People often ask me about my preference of either endurance or resistance training for toning and sculpting our body, and my answer is always the same: Both!
Both types of training have their benefits; resistance training works on improving muscle strength and endurance, whereas endurance training works on cardiovascular strength and is the most effective way of burning calories fast. However when you combine both resistance and endurance training into your week, you will notice that the benefits of each individual style of training are enhanced. So basically they are a match made in heaven.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of both resistance and endurance training:
Resistance Training: Resistance training works on increasing muscles strength, tone and mass, by placing the muscles under stress using resistance against muscular contractions. There are essentially 3 types of resistance training:
- Isotonic resistance - These types of exercises require the weight of resistance to remain constant throughout the movement, and can include both concentric and eccentric contractions (shortening and lengthening within the muscle length). Exercises that involve isotonic resistance include bicep curls, pull-ups and squats.
- Isometric resistance - These are different to isotonic resistance practices because there is no movement in the joint or length of muscle. They work when the muscles are pushing against an unmovable object (e.g. wall or floor). Examples include plank, side bridge, or wall sits.
- Isokinetic resistance - This type of resistance occurs when the speed at which you are moving against the resistance remains constant. If you push harder, the resistance adjusts to ensure that you continue moving at the same pace. This type of resistance training can be achieved through the help of specialised equipment such as some lat pull-down machines.
Endurance Training: Endurance training comes in two forms, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance. Muscular endurance works at improving your muscles ability to sustain an activity over an extended period of time. By training in cardiovascular endurance you are working on improving your cardiovascular system’s ability to continue functioning efficiently when your body is being challenged. Improving your ability to power on for longer before you become out of breath and exhausted.
Both forms of training have benefits for gaining strength, improving endurance and burning calories. Though endurance training burns calories fast during the workout, resistance training creates stronger muscles which work to burn calories every time you use them!
So for a healthy body, both inside and out, incorporate both endurance and resistance training into your weekly workout regime!