Fitness through cardio or the strength training has the same object to get fit, stay lean and get stronger. The purpose of both cardio and strength training is to burn calories during the exercise and after the exercise or during the recovery phase. Cardio keeps your heart rate high, almost one and a half time to your normal heart rate for more than 20 minutes to get the best results. Whereas the strength training after warming up, keeps your heart rate fluctuating from 25% of normal heart rate to the double of your heart rate. It means in cardio the best results are when the heart rate is around 110 - 130 continuously for 20 minute. Whereas in strength training the heart rate is fluctuate from 105 during the resting phase to 160 or more during the exertion phase.
In cardio the calories are used during the exercise and one has to be careful in checking the calorie intake. After the cardio on the rest days there is hardly any big muscular stimulus to consume energy at rest. Whereas in strength training the muscles may consume less calories during exercise or during exertion but the muscles start recovering itself and consuming more calories even at rest to get stronger enough to face the next training session may be after 2-3 days. Strength training a sort of prolonged energy utilization and strengthening of the muscles whereas cardios is a short acting energy consuming session, with more strains on the joints and less on the muscles.
Cardio and strength training has nothing to do if it is done by men or women. Even the obese men and women can do strength training which may give better results than cardio alone, because obese people have more muscle mass then the thin people and has more power to do a good and heavy workout. If obese people stick to cardio training only, they are likely to over train themselves and over exert their joints and weight bearing bones leading to stress and strains. This may end up with drop out from the workouts and the fitness program.
It will be great to get best results in getting the fat loss and lean mass building if the cardio training is done 2-3 times a week and that's too after the moderately heavy strength training program.
Dr. RANDHIR HASTIR