Why Strength Training Beats Cardio for Overall FitnessMay 17, 2017
There are many reasons why cardio is beneficial for the body, particularly the cardiovascular system. However, when it comes to weight loss or overall fitness, strength training is actually the better choice. In fact, you can get a resistance training workout without even heading to the gym.
One argument against cardio is that it focuses all the attention in the lower body, especially the lower legs. When you’re running, you’re stressing your heart and lower leg muscles. It is a decent overall workout, but it doesn’t really target the upper body much.
Another popular cardio workout is cycling. It’s a fairly low-impact workout and it’s easy on the knees. You can even apply different levels of resistance to boost the intensity factor. Since cycling does not develop the glutes or upper body, many cyclists have a muscular imbalance that can promote posture issues down the road.
Unlike cardio, strength training is superior for building muscle. In particular, you can do various targeted workouts to build muscle in different areas. Furthermore, strength training helps to boost one’s metabolism. In fact, it’s often easier to burn more calories in a shorter time doing strength training as opposed to doing cardio exercise for the same amount of time. Learn more about some supplies you’ll want to have on hand as you embark on your strength training journey.
Doing cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, can definitely become monotonous over time. Spice up your workouts and incorporate some strength training for more variety and improved benefits. By enabling you to develop every muscle in the body, strength training is better for creating symmetry and a promoting a whole-body balance that is sure to make you stronger.
There are so many different varieties of strength training exercises. Here are some of my favorite ones:
- Squats: This classic workout is easy & fun. You can boost the intensity by holding weights and pushing them up as you stand.
- Plank: This seemingly-simple workout is surprisingly difficult. It may look like a piece of cake, but you’ll soon see find out just how hard your core has to work to keep you balanced in this position.
- Lunge: This is another wonderful workout that is great for building strength in the glutes, hips and upper legs.
- Superman: This fun exercise focuses on the back and glutes. It can be made more difficult by holding the position for a longer time.
If you’re not familiar with any of these workouts, be sure to look up videos on YouTube for demonstrations on proper technique and general tips. As with any exercise routine, be sure to consult a physician before starting any new exercise regimen. Also, if your goal is weight loss or improved health, make sure you are also following some general healthy lifestyle habits, such as drinking plenty of water, eating wholesome foods, getting enough rest and reducing everyday stress levels.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. Do you do cardio or strength training or both?
Thank you to Garage Gym Builder for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are mine alone.
I do cardio because that is what’s best for me. My best friend is a personal trainer, so she helped me find a workout routine that is best for my body.
I need to start mixing things up. I try to jog daily, but it does get boring. I need to start lifting, because my arms are starting to look flabby.
My doctor said the same thing. She says it’s important to have cardio but strength training is where you want to be if you want to tone up and lose more weight. We do a lot of these things but there are a few that I need to add to my exercise routine.
This is really interesting, I had never really thought about how one could be better than the other in anyway.
I love weight lifting. Strength training is so important for increasing muscle mass and raising your metabolism. It really helps lose fat faster.
I am certainly a cardio FIEND however….. I have been lifting weights every day for roughy 20 minutes and um, the muscle definition is SEXY AF!!! I am addicted to how awesome my arms look! 😉
I pretty much just walk for exercise. I should really add some more into my routine, especially strength training.
I’m been also wondering which is better, cardio or strength training. You brought up a lot of good points.
I have heard this! I usually like walking, but I know that strength training is good for your bones too as you age….not that I’m aging or anything. I’m going backwards now lol.
I normally do cardio but I have heard great things about doing strength training instead. I need to start adding that in.
I absolutely agree! I love strength training, especially kettle bells. So much more calories burned this way, plus I feel so much stronger than just doing cardio!
I got back and forth between both strength training and cardio! I get bored doing the same thing so I switch it up a lot!
I actively participated in sports w hen I was young, but now, the only exercise I am allowed to do is walking. No strenuous exercises allowed for me. Thanks anyway for the information you’ve provided in this post.
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I will have to see which one would be better for me. I had (failed) back surgery and am limited in what I can do. This is great information to take to my next appointment.
This was an interesting read. I thought it is okay as long as you exercise or do any physical activity. I am perfectly content with my current weight, and my doctor says I am within the normal weight range. I will share this post with my sons. They are so much into sports and keeping fit. I know they’ll pick up a thing or two from this article. Thanks for sharing.
As a marathon runner, strength training is very important. Without sorting out the muscles, then cardio isn’t gonna get you very far. Great post.
I’ve been focusing on cardio myself lately but have noticed a need to pick up my strength training as well. A very good point!
I actually do pilates which is a combination of strength training (springs and weights from the reformer and straps) and cardio (when we use the jump board).