Weights vs Cardio – Mike Samuels

Crunch Time:

Weights vs Cardio for weight loss. Weights vs Cardio for fat loss. Weights vs Cardio to get “shredded”… who will win?


David vs. Goliath

Ali vs. Foreman

Rangers vs. Celtic


In the hierarchy of famous conflicts, cardio versus weight training is right up there.

In fact, it probably ranks somewhere between the battle of Gettysburg and Israel vs. Palestine.


In the one corner, you have the cardio crowd – convinced that hour upon hour of steady state work is the way to go, and that they simply need to burn off all the food they eat to get lean, trim, toned and shredded.


Then you have the weights junkies.


To these guys, cardio is what you do when you’re taking your dumbbells to and from the rack.


The thought of a cross trainer or treadmill strikes fear deep into their hearts.


But which mode of training is superior?


And actually, does it even need to be so extreme? Could we possibly have some middle ground?


Let’s find out.


The Benefits of Cardio



Cardio burns calories.


That’s by far and away its main benefit.


But it isn’t just about burning calories.


Cardio can definitely help with your work capacity, and actually aid with your weight training. With a decent cardio base, you won’t feel quite so gassed after a set of high-rep squats, or even be left huffing and puffing after an arms superset.


If you want to be “functionally fit” then some form of cardio is pretty vital.


That doesn’t mean you have to slog away on a rower or bike, or go running though – cardio can include circuit-type training, metabolic conditioning, playing sports, and even barbell complexes.


When dieting, cardio helps bump up your calorie deficit without you having to eat less food, while on a bulk, it enables you to eat more without gaining excess fat.


That sounds mighty fine to me!


A Weighty Advantage


So what about our good old friend weight training?


If you’re reading this, you’re probably already pretty well aware of the wonders of weights in terms of strength, injury prevention and body composition.


Even if you’re not, it probably goes without saying that lifting weights is imperative if you want to gain muscle and get stronger.


So what about for fat loss?


Weights burn calories too.


Shock horror, eh, cardio bunnies?


In terms of calories burned per minute, weights may not quite rival a cardio session (although this depends highly on the type and intensity of both forms of training) but lifting weights does have the added bonus of an increased EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption) effect. This is essentially an increase in calorie burn for 24 to 48 hours after a workout.


This effect may often be overstated, but it shouldn’t be dismissed either.


Secondly, lifting weights makes you avoid the “skinny fat syndrome.”


We all know the guy or girl who’s lost a hell of a lot of weight by slashing their calories and tethering themselves to a treadmill for 3 hours a day, but how do they look?


Lighter and leaner without a doubt …… but they also look gaunt, saggy and skinny-fat.


They may have lost weight, but they’ve lost a lot of muscle too. That’s not a good look for anyone.


Okay, Talk to me About Disadvantages?


Are there any drawbacks to either form of training when applied sensibly?


Well, cardio can potentially have a negative impact on your weight training.


A lot of cardio (particularly repetitive movements) can cause soreness and tightness to occur around your hips and knees, so it may not be wise to perform a load of high-intensity sprints or bike intervals the day before a heavy squat session.


As for disadvantages of weights – that’s a tougher one, but when you really think about it there are a couple that are worth taking note of.


For one – injuries.


When dieting, your form on the big lifts may well change due to a loss of tissue around your joints, and in an attempt to maintain strength at a lighter bodyweight and lower calorie intake, it becomes tempting to sacrifice form for numbers, putting you at a higher risk of injuries.


At some point too, particularly towards the end of a diet, you may find that from a satiety and sanity point of view, you simply don’t want to reduce calories any more, and added weight training to make up your deficit can lead to progress plateaus and burn outs, which is when a little extra cardio (usually of the steady state variety) can be a fat loss saviour.


Bottom Line: Don’t Be An Extremist


Both weight training and cardio have their place in ANY plan, whatever your goals.


For both fat loss and muscle gain though, weights should always be programmed first, as resistance training has by far the biggest impact on your body composition.


Likewise, when creating a calorie deficit, you need to look at your diet before your cardio, and add cardio when it’s needed.


There really aren’t any hard and fast set rules for what is “best” but personally, I like this little guide –


Bulking (with a focus on body composition) – Weights: Cardio Ratio = Between 3:1 and 6:1


Bulking (with a focus more on performance, either for sport or for endurance/ fitness) – Weights: Cardio Ratio = Between 1:1 and 4:1


Fat Loss (with a focus on body composition) – Weights: Cardio Ratio = Between 2:1 and 4:1


Fat Loss (with a focus more on performance, either for sport or for endurance/ fitness) – Weights: Cardio Ratio = Between 1:3 and 2:1


Above all, keep both in perspective, don’t go to extremes, and be prepared to adjust your training depending on your progress, your recovery, and, perhaps more importantly, your enjoyment.


