Pilates or Strength Training??
Updated: Mar 24
Ladies and gentlemen, I recognize that this is a controversial subject, so I will jump right in and explain the differences between Pilates and strength training. I won't assume that you have a clear understanding of what each one means, so let's go into a bit of detail in describing both.
Pilates vs. Strength Training: What is the difference?
Strength training involves using resistance, such as weights or bodyweight, to build muscle and bone strength, while Pilates focuses on recruiting smaller muscle groups in the core. Both have benefits and are effective in their own ways, but they serve different roles in a fitness routine.
Pilates is a great workout for improving core stability and can be helpful for people who have had recent changes to their body mechanics such as those due to pregnancy, are getting back into exercise, or need guidance on how to tense their core. It is also useful after an injury. However, Pilates does not build muscle or increase muscle mass or bone density, which is a common misconception. People who have been doing Pilates for a long time without adding strength training may be at risk of age-related changes in bone density and osteoporosis.
Strength training focuses on working the larger motor units. It typically involves lifting heavier weights to increase resistance and efficiency, while Pilates involves endurance-based, repetitive movements with a focus on the core. The two can complement each other, but the approach and focus is different.
In summary, Pilates focuses on endurance and uses a lot of reps and holds to increase difficulty, while strength training focuses on efficiency by increasing the load or changing the angle of a movement, leading to more work for a muscle in less time, using reps and sets.
Pilates vs. Strength Training: Finding the Right Balance for Your Fitness Journey
Both Pilates and strength training, when done correctly under the guidance of an experienced trainer, can be very effective. A recommended approach is to start with Pilates and gradually increase strength training, eventually doing it simultaneously at least once a week. Pilates can help build inner motor units but is less effective at reducing body fat than strength training, which increases muscle mass and resting metabolism. Strength training also decreases insulin resistance, leading to more efficient use of carbohydrates.
Strength training is a safe and low-cost option that can be done at home or in a gym environment. A well-designed program by an experienced trainer can help bring balance to the body by targeting areas where you lack strength. You can find some insights on choosing the right personal trainer in my other post. Additionally, access to heavier weights is not necessary but can help progress your training as you get stronger. A gym membership is also not required to see results.
Beyond Bulky Muscles: The Benefits and Barriers of Strength Training
Whenever people think of strength training, they often associate it with bulky muscles. But, what they often overlook is the fact that building that level of muscle requires a lot of effort and is difficult for many people, especially over 40. There are many benefits to resistance training, which include improved confidence, reduced stress and injury, reduced cognitive decline, and a youthful appearance. While, common barriers to strength training include gym intimidation and overwhelming choices for starting a workout routine. However, there are at-home programs available and it is possible to get good results from that. With guidance, a person can learn how to make exercises harder and find the best routine for their lifestyle.
To conclude, many individuals shy away from strength training due to various reasons such as fear of injury, incorrect perception of strength training results, or the assumption of getting a bodybuilder-like physique. But again, the benefits of strength training include increased self-assurance, lower stress levels, and a youthful appearance.
This website offers accessible and stress-free solutions by providing free workouts and programs to begin strength training. The proper techniques taught here also ensure safety and eliminate the requirement for harmful substances.
If you've encountered some of the challenges associated with strength training and want to learn more, visit us or reach out to us for assistance. We offer various programs that can empower you in your workout journey and you'll soon start experiencing the benefits, questioning why you didn't start sooner.