Weekly column by fitness expert Cashel Hayden for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
SHOULD I be prioritising cardio over resistance training to lose weight? A question I have been asked by several clients over the last few months. The blunt answer here being… No. When looking to lose weight we need to look at the main driver. Energy balance. This essentially refers to our energy in versus our energy out. In my experience we should prioritise the following variables below when looking to lose weight most efficiently.
We can do all the training, the cardio and be hitting all of our step targets – but if we are not in a calorie deficit this will be quite unproductive if our goal is to lose weight. We must in fact be burning more calories than we are consuming for weight loss to occur. Finding out what our maintenance calories are and aiming to consume 200-300 calories under this number on a daily basis is a good place to start here!
Our Resistance Training
In order to improve body composition we must be sufficiently challenging our muscles enough to expect any form of adaptation/ muscle growth. With more muscle and less fat we will begin to look much leaner (body composition wise), which is usually on most client’s lists of priorities. The more muscle we acquire – the more calories our body will require to maintain our current weight. This will be pivotal in most efficiently and healthily losing weight.
Cardio helps to increase the deficit by increasing our energy output further. In terms of weight loss – this helps to speed up the process while also having benefits such as increased cardiovascular health, improving insulin sensitivity and in general helping to promote a better quality of life.
The take home message
While cardio is one piece of the puzzle for losing weight – it is not the key. We must remember that. Each part of our training plan will usually be there for a reason and is not there to be replaced. Having priorities as listed above will often be the most efficient way to approach weight loss. Making sure we pay attention to our sleep and recovery will also pay dividends here! Cardio is only one piece of the puzzle!
Keeping an open mind here to think about the many things we are doing on a daily basis to take us closer to our goals is always something worth making ourselves more aware of, if we find this is something we are struggling with.
“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open” – James Dewar
Lastly, I would also like to clarify that I am not a registered dietician. All advice disclosed here is simply advisory based on my qualifications as a fitness professional and personal experience and knowledge gained working with individuals and helping them reach their goals. The advice given is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health.
I hope someone out there found some of this information useful here, just some food for thought. For any questions in relation to this topic or training, nutrition, etc. or for coaching inquiries simply message me on my business page on Instagram @coachedbycashel_ or by email: [email protected]