A friend of mine recently wanted to buy a piece of property. As expected, he checked out several options before he finally settled on one that was guaranteed to deliver the highest return on investment (ROI). Investing in property is serious business – there are so many factors to consider to ensure that you are making the right decision. Nobody just decides to buy a house or a piece of land because it is easy to buy. Instead, they think through various factors such as: location, convenience, neighbourhood, proximity to various amenities, surroundings and so on. Are you wondering what the connection is between real estate and fitness? Stay with me. Pursuing fitness is a lot like purchasing real estate. Or at-least, that is the kind of approach you should ideally be taking.
There are several hundreds types of exercises these days. People struggle to choose from Zumba, Crossfit, Dance Aerobics, Power Yoga, Weight Training, KickBoxing, Running and several more options. Just like when someone is setting out to buy real estate, choosing a form of exercise, can be mind-boggling. However, so many folks sign up for different exercise sessions simply because they find it cool or because all their friends are doing it. But, have you stopped to consider questions such as:
1. Are you utilising your time in the best possible way?
2. Are the hours you are putting in at the gym rewarding you with the best results in the least amount of time?
3. Are your exercises delivering the results you desire?
If you want to see your best transformation, then it is really important to make smart choices when choosing your fitness regimen. Not all exercises are created equal, nor can all of them provide you the same kind of results in the same time frame. Infact, not all of them even any kind of lasting effect. To help you choose the right workout plan, let us quickly evaluate your options. There are mainly two types of exercise: one to train the muscles and the other type that focuses on the cardiovascular system, heart and lungs. So, what exercises provide what outcome?
Typically cardiovascular workout is provided by exercises such as: aerobics, zumba, power yoga, running and walking where. On the other hand, muscular training involves exercises such as weight lifting, cross-fit and functional training.
The key difference between these two types of workouts is that most cardiovascular exercises burn calories only while you are still exercising. Once the workout is done, you cease to burn calories at a substantial rate.
In a stark contrast, with muscular training, not only do you burn calories while doing it, but also once you are done, you still burn at an elevated rate. Sounds awesome, right?
With weight training, you have the distinct advantage of an afterburn which makes your workout much more effective than pure cardiovascular exercises. So, your calorie burn actually transcends beyond the actual time you spend on the exercise.
Another very interesting thing happens when you lift weights – not only are you burning calories, but you are also damaging muscle fibre, which will need repair and recovery later. This recovery is the main reason for the afterburn of calories. The body has to burn more calories to repair itself after the workout and once the repair is done, you will have more muscle mass than before! What does that mean for you? Check it out. For every kilogram of muscle that you acquire, your body has to burn 100 kcal extra per day, just to maintain this newly acquired muscle.For example if you have gained 4 kilograms of muscle, your body will burn 400 kcal more each day, while you are resting! Basically, your metabolism, the factor responsible for burning calories each day, works faster than ever and helps you burn way more than you would, with just cardiovascular exercise. Clearly, weight training is a winner here!
But we are still not done.
There is yet another very time efficient fact about weight training: as you progress and become better at weightlifting, you do not need to invest more time. Instead, you can simply add more weight to make the workout more effective in the same time frame. On the other hand, with cardio, when you start to get comfortable with a 30 minute run, the only way to get better results is to invest more and more time. For example when doing a 30 minute run becomes easy, you have to start doing it for 45 mins. Once comfortable with that, you will have to increase the time to an hour and so on. It never ends and to top it off, cardio also starts burning muscle when done for longer durations. Essentially, you lose muscle, which leads to decreased metabolism rate and consequently, a lower calorie burn rate at rest.
Now that you know why weight training is amazing for your body, let me also quickly run through the styles of weight training that are the best for your body.
There are many ways in which weights are lifted:
2. Functional training
3. Regular weight lifting
Among these three forms, weightlifting in conventional gyms is the most customizable one. Crossfit and functional training are typically done in a group setting making it impossible to assess individual movement patterns. For example, someone with a long thigh bone will not be able to squat in a conventional style as his bone length and biomechanics will change the movement completely.
With regular weight training, one can also target individual muscles more accurately to focus on aesthetics and attain a more balanced physique. The group settings in crossfit and functional training can also increase risk to injuries. According to a statistic, there is about a 60% injury rate! This is caused mainly due to the lack of customizability in these exercises as mentioned above.
If you have an hour to spare each day for your fitness, then don’t waste that time on training styles that provide average results or just entertainment. Your body deserves better than that. Try and ensure that you are opting the training style that will give you the best return on investment for your time and more importantly, for your body.
If you are not exactly sure about how to get started, start by investing in engaging a trainer that can craft a plan customised to your body type and teach you how to lift weights in the proper form, so you can derive the best results from your workout. Once you get the hang of it, you can even strike out and practice it on your own!