The twin engines of fitness: Cardio and Strength Training

The Handle Bar: Your all-in-one-solution

By: Falon Sweeney

It seems as though Boston is becoming more and more fitness-friendly by the minute. Ranked in 2010 by Forbes as the nation’s second fittest city, it’s clear that the bean is evolving on its own fitness journey. Every week I find myself reading articles upon articles about the latest fitness trend to hit the city. First it was power yoga, then barre, now the town is crazed over kickboxing, bootcamp classes and zumba! It’s great news, especially for those of us with the time on our hands to explore each new trend, but for those of us short on time who have to schedule our workouts days in advance, it can be a bit overwhelming. With all the exercise specific studio options available, in addition to the gym membership that many of us have, it can be hard to pick and choose what  to do when, leading us to compromise the efficiency and quality of our workouts, and to make the fateful decision—cardio or weights? Those concerned about burning off the previous night’s cupcake typically opt for cardio and ditch the strength all together. However, adding a few sets and reps to whatever cardio routine you choose could make worlds of difference, extending calorie burn long after your workout is over.

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If you’re up to date with the latest fitness dialogue, there’s no doubt you’ve heard that the cardio vs. strength training debate is no longer—it’s now all about both cardio and strength training. Many fitness coaches recommend strength training 3-4 days a week and cardio 4-6. The actual breakdown varies from person to person, but the bottom line is to make sure that you are complementing your cardio with ample strength training that works each muscle group.

For those of us still left wondering what the most efficient use of our time is to scorch calories, gain muscle, and burn fat, the method I’ve found most successful is to vary your workouts and keep them short but sweet for certain. You don’t need to log hours on hours at the gym trying each piece of cardio equipment. Start your workout with a plan so that you maximize your time and get the best results possible. Change up your workout and challenge yourself to keep your body guessing and avoid plateaus. Remember, you can’t spell challenge without change.

Fitness is important, but often times we over think it and let it end up feeling more like a chore than a stress reliever. At The Handle Bar, we know you’ve got  places to be, and lots to do – but  you showed up to class for a reason. That’s why we’ve crafted a total body workout for you in sixty minutes or less. We promise you’ll sweat, challenge your body, and feel the results after each and every class.

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