have to change. Smile Good luck!
                                ---- Cynthia
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