Weight Training vs Cardio



When you decide to live a fit and healthier life the first thing that you usually do is take an inventory of what goes into your body. You make changes to what you eat so that you lower the calories you take in, which means you give up a lot of items that do nothing for your body and add items that have more benefits.

Going on this new lifestyle is great and you will truly see results. You become better overall—you shed pounds, have better skin, and even better disposition. But you will also notice that it doesn’t seem to be enough. You may have lost the weight, but your body still doesn’t seem all that ‘great’. That’s because you still need to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. Your body is changing and you need to develop it properly.

You have many choices when it comes to the type of exercise you can do, but it boils down to either weight training or cardio. Which one should you do? There is a misconception going around that if you do more cardio you will burn more calories and lose fats; when you want to build muscle you weight train to get bigger. Believing in this will stop you from looking the way you have envisioned. Here’s why:

According to studies, after weight training the body’s metabolism is boosted for up to 36 hours. Even if you question what’s so special about that because the body only burns a few calories doing nothing, remember that you’re burning more than usual and then you multiply that with 36 hours. This happens post-lifting workout.

When you weight train you build up a larger degree of lean muscle mass. This will become your calorie-burning machine, which means the more muscles you have, you will obtain better calorie burning results.

Furthermore, with weights you get to reshape your body. You lose body fat and enhance your natural curves. Women shy away from weight lifting, believing that it would result in muscles like what they see in men. Women should stop believing this idea because the truth is women don’t have enough testosterone in their body to build this type of musculature. Also, in order for this to happen women would have to consume a substantial amount of food in order to get big—women on a diet don’t do that. Women need to remember that with weight lifting they raise their bodies’ metabolic rate, which in turn burns greater fat and give them more definition as the fat disappears.

During weight training, the body is put in an anabolic state, which means it encourages muscle mass gain—that is if you’re consuming a high calorie diet; if not, the effect is fat loss and reshaping.

When you do cardio training, on the other hand, you may get around an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate session, which also depends on the intensity and duration. That’s just a small amount of after burn. For you to get a high amount of post-workout calorie burn you would need to be doing a very, very long session of cardio, which you wouldn’t probably do.

Sure, cardio will help you to generally lose weight; however, you will have a combination of fat and muscle. You will notice your body will have lost the weight but still look ‘soft’ or not shaped right. And this is because you’ve lost the fat, but your body isn’t toned. Cardio training also releases high levels of cortisol, which is the main hormone that encourages lean muscle mass loss, yet fat accumulation around the abdominal area. A long cardio session will probably help you burn 500-800 calories, which is fairly good, but remember in order to lose a pound you need to burn at least 3,500 calories and make sure your food intake doesn’t add back the pound. So, you need to put in more work if you choose cardio, and also don’t expect your body to be as toned as you imagine it would be.

But one important advantage of doing cardio, however, is its cardiovascular health benefits. And everyone knows it’s very important to everyone. You need to get the heart pumping!

The war between cardio and weight training has been on going. But if you think about it, there shouldn’t be any war between the two. Both are important. You need cardio for your heart, and it does help you lose weight and fats. But you won’t get that ‘body’ you want. Therefore, you also need weight training to truly shape your body, and actually even encourage your body to burn calories more. The decision on which to do should be both. Doing both is a win-win situation—you get the best results when incorporating both types of exercises into your lifestyle.