An age-old debate has been going around in the world of fitness:
Weights or cardio - which is better?
There are some solid arguments on both sides, and it can be difficult for a beginner to make up their mind and pick one activity over the other.
To that end, we’ve put together this short post to take a closer look at both modalities and come up with a definitive answer.
Weight Training and Cardio - What Sets Them Apart?
Cardiovascular exercise is more linear - you exert a consistent level of effort over some time. This helps burn a lot of calories, improve your cardiovascular health, and make you more endurant.
Weight training is the opposite - you exert a high level of effort for a short time, rest for a bit, and do it again. This is usually repeated 15 to 20 times in a regular workout.
When compared to cardio, weight training burns fewer calories and doesn’t make us as endurant, but it makes us stronger, builds muscle, and brings about many of the same health benefits.
Why The Question of “Which Is Better” Is The Wrong One
As you saw, both modalities are quite different from one another, and their effects on the body differ, too. So, the question of ‘which is better’ is the wrong one to ask. Instead, it should be more along the lines of, “Depending on my goals and preferences, which modality would serve me better?”
If you want to build strength, muscle, and explosiveness, then weight training will be the better option as it directly improves these measures.
If you prefer cardio-based exercise (for example, running), you don’t aspire to get bigger or stronger, but you instead want to improve your endurance, then cardio will be the better option for you.
For most people who are looking to get fit and maybe lose some fat, a combination of the two modalities will deliver the best results.