Deciding on cardio vs weights, and which workout will help you reach your goals, can be challenging. Some of us want to lose weight, burn calories, increase muscle mass or just get the lean body we always wanted. Staying in shape, breaking plateaus and reaching our goals is a hot topic right now, and for good reason considering what’s been going on in the world recently.
When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) swept the world by storm, it forced many Americans to place the importance of our health at the forefront of nearly every decision we make.
Coronavirus Put a Premium on Health
According to this study conducted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, engaging in regular physical activity can reduce the risk of stress and anxiety, as well as help your overall cardiovascular health. This is extremely relevant, given the nature of at-risk individuals regarding COVID-19 and our ability to stay out in front of anything that comes up next. (1)
Cardio workouts and weight training are two types of physical activities that we can incorporate into our workouts to get the lean body we’re looking for. But, should we do one, the other, or both? So the cardio vs weights is a question that has been around for a very long time!
And, will working out be enough to help you lose weight, get lean and stay fit?
Why You Should Do Cardio Workouts
Cardio workouts help us lose weight and keep us in good physical conditioning. The main reason behind achieving these results is because cardio helps us burn calories. And, when we’re burning calories consistently, we’re increasing our metabolism and improving our heart health by increasing our heart rate.
This is why intense exercises like HIIT have climbed in popularity over the recent years. The more intense your workout, the more everything else mentioned above intensifies.
So, whether you’re hoping on an elliptical machine, using an exercise bike, or going through an online fitness class, you’re getting your heart rate going, burning calories and breaking a great sweat.
Finding Cardio that Fits You
The key is to find which cardio workout is best for you, and then sticking with it. It could be an online fitness platform, or choosing the right home gym equipment. Fitness Training Star is an excellent resource to get started and to see what’s out there in the market to help you get lean. (2)
The benefits of cardio are many:
- Burn calories
- Weight loss
- Increase heart rate
- Higher metabolism
- Improved appetite
Why Strength Training With Weights Is Important
As mentioned above, cardio workouts provide so many benefits, the main one being burning calories which helps lose weight. Strength training, on the other hand, provides just as many benefits, and great results.
First and foremost, training with weights builds lean muscle. Secondly, in turn helps weed out the fat and tones the body for a lean muscle-look that many of us strive for. And lastly, when you start to notice your body feel stronger and look leaner, you’re going to gain confidence (high self-esteem) in yourself, which improves our mental health.
The benefits of weight training:
- Increased strength
- Better bone density
- Improved lean look
- Strong mental state
- Burning unwanted fat
And maybe the most important consideration is that muscle burns more calories than fat. So if you can add ten pounds of muscle to your frame, then you’ll burn more fat even when you’re not at the gym.
And to have a consistent routine of weight training, you don’t need to have a gym membership. You can get a great workout with dumbbells, and other great home workouts.
Cardio and Weights: The Secret Workout Combination For A Lean Body
Think of the benefits you would get as mentioned above when you combine cardio and weight training. There are countless programs out there that mix in the two workout styles, but is it right for you?
If you’re wanting to get lean, shed some weight and get rid of fat, then cardio and weights is the perfect combination to achieve those results.
So the important lesson is that it’s not cardio vs weights, it’s cardio and weights!
The reality is to be in the best shape of your life and reach your fitness goals, you’re going to need a great program that will have both strength training and cardiovascular workouts involved.
Taking Care of Your Body Outside of Workouts
The last thing you want to happen is working your tail off just to see results are slowly trickling in, and they aren’t sticking. Having a lean body takes much more effort than doing cardio and strength training a few times per week. It also takes discipline in the following areas:
- Nutrition / Diet
Getting the right amount of sleep is vitally important for your body to rest and recoup the energy needed for the next day. Your muscles will thank you for consistent sleep, and preferably 8 hours or more per night.
Staying hydrated is essential for keeping your body full of energy. How much water should you drink per day? Here’s the deal, the more active you are, the more water your body is going to need.
Nutrition and Diet
Eating the right foods and watching what you eat is more important than just cutting your daily caloric intake. Fueling your body the right amount of minerals and nutrients helps propel you to your desired physical appearance. After following the right nutrition and diet plan, you’ll immediately notice yourself having more energy, strength and commitment to seeing your workout regime through.
This shouldn’t be overlooked, and safety can be seen on so many levels. First, when using weights and fitness equipment, always take the necessary precautions
Final Thoughts on Cardio vs Weights? The Answer: Both!
The majority of people that begin their fitness journey usually start out with cardio workouts. This is mainly due to the fact that training with weights may seem intimidating, or a lack of knowledge on how to strength train with weights. However, with the help of excellent personal trainers at our fingertips, we can all get schooled up on weight training technique and specific workouts to tone our body.
Without question, weights and cardio combined is the way to go to lose weight, build a lean looking body and feel strong.
Click to return to cardio workouts.
- The COVID-19 pandemic and exercise study – full text view. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Exercise Study – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov. (n.d.). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04400279
Fitness training star ⋆ your source for Home Gym Equipment. (n.d.).