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Cardio Vs Weights: A Comprehensive Guide for Weight Loss

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Our Summary and Answer:

 

It’s not always one or the other. Both weightlifting and cardio are essential for your health. Weightlifting is beneficial for building lean muscle, leading to a higher metabolism, less body fat, strengthened muscles, tighter stomach muscles, increased energy levels, better body shape, and more stability. Cardio helps you to lose weight which is excellent for your body shape and general health.

 

What is the best way to lose weight? It’s a question that we seek an answer to all the time.

 

There are so many options and ideas out there, but what happens when it comes down to it? Do you want to burn fat or build muscle?

 

Do you need low impacts like walking on a treadmill or high intensity like running intervals on a track?

 

What about lifting weights vs. cardio, which will help you lose more weight in the long run? These questions and more will be answered in this blog post!

 

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What Is Cardio?

Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercise and includes any activity that raises your heart rate for a prolonged period.

 

Some examples include running, swimming, walking, or anything else that you can do to raise your heart rate without resistance training.

 

What Is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting is resistance training using your bodyweight or with weights.

 

Weightlifting also builds muscle, which is beneficial for burning fat in the long run because the muscle will burn more calories than fat even when you are at rest.

 

8 Benefits of Cardio

Now that you know what cardio is, let’s talk about why it’s essential.

 

#1 - Cardio helps you lose weight

Cardio is a form of exercise that helps to burn fat. That’s why so many people turn to cardio as the preferred method for losing weight. We all want to hear “lose 30 pounds in 30 days!” but unfortunately, this is only something you would see on an infomercial (and even then, we’re skeptical)

 

#2 - Helps to build endurance and increase energy levels

Most forms of cardio help you burn calories during the workout and even more after your session is over. This means that you’ll have more energy throughout the day and won’t be as tired or fatigued.

 

#3 - You can do it anywhere

In today’s world, we have become so accustomed to being glued to our technology. Most of us can’t go more than a few hours without checking our phones or doing something else on the computer.

 

One option that you have is going for a run outside. It is often quiet and solitary with just the fresh air all around you.

 

If this isn’t for you, try going on a treadmill or elliptical machine at the gym instead of being stuck inside.

 

#4 - A great way to improve your cardiovascular health

Cardio helps to strengthen your heart, improving its efficiency at pumping blood throughout the body. Your heart rate will be increased after a cardio session just as it would after any other type of workout.

 

#5 - Increase flexibility and balance

By participating in regular cardio, you’ll find that you are more flexible than you were before. You’ll also notice better balance and coordination when doing everyday tasks like walking up the stairs or standing up slowly from sitting down.

 

#6 - low impact and risk for injury

Unless you’re trying to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), cardio is a low-impact activity. This makes it easy on your joints and muscles so that you can try new forms of exercise without worrying about pain or strain when lifting heavyweights.

 

#7 - Helps with stress relief

In today’s busy world, it’s easy to become stressed out.

 

Whether you feel overwhelmed with schoolwork or dread your next workday, the day seems longer when you are stressed.

 

Something that most people turn to is cardio because of how it relieves stress on both your body and mind. Even after a short session, you will feel more relaxed and relieved.

 

#8 - It Helps you sleep better

Many people have insomnia or have a hard time going to sleep at night. This is often due to the mind being active instead of relaxed.

 

Cardio helps to release endorphins, which are often called the “feel-good hormone” because it elevates your mood. Combined with few stimulants like caffeine, you’ll find yourself sleeping much better at night without having to worry about tossing and turning all night long.

 

10 Benefits of Weightlifting

Now that you have heard about cardio benefits let’s touch on why weightlifting is essential.

 

#1 - Helps to improve lean muscle mass, which raises your metabolism

Both men and women are encouraged to lift weights because it helps them build strong muscles. However, did you know that the more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism works?

 

Muscle is active tissue which means that it needs more energy (calories) to keep it nourished and running smoothly. When you lose weight, muscle loss occurs because fat cells need fewer calories to stay alive. As a result of having more muscle, you’ll find yourself burning more calories even when sleeping.

 

#2 - Helps to sculpt your body into the shape that you desire

Whether it’s getting that lean stomach or having well-defined biceps, weightlifting can help you achieve your desired look. With cardio, people often lose weight, but they aren’t toned or muscular.

 

#3 - You can do it at home or the gym

Some people like to go to the gym and what equipment they need is already there. Others feel more comfortable working out in their own home with dumbbells and an adjustable bench. No matter where you decide to work out, you’ll still get your cardio and weightlifting is done in the same session.

 

#4 - Low impact and risk for injury

Weightlifting is a low-impact activity that makes it easy on your joints and muscles so that you can try new forms of exercise without worrying about pain or strain when lifting heavyweights.

 

#5 - Increases coordination, stamina, and flexibility

Doing squats, bicep curls, and overhead presses will help you gain muscle in your different muscle groups. In addition, this is a great way to improve balance and coordination. For example, try going up and down the stairs or standing up from a sitting position without using your hand for support. You’ll soon notice that you have more flexibility, which makes lifting heavy weights easier during a lower body workout session.

 

#6 - Provides a more extensive calorie burn

As a result of building lean muscle mass, you will notice that you can eat more food and maintain your weight. This is because the body needs more calories per pound of muscle.

 

#7 - Increases energy levels

While cardio is great for energy, weightlifting gives you a boost of energy as well. Just imagine feeling like superman after completing a strenuous workout session. Your muscles will feel lively and ready to take on anything that’s thrown its way.

