“Should I do weight training or cardio? Which one is better for me?” We’ve all been here before. Well, it depends so much on what your goals are and what you’re comfortable with. People constantly ask me, "What is the best form of weight loss? Doing lots of cardio? or focusing on weight training?” Well, the answer is not so simple. My first response would have been "Well, neither."
In the kitchen, with proper nutrition and diet, weight loss occurs. Yet when it comes to losing weight, both watching what you eat andhaving physical exercise in your life is easier than simply watching your food consumption alone. The greatest determining factor is the exercise strength you are doing it with! Nevertheless, note that strength is inversely linked to duration. That is, if one goes up, then the other goes down.
It would be hard for most people to do a high-intensity session everyday but some people can do this very safely. If you are inexperienced and unaccustomed, you could risk over-training and causing your body harm rather than doing it any good. For most individuals, a mixture of both is fine. My recommendation for exercise is not a "one size fits all" strategy. Before recommendations are given, I would consider several individual factors for each person. But strength exercise AND cardio also have their advantages over only weight loss for more health-related areas. Look at the table below.
We can clearly see that the two forms of exercises provide great benefits to weight loss as well as your overall physical health. However, the benefits of each are slightly different and is what ultimately sets them apart.
In one corner, we have cardio– walking, running, cycling and swimming, among many. Basically, any aerobic exercise or activity, that requires you to move your muscles in your arms, legs and hips. Aerobic activities increase your heart rate and require you to breathe faster and more deeply. This maximizes the amount of oxygen in your blood and ultimately helps you use oxygen more efficiently.
Aerobic activity or cardio exercises provide plenty of health benefits and for all ages.
1. Cardio strengthens your heart
As its short for “cardiovascular” or heart health, cardio strengthens the heart as it trains the heart to pump blood and oxygen more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
2. Cardio is more budget-friendly
There are quite a range of cardio exercises or activities that can be done with almost no equipment at all and may even just require a fair bit of space to move around. So, it is a perfect option for when you’re stuck in isolation or prefer not to go outside or are pressed for time.
3. Cardio burns more calories per session and during your workout.
Cardio is the queen of burning fat and gives you the fastest option for weight loss. Your body burns more calories per minuteduring your workout than it would when weight training as your body uses up energy to power through it. So, it’s definitely great if that’s the goal you’re going for. A US research found that those who stuck to mainly aerobic exercise over strength training lost up to four times more fat.
However, if you are aiming for fat loss while maintaining muscle to achieve a more toned and sculpted physique, then weight training is where it is at.
1. Weight training builds muscle
Weight training helps you build more muscle to achieve a sculpted and toned body while also losing fat. It's the best of both worlds! Muscles are built as weight training puts more resistance on your muscles so the tissue is broken down quickly. This triggers the body’s response to heal the tissue and grow the muscle in the process. This process is called, hypertrophy.
To put it simply, the more stress (load) your muscles are placed under, the harder they will work and thus grow more quickly.
2. With weight training, your body burns calories even at rest
While cardio reigns and burns more caloriesduring your workout session, weight training causes your body to burn more calories all day.Yes, even at rest, and this is a result to an increased resting metabolism. Boosted metabolism + more calories burned + muscle gain? Definitely sounds like a good idea. Research also shows that one may even burn calories for hours following a workout or even days depending on the intensity of the weight training session.
3. Weight training increases bone density
Weight training promotes good bone health as it strengthens the bones and helps prevent injury and improves posture. It also helps prevent any fractures and osteoporosis.
So which team are you on? Cardio or Weight Training?