My experiments with different forms of workout: Part 2

I also gave yoga and the classical cardio training a shot, to see what results they can give me. I found both good and bad things about both forms.

Yoga

I got into this purely because another friend of mine did it, and she has a fantastic figure. I needed to work on my flexibility, and apparently yoga was also great in burning fat. I began to do this every alternate day, with the other days spread between bodyweight training or lifting. I then went one full month with just yoga. The results were interesting.

  • I definitely improved my flexibility and my mood. A lot of yoga movements involve deep breathing. So there is an added benefit of training your mind actively as well.
  • I did not see a lot of fat being burnt, those abs were still stubbornly covered up.
  • I did not see any measurable improvement in my strength.
  • I did, however, see great gains in my balance.

My personal opinion is that yoga is great for flexibility and balance. It is also very relaxing. But it’s not the best form of exercise for building functional strength. It’s best to keep yoga on your light days.

Cardio training

This was what I got into right at the beginning of my fitness journey. I would just run and run and run. And I would also cycle a lot. There are a lot of people who find this as one of the best ways to stay fit. I would agree, if your definition of fitness meant endurance and stamina.

  • This is vital if you are looking to get into marathons and endurance sports like squash.
  • It is probably the simplest form of workout, that doesn’t require any professional help or guidance.
  • Personally, I got really really bored with this. It was probably because I would run/cycle the same route every single day. So I suggest you change your scenery once in awhile.
  • Also, if you are running, please get some good shoes. And try finding grass or sand to run on, instead of concrete/roads. You are putting your ankles and knees at huge risk otherwise. I found that out the hard way.

Recently, I came across this thing called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Ever since, I have completely switched all my cardio sessions with this. HIIT has some advantages over normal cardio that includes accelerated fat loss, shorter training period, higher intensity (less boredom) and 1 HIIT session can help you build as much endurance as you would build in a 3 km run. That’s something I prefer.

Finally, I’d just like to say that it all depends on what you are training for. Read more on each form of exercise (I’d be happy to share some links with you if you wish), and mix and match to your needs and liking.

It’s best to do 2 or 3 forms per week. That breaks the monotony for your mind and body, and it’ll work your muscles in new ways that will get you results faster.

 

All images taken from Google Images.

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