The “or” dilemma. Should I do weights or cardio? Should I lift heavy or light? Should I do long steady runs or short sprints? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked questions like these. I get it. People don’t want to waste their time doing something that doesn’t work and they want the fastest route to success possible. But that’s where the difficulty lies.
What does success mean for you? What is best for you isn’t necessarily best for the person next to you. We all have different goals, different abilities, different schedules and different bodies. We all eat differently, we put on muscle differently, we recover differently. There are so many variables!
So what’s my best advice? Firstly, don’t look to Instagram for answers! While it’s a great platform to guide you, it’s not a customised plan to suit the journey you are on. There are also a shed load of “fitfluencers” who quite frankly are as qualified to talk about fitness as I am to talk about lip fillers. Buyers beware!
The best way to answer the “or dilemma” is to say it totally depends on you, what you want and what you need to achieve it. You might be looking to burn fat, you might be wanting to build muscle. You might be preparing for a 10k or you might be training for a marathon. You might have a history of back problems or you may have weak knees that bother you.
This is where you need to look at your health as an investment, not an expense. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit of money. Invest in one or two sessions with a good PT to assess your goals and capabilities and to run over your form with regards to the fundamentals.
If you can’t afford a PT or a gym membership, consider purchasing an online training programme tailored to your ability and the equipment available to you. I recommend you look for a programme that will guide you through good form, to prevent injuries and ensure you’re getting the most out of the programme. You should also look for one that is focussed on progressive overload (gradually increasing load/volume/intensity/frequency etc) rather than just working you mindlessly until you’re face down in a pool of your own sweat. That way you can track your improvements and stay motivated but, most crucially, you’re safely increasing the demands on the body over a period of time so that it has a reason to improve and grow.
And on that note, have you checked out my series of online training programmes?!
In all seriousness, do some research and see if you’re able to invest in a little extra help. It’s not the only way and I’m a huge advocate of simple, at home, free training also. Ultimately, if you’re moving at all it’s a great thing. But when you get to the point where you’re really thinking about how to better things and how to take things further, perhaps it’s time to look at the next step?