When it comes to working out, most people view resistance training as something very different to cardio. There seems to be this separation between the two, like you can only do one or the other.
When it’s broken down to a physiological level, you can clearly understand why there are some undeniable overlaps between them.
It’s an abbreviation for ‘cardiovascular exercise’, and is essentially a form of aerobic workout which puts more demand on your respiratory system- your heart has to beat faster to get more oxygen circulating around the body through your blood.
When you train through cardio you are adapting yourself to become more efficient at moving blood around the body (whilst burning a few calories).
And that’s basically all it does.
There are of course benefits to this which you will feel in everyday life: walking up the stairs, running around with the kids, sprinting for the bus etc, but none of this is exclusive to just cardio workouts, and in all honesty, none of it is going to get you your dream body.
You aren’t reaping any benefits for your joints or your ligaments or the muscular skeletal system with cardio, so whilst you may be less out of breath because of your training when you start wrestling with the grandkids, you aren’t any less prone to injury. Those benefits can only be developed through weight training.
In a nutshell, weight training does the same in terms of getting your heartrate up as cardio does, but also trains your muscles too.
Using this type of training to build your legs, back, abs and upper body will reap the same benefits as cardio by getting that blood pumping. However, by adding in resistance, be it through external weights, bands, or bodyweight, you will actually begin to get on your way to visible and tangible fitness goals.
Stimulation through resistance will cause stress and tension on the muscles, which will cause microscopic damage to the tissue, which in turn will lead the muscle to repair bigger and stronger to cope with the demands. Gains.
None of which is easy- hence the heart beating just as much as it would in a treadmill session.
If your goal is to be lean and athletic looking, and lower your body fat percentage, the best way is resistance training.
And for those cardio bunnies reading this thinking “My heart only gets pumping properly when I’m on the cross trainer,” then I can tell you that you plainly aren’t working hard enough.
If you are truly challenging yourself in a weight session, and you are genuinely fighting, trust me, your heart rate will increase.
Also, I’m probably biased but it’s considerably more fun, challenging and engaging to lift weights than to row for an hour. Just saying.
With cardio your body adapts exceptionally quickly, and once that has happened you can basically just run for longer or faster to move forward, whereas with resistance training you can progress in so many different ways, each as rewarding as the next.
If you want to get fitter and healthier then cardio is fine and only fine, but if you want that as well as being stronger, more capable, moving easier and getting in better shape whilst doing so, it’s time to start lifting some weights.
Now I’m not claiming you’re going to become a marathon runner by developing your squats, but you will get generally fitter. I promise.
If you’re going to take one argument away from this whole thing it’s that we aren’t talking about two separate camps.
It’s not fair to discuss ‘Cardio VS Weight Training’ when actually, weight training is both.
(Bold claim but I wholeheartedly believe in it.)
So if I’ve managed to convince you the next step is to put it into action.
My online training packages are personalised to you.
I will get to know you and create a bespoke training plan for you to follow exercise by exercise, for as many sessions a week as you need.
Beginner lifter or experienced bodybuilder, regular gym-goer or hero of the home-workouts, I can create a completely personal plan based on your preferences and abilities, with your own goals in mind.
I’m here for help, support and accountability, and I pride myself on being able to help change your mindset on nutrition and exercise, propelling you towards your fitness targets.
If this sound intriguing and you have more questions, you know where to find me.