What's better: heavy or light weights? Long jogs or sprints? Home workouts or a personal trainer? We put them head to head.
Heavy weights vs Light weights
Heavy weights aren't just for the boys. They build strength, increase lean muscle, and some studies show that women who lift a challenging weight for 8-10 repetitions will burn almost twice as many kilojoules as those pumping out 15-plus reps with a lighter weight. You also create a handy 'after burn' effect.
Light weights are great for adding tone and definition. Do them right and you'll also get a killer cardio workout. But if you're only ever doing the same high-rep workouts with the same old weights and moves, a plateau is likely.
THE VERDICT: Because you can do more functional stuff with lighter weights, such as aerobic classes, then the vote goes for these ones. Increase the difficulty by adding more reps, or moving more slowly through each movement.
Long jogs vs sprints
Long jogs are excellent for improving heart health. But as a weight loss and toning tool, they will only be effective during the first month or so, unless you're covering a serious number of kms. We're talking the marathon variety here! Too much can also encourage weight storage on the thighs for females. Not good.
Sprints are perfect for advanced fitness levels and for those wanting to blast kJs fast. Studies show that women can get up to nine times better fat-loss results by doing sprint interval training. Now that's getting your money's worth! Plus, sprinting will leave you more refreshed, as it won't drain your energy supplies like jogging does.
THE VERDICT: For beginners, longer cardio builds a good base and gets your body used to moving, but once your fitness picks up, sprints are the clear winner. Need ideas? Try going as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then recovering for a full minute. Repeat 10-15 times.
Home workout vs personal trainer
Home workouts are a growing trend and we love them! They're cheap (or free) and good fun, too. Plus, if you're time poor, you don't even have to leave the house.
Personal trainers are awesome assets. They'll assess your fitness and diet and create a program just for you. The cons? The dollars involved! At anywhere from $70 to $120+ per session, a PT takes some serious commitment in the financial stakes.
THE VERDICT: For accountability more than anything, a personal trainer is a great idea. But if you're motivated enough, home workouts can be a really good option, too. See bodyrock.tv or bondibuf.com for ideas to get you started.