 

#8 - Helps you achieve your strength goals

Whether it’s increasing the number of pushups that you can do or trying to put 100 lbs on your bench press, weightlifting is an excellent way to increase muscle strength which will help you gain more control over your body.

 

#9 - It's a great stress reliever

Have you ever felt stressed out after a long day at work? Lifting weights is a fantastic way to help your muscles relax and release all that built-up tension from the day.

 

#10 - Increase bone strength and density

As we age, many people begin to have problems with brittle bones, leading to a higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Weightlifting is a fantastic way to reverse the effects of aging on your bones by increasing bone density which reduces your risk for injury or fracture.

 

5 Key Downsides of Cardio

Let’s now see why people are favoring weightlifting over cardio.

 

#1 - It takes up a lot of time

If you’re someone who doesn’t have hours to commit to working out every day, cardio is the better option for you. Weightlifting is very time-consuming, especially if you continuously want to get stronger and lift heavier weights each week.

 

#2 - Increased hunger levels

Cardio sessions tend to cause an enormous appetite which can lead to binge eating. For some people, cardio can even trigger their desire for food, making it harder to control their calorie intake.

 

#3 - Limits your ability to gain muscle

If you want to build lean muscle, cardio is not the best choice of workout. Because cardio training uses up glucose, limiting protein production (an essential ingredient for building muscle mass).

 

#4 - It Can be boring

Many weightlifters look forward to their next session so they can improve their muscle strength. But unfortunately, cardio can become monotonous, making it difficult to maintain because it’s not something many people enjoy doing daily.

 

#5 - Joint strain risk

With cardio workouts such as running, the impact of your feet hitting the ground might cause strain or injury to your joints which can be painful and require rest.

 

5 Key Downsides of weightlifting

Now let’s see why some people prefer cardiovascular training overweight lifting.

 

#1 - Too much weight can lead to injury

Many people believe that they will become substantial bodybuilders overnight by lifting heavyweights. Although you see many men and women in the gym doing lightweights, the truth is that you should be using a weight that’s challenging for your muscles and one where you struggle to finish each set.

 

If it doesn’t feel challenging, you’re using the wrong weight. This is a mistake many beginners make in the gym, and it can lead to injury when weights are lifted with poor form.

 

#2 - Not ideal for cardiovascular health

While weightlifting does increase your heart rate, it doesn’t burn as many calories, especially when compared to cardio. Therefore, most people believe that cardio is the better workout option for burning fat. If you’re doing cardio training with a significant intensity level, this can be true.

 

#3 - You need to focus on strength training as well

To maintain that lean muscle mass, you need to strength train on top of cardio. Unfortunately, this means that you’re wasting your time doing just cardio because even with weightlifting, it’s not enough since you need to push your muscles beyond their comfort zone.

 

#4 - Can't lose weight on muscle alone

Many people are under the impression that if they focus on building lean muscle, their metabolism will increase so much that the fat is burned off. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Without cardio training, you’ll never get rid of your excess body fat, which means you’ll remain skinny fat for life.

 

When you combine weight training and cardio, you’re creating a synergistic effect that is much more efficient than doing one or the other alone.

 

#5 - People tend to lose motivation

Some people enjoy cardio so much that they become complacent with their weight-lifting routine. However, if you only focus on cardio, you’ll lack the drive to achieve your goals because it becomes boring after a while. When this happens, activities are replaced by television which can easily lead to obesity.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose weight by lifting weights only?

If you’re someone with a significant amount of body fat, building muscle with just weight training will be challenging. However, building lean muscle mass is one of the most effective ways to burn fat because it requires a lot of energy.

 

Lifting weights 3-5 times a week for 45 – 60 minutes is the best way to burn fat with resistance training since that’s not going overboard or underworking your muscles.

 

What is better for losing belly fat, cardio, or weights?

While cardio does burn calories, the best way to get rid of belly fat is through strength training since this will help you lose weight faster.

 

Cardio is essential for cardiovascular health, but your muscles will remain underdeveloped without resistance training, which means you’ll never achieve a lean physique.

 

Is cardio harder than weightlifting?

If your weightlifting routine includes challenging exercises with the right sets and reps, it will take more effort than just doing cardio. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to lift heavy weights either because plenty of bodyweight resistance workouts work every muscle in your body.

 

How many days a week should I weightlift?

Most people don’t understand what it takes to build muscle mass, and they end up overworking themselves. Lifting weights four times a week is the optimum number of days to focus on each muscle group, allowing your body enough time for recovery.

 

Will lifting weights make me look bulky?

If your strength train without doing any cardio, you’ll end up looking like the incredible hulk. You don’t have to worry about this happening if you keep track of your calories, especially if you’re a woman.

 

If you manage your diet, you should stay lean without gaining too much muscle. Most people think that lifting weights will automatically make them look bulky if they’re women, but this isn’t the case.

 

Final Thoughts

Which type of exercise routine will work best for you? The answer is both! Cardio and weightlifting are two complementary forms of training that can help you reach your fitness goals.

 

If you want to see results, it’s essential to find a healthy balance between the two types of workouts. For example, if one day has been particularly busy with little time for an intense workout, try doing some light cardio or walking on another day instead.

 

This way, neither form of exercise becomes neglected while allowing your body enough recovery time between sessions. And always remember – consistency is vital when it comes to achieving success!

 

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