Last week, we talked about the comparison between the benefits of resistance training or aerobic exercise. The consensus is that a combination of both — along with the correct diet and lifestyle choices — are the holistic way to reach your peak of health.

But for a long time, many fitness officials claimed that it was a bad idea to practice both resistance and aerobic exercises on the same day. That greatly changed how people viewed coming to the gym. For example, they’d have to rotate days and come back more days per week in order to do a complete regimen. And for many, that kind of restriction and limitation could be a setback to pursuing optimal workouts — and some people who would greatly benefit from membership became hesitate to join a gym at all, because it simply seemed like too much work.

The reason that it backed the concept that these two regimens couldn’t intersect was called “muscle interference,” an explanation that stated aerobic exercise would cause muscle fatigue and people would not be able to get the most out of weight training. Conversely, muscle interference meant that weight training first might tire the muscles and keep people from performing as well during cardio. This systemic belief wasn’t a matter of ignorance; it was a widely held belief that top trainers commonly advocated for their clients.

That’s why many people in the fitness community, including those of us at Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, were overjoyed when scientists once and for all denounced and disproved this theory. Studies came in from McMaster University in Ontario, Karolinska Institute and several Swedish organizations that finally challenged muscle interference by comparing workouts with young and middle-aged males. The reporters of each independent study stated that they did not see any indications of muscle interference for the men who did both resistance training and aerobics in one day, as opposed to one each.

The bottom line is that gym-going can now conclusively become as convenient as you’d like for it to be – and you don’t have to worry about doing too much of different tactics all in one day. So if you ever had doubt, never fear — and happy workouts!

For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about resistance training and the use of resistance weights. Now that you know about this form of exercise, you’re probably wondering how it compares to other types — namely, aerobic or cardiovascular training.

Some studies have claimed that resistance training can help you burn more fat than aerobic exercise. It accelerates weight loss, and the buildup of muscles helps you continue to burn calories even after you’ve worked out. In contrast, aerobics are mostly only good for burning calories while you’re working out, but they don’t help your body develop new ways to keep burning up consumed calories. When you’re resting, the effects stop.

One reason that cardio training continues to be the more popular form of exercise is because it’s easy to learn. You probably already know how to do the most basic moves in a group-based exercise class, not to mention that running, biking or using the elliptical machine only require inherent, repetitive movements. Meanwhile, it takes some training to learn how to appropriately use weights and resistance training to get your maximum results. You also have to learn diverse machines or techniques to target your entire body, rather than just a single motion or floor routine to generally stay moving and cover your bases. But the truth is that it can be learned, especially under the tutelage of a professional, and your body will quickly adapt after practicing your new resistance routines.

However, studies haven’t been wholly conclusive while calling one type of exercise “better” than the other type. It’s largely agreed that resistance training is better for building muscle and making the body leaner, while cardio fitness is said to help you burn more calories and lose weight. But most researchers and physical fitness professionals agree that the best overall affect on your health and weight comes through a combination of both.

To find the right regimen that combines both resistance and aerobic fitness, spend a few days with one of our Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club trainers, who will develop a system based on your personal strengths and needs. Access to this kind of personalized training is just one of the many perks of membership.

Check back next week to learn about the myth of muscle interference, which told athletes for many years that it wasn’t OK to do both aerobic and resistance training on the same day.

Many people automatically equate being slender with being in good shape and healthy. But there’s more to good health than what you look like on the outside, especially if you were born slim rather than being someone who worked toward that goal.

A recently discovered “thin gene,” which predisposes individuals to be genetically svelter than others, has just been linked to higher instances of heart disease and diabetes – symptoms typically associated with being overweight. According to the study, published in Nature Genetics in June, it all has to do with how fat is stored rather than how it’s perceived. Although carriers of this gene don’t store fat in such a way that it shows from the outside, the same fats that are ingested can actually instead be kept in the body around the organs, which is much more dangerous to a person’s health.

To protect your body and stay heart smart, you should work out on a regular basis in addition to maintaining a balanced diet – regardless of what you look like. It also helps to reduce drinking and eliminate smoking from your lifestyle habits, which can also impede your cardiology health. Aerobic exercise – constant motion, like a boot camp class or walking on a treadmill, rather than lifting weights – is particularly good for lowering blood pressure and strengthening your heart.

Staying in shape doesn’t have to be all work and no play! The latest craze sweeping the nation (including your favorite South Carolina gym) is Zumba. And it’s as fun to perform as it sounds.

Zumba® is an aerobic exercise set that blends Latin dance moves with invigorating music—from salsa to reggae to hip-hop. There’s even some belly-dancing thrown in, so you can feel sexy while toning your core. It’s a high-energy workout that effectively targets your total body. And it’s not just about staying active and burning calories — it’s a self-described dance-fitness party.

The “party” comes into play when you mix dancing with socializing and having fun at the gym. Participants quickly become addicted to the fun form of fitness, and those who come back frequently to classes quickly become a close-knit community. Once you shake your stuff with fellow Greenville gym members, they’re simply going to feel more like friends. Sometimes you come to the gym to focus and get down to serious business. But when you come to Zumba classes, it’s all about enjoying yourself and letting loose.

At Pivotal Fitness’ Greenville health club, we’re offering trainer-led Zumba classes throughout the month of March. Check the latest schedule to learn when classes take place and which of your favorite instructors is leading them. Trust us: once, you’ve tried it once, you won’t want to miss a single session.