Resistance Training vs. Cardio: Which Is the Best Exercise?

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Wonder whether you should lift weights or do more cardio? Trying to lose fat and maintain muscle? If so, mix cardio with strength training. Both workout methods have unique perks and can be used together for optimal results. The key is to find a balance and experiment with different lifting techniques and types of cardio.

What’s the Difference between Cardio and Weight Training?

Many dieters and gym buffs spend hours on the treadmill each day, but have little or no results. That’s because too much cardio is just as bad as no exercise at all. This workout method burns fat and supports cardiovascular health, but it also leads to muscle breakdown, increased cortisol levels, and slower metabolism. Strength training, on the other hand, boosts metabolic rate, builds muscle, and burns fat.

Cardiovascular exercises have their benefits. The problem is that most people skip the weights and overindulge in cardio. Your body adapts quickly to exercise. The more cardio you do, the fewer calories you’ll burn. At the same time, your cortisol levels will increase, leading to weight gain, muscle fatigue, and increased hunger. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up aerobic training. Just make sure you don’t exceed 30 to 40 minutes of cardio a day.

What about Strength Training?

Strength training is one of the most effective ways to build lean muscle and burn fat. Cardio burns calories only while you are training. When you lift weights, your body keeps burning fat long after your workout ends. Research shows that weight training can increase your metabolism for up to 36 hours post workout. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.

Lifting weights can turn your body into a fat burning machine and make you stronger overall. This workout method creates an anabolic environment that promotes muscle growth and elevates metabolism. When combined with aerobic training, it leads to greater fat loss and cardiovascular endurance.

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