Many people, mostly women, hope for arduous endurance training (hours of running in the park, daily sessions on the cardio machine in the studio etc.), mostly paired with calorie restriction (cramped saving of Calories), successes and thus a toned body. You will find out today why the opposite usually occurs.
When women think of their ‘dream body’, they usually think of defined curves, tight connective tissue, stripes on the stomach – and not too many muscles . Just like the girls on the sports magazines. The ones that claim to have effective home exercises inside the magazine. But the truth is: these women also go to the gym and do proper strength training there. There is no other way to get a body like that.
What happens when you do cardio training?
When it comes to this question, I always like to bring the comparison between a marathon runner and a sprinter. Most of them don’t want to look like one of those emaciated long-distance runners, but rather in the direction of a sprinter who has more muscle mass and tight curves.
Admittedly, this is an extreme example, but the differences between the two athletes can be seen on the basis of the extremes show well: One relies on endurance training. Your body adapts to the long-lasting, constant movement in such a way that it makes the muscles that contribute to movement as powerful and at the same time as efficient as possible.
This also means less body weight, because every kilo more means more effort if you have to transport it over several kilometers. In addition, the body has to divide up its few energy reserves well in order to be able to cover a long distance as quickly as possible.
The sprinter, on the other hand, uses weight training for a large part of her training and strengthens her muscles. These well-developed energy consumers cost a lot more energy than endurance runners, but this is rather irrelevant because the distances they have to cover are significantly shorter. What counts for them is the strength that they can convert using trained muscles and use to their maximum over a short period of time.
Basically the following can be stated:
Endurance training: very slim to lean, thin, narrow muscles. Strength training: strong, “thick” muscles (compared to endurance athletes – you can read here what muscle mass is naturally possible), athletic figure with a curvier silhouette.
What happens if you eat too little?
The body needs energy and macro / micronutrients to be well supplied. Anyone who tries to starve themselves convulsively will lose weight sooner or later because they eat less than they use up. The problem: the person concerned pays for this with their valuable muscles and health. The result: instead of being tight, the muscles and connective tissue become slack. You get thinner and thinner and fit into smaller sizes, but you don’t get a well-trained bottom or a six-pack that way.
Get me not wrong – no one is forced to do strength training here. But I don’t think that the girls who struggle with cardio several times a week often hope for different results. So maybe it’s better to grab the dumbbell.
What do you need for a tight, fit body?
1. Musculature. Only these shape the body aesthetically and create real curves. The curves that are caused by love handles are usually avoided, just like being a line in the landscape that appears to be made of bones, skin and hair. Not only is this unattractive to most, it’s also unhealthy (read more about the benefits of strength training here).
By the way: women don’t need to be afraid of having too much ‘musculature – if you don’t use steroids, you will never look like the bodybuilder you might have in mind as a chilling example. Even women who want “mountains of muscles” and who base their entire lifestyle on them cannot achieve this naturally. Here I can refer again to the blog article on building muscle.
2. Sufficient calories. Pay attention to the macronutrient distribution and, above all, to an adequate protein intake.
Of course you can also combine strength training with cardio training and if you want something for your heart Circulatory system, so should you. It is best to either grapple with your food or seek professional assistance. Among other things, it is my aim as a trainer to use my blogs to educate people and convey free knowledge. My goal is for you to read, understand, and act on the articles. And if it doesn’t work, feel free to contact me!