Strength Training vs. yoga or aerobics
Today we will discuss the difference between strength training, yoga, and aerobics, what is the difference, what to expect from each one and why you need to do strength training even if you are very active in yoga and aerobic activities.
Without getting too scientific, what you need to know is that there are two types of muscles fibers in the body.
Slow twitch muscle fibers activate concentric contractions, these are the muscles we use in yoga and in aerobic, treadmills, dancing and marathon runners etc…. This develops endurance, it is called static strength. It does not have the necessary properties to build muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight, then a good thing to know is that studies have shown that those who do a lot of yoga have a slower metabolism, so yoga would not be a good activity of choice for the purpose of losing weight.
Fast twitch muscle use eccentric contractions, it is an anaerobic activity; it develops explosive strength and is muscle building. Strength training and sprinters employ fast twitch muscles. Note that most sprinters need to do strength training to balance out muscle mass by developing their upper body, as sprinting mainly builds leg muscles, which would leave them with an unbalanced physique, and poor performance.
Using light weight and high repetitions falls into the slow twitch category and is not a muscle building activity and neither is lifting 10 lbs dumbbells at home or putting 2 lb bands on your wrists while on your walk or doing dishes. These types of activities are still falling in the aerobic category.
Aerobic activities and Yoga, are scientifically proven to be missing the key anti-aging component to a balanced exercise program, which is muscle building.
Here is an overview of what happens to the body as a result of losing muscle mass, which begins as early as age 30, depending on your lifestyle. The women on the top row of the picture are incorporating strength training to their weekly activities, while the women at the bottom row are not.
MUSCLE LOSS SYNDROME
If you are not building muscle mass, you are losing muscle mass. Muscle loss syndrome is no joke; it leads to serious health problems.
A. If you have a tendency towards weight gain, you will continue to gain weight and suffer the health consequences associated with it, such as
- Heart disease
- Back and neck pain
B. If you are small framed or petite, you will use muscle tissue for energy, which will deplete your body
- Weak immune system
- Heart disease
- You’ll also be prone to suffer from back and neck pain but for you especially, you will be in very serious danger of developing
In any case, you are aging prematurely
Don’t wait until you get sick to take action. I saw an advertising panel from AARP the other day, it said strength is not optional. Strength is not optional and you develop and keep it with strength training; that is why it is called strength training, or bodybuilding!
STRENGTH IS NOT OPTIONAL
Of course we understand, you have no time, remember:
Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to make time for illnesses.” Earl of Derby
This is why you need a structured strength training system, the key word here is system, that will address your basic needs (aerobic and anaerobic = endurance and muscle building) to stay healthy, saving time money and energy long term but also to give you the education needed to sustain the workouts on your own, for the rest of your life, because there are no quick fixes here, this about adopting healthy habits. After all you wouldn’t stop brushing your teeth just because you had a cleaning last week, right? It is the same thing with strength training, if you don’t do it, your body will suffer decay and you will have to pay the price sooner or later.
By the way, health is cumulative, you start losing muscle mass as early as 30 years old, depending on your lifestyle and your fitness activities, so the sooner you start on a healthy and balanced strength training system, the easier it will be for you later on in life.
As a result, you’ll stand taller, empowered and enjoy the pain free life you desire and deserve.