It’s a common question in the fitness world, particularly when you’re dealing with people who are trying to “get fit.” What’s more important – weights or cardio? The answer depends entirely on your personal fitness goals. If you’re trying to lose weight and “tone up,” then weight lifting is a more efficient way of making that happen. But for improving your overall health, a combination of both weights and cardio is important. Here’s why.
Why Everyone Should Weight Train
There are many, many benefits to a fitness program that incorporates weight training. In an apples-to-apples comparison with cardio, you’ll likely burn more calories on the treadmill (or stair climber, or spin bike, etc.) than you would pumping iron. But a deeper dive into weights-vs-cardio is enlightening. Researchers at Penn State conducted a study that tracked dieters’ weight loss and found that of the 21 pounds lost per person over the course of the study, six pounds came from muscle loss in the cardio-only group. In the weightlifting group, all 21 pounds shed came from fat loss.
That’s because carrying more muscle has benefits after the weight training session ends. For every three pounds of muscle you gain, you’ll burn an extra 120 calories every day, just getting through your day. It adds up!
A Fine Balance
Cardio has its place in building a healthy, strong body. But feel free to skip the hour-long, steady-state cardio. There are faster, more effective ways to jack up your heart rate to enjoy benefits such as:
- Improved heart health
- Boosted metabolism
- Improved hormone balance thanks to endorphin release
- Improved recovery rate
Truthfully, weight lifting can offer many of these benefits too – and more. If time is an issue, you’re likely better off with an effective strength training routine that will elevate your heart rate strategically for cardio-related benefits. The professionals her at Framework Personal Training in Reno can help you get started. There are a number of advantages to working with a certified trainer, and we’re here to answer your questions and guide you along the way. Schedule a free consultation today.