Anonymous asked : So I run 5 days a week (between 1 and 3 miles each day and add in some biking on the days I take it easy), I think I'm at a good weight right now, but I'm afraid to decrease my amount of cardio and add more strength training (I'd like to be more toned especially in my upper body). I think my biggest issue is after I work hard with cardio I'm tired for about an hour whereas when I do any type of strength routine it only takes a few minutes to recover and it feels like I didn't do enough. advice?
I know how you feel! Cardio works your body differently than strength training though — the point of cardio is to increase your heart rate and keep it increased, whereas the point of strength training is to put enough stress on your muscles so that they strengthen and grow.
So even though you’re not getting out of breath when doing a bench press, you’re still working your body! It’s just in a different way. However, if you really don’t feel like your strength routine is challenging you, you can always step it up (safely). If you can do more than 20 reps of one exercise at once, you should think about increasing your weights — ideally, you want to have sets of between 8-12 reps, give or take. You want to add enough weight to challenge your muscles, but not so much that you hurt yourself.
So don’t be afraid to decrease your cardio and increase your strength training! All things being equal, you probably will gain weight (notice I said weight, and not fat) with a moderate to intense strength routine, as muscle is more dense than fat (so it could be taking up the same amount of space, but weigh more). But that’s just another reason to not rely on the scale 100% for your progress!