Because what good is training if you don’t get a kick out of it?


For more information from Mike Samuels vist – http://www.healthylivingheavylifting.com

3 Nutrition Tips For More All Day Energy – Ben Coomber

Energy is an interesting beast. We often talk about singular foods to give us energy; you’ve seen those adverts online with the browning banana saying ‘5 Foods you should never eat to lose weight’.

Except diet, or nutrition, is a collective. Your body has the ability to extract energy from any food. We would be pretty inefficient if we couldn’t, and probably would have starved to death many moons ago.

Protein, carbohydrates, fats, they all give, or at least allow, the body to covert energy out of them. And different people will work differently on different foods.

Thus, tip #1 for all day energy: Food Ratios

Work out the food ratio that gives you energy. There will be a ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat that will energize you, and that should be the daily meal that you try gravitate towards to feel good 90% of the time. Then around your training and recovery window this will likely change to be higher in carbohydrates than normal.


Identify your protein portion (which likely wont change that much), let’s say around 30% of that meals calories, then get some veggies on the plate, then start to experiment in different meals whether a more fat based meal makes you feel good, a more carb based meal makes you feel good (for a sustained period of time, i.e. until the next meal), or somewhere in the middle. This will be the sweet spot for you.

To get a greater explanation on this I’ve filmed a YouTube video on exactly what I mean:

Tip #2 for all day energy: Sleep.

You know it, I know it, but we are often not disciplined enough, the plan to be in bed by 10pm creeps up to 10.45pm after you have messed about. The less sleep you get in any given night, or over the course of a few nights, will make you feel rubbish, it’s as simple as that.

We could argue that tip #1 is useless unless you are sleeping properly, for a good amount of time. A lack of sleep screws up everything, hunger hormones, feeling of well-being, libido, the lot. So, get in bed for 10pm, asleep for 10.30pm and get your 7-8 hours.

And if you are someone getting very poor quality sleep, this is whole different ball game and links nicely into Tip #3 as a partial cause…

Tip #3 for all day energy: Coffee… or….

Think I’m going recommend drinking it for energy?

Think again.

You all do that for energy already. I bet there is only about 5% of people reading this article that DON’T, as soon as they wake up in the morning, think “I NEED coffee”.

Apparently everyone NEEDS it, bullsh*t.

While coffee is great, and we know the many benefits of it, most of you reading this article will be relying on it too much for your energy, mental clarity, and concentration.

If this is you you are not looking after your health and body enough. We shouldn’t NEED coffee, your body should work without it, and only then, sometimes, enhance it with things like caffeine.

But to habitually need it just to feel normal, that just screams that your hormonal system is not working properly and your stress levels are too high.

In the world of fitness it’s cool to drink coffee, it’s been glorified as this healthy drink so we can drink it ab lib. I coach hundreds of PT’s and fitness folk every year, and only around 5% of those people have their health, stress, training, and lives well managed enough that they are not relying on coffee just to feel normal.

This isn’t normal.

Coffee spikes the feeling of being awake in the body and mind, and often crashes your energy, leaving you wanting another coffee, or feeling sleepy. Then there is the need for something even stronger before you exercise as that normal coffee hit just isn’t enough anymore. You have surpassed one coffee, now it’s a double, and now its some mad pre-workout, again, this isn’t normal, and it’s not healthy.

Wean yourself off coffee, don’t rely on it. I’ve coached too many broken people at 40 years old to know the effect it has on your stress and hormonal system. Strong stimulants, which are a drug, will take their toll long term on your body.

I’m not saying give up coffee for life, I’m saying get your body to a point where it doesn’t NEED it just to get by. That’s not healthy, that’s a body that isn’t working properly.

Summary: Getting More All Day Energy:

You wanted some sexy tips, well, in the world of nutrition none of it is sexy. It’s the basics that have the most profound difference in life.

The right food, a good amount of sleep, and minimal stimulants or chemicals that shift physiological balance dramatically is the cure. After all, what goes high and wired, must come down and feel low.

I haven’t released my talk topics for SFN yet, but to make sure you are the 1st to know what I’ll be presenting this August, make sure you are on my email list (which is darn educational anyway, and you never miss all the cool stuff I do):


Otherwise, if you want to learn more, here are 136 hours of FREE learning that you can download on my podcast, the UK’s #1 ranked health and fitness show ‘Ben Coomber Radio’….

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ben-coomber-radio/id567519571

Android: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ben-coomber-radio?refid=stpr

I’ve given you a good few things to think about in this article, but please don’t think it’s cool info and ignore it once you click away from this page (which 95% of people do when they read an educational article and are in denial about their health).

Implement it, use it, and come find me at SFN and tell me how much it’s changed things for you, cause I promise you it will…