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Differences between cardio and weight training

Cardio vs weight training for weightloss is among the longest standing arguements in fitness. Cardio and weight training are both great forms of exercise for weightloss. Cardio or cardiovascular exercises are exercises that get your heart rate up and keeps it up for a long time, such as running, swimming, biking, etc. They also tend to burn up a high amount of energy.

People doing cardio

On the other hand, weight training are exercises performed with either free, body weights or weight machines. They can also work to get the heart rate up, but not as much or for as long as cardio. They however help in muscle development.

Free weights

Effects and benefits of both

So in other words, cardio works the heart and weight training works on building muscle. In relation to weightloss, both forms of exercise are good for weightloss, the differences and advantage of one over the other would be glaringly obvious when considering the long term effects or benefits of both.

Cardio, while burning a significant amount of calories, tends to deplete energy reserve and leaves the performer hungry enough to consume enough calories to replace the ones burnt, thereby defeating the purpose because for weightloss to occur, the calories consumed must be significantly less than calories burned.

Weight training on the other hand, burns a lower amount of calories. However, it facilitates the building of muscle which not only gives the toned look, but research has proven that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. So a weight trainer gains more long term weightloss benefit than someone who focuses on cardio, as cardio alone does not support muscle building.

Conclusion

This does not however mean that one should completely neglect cardio in favor of weight training. Cardio has been proven to improve cardiovascular health which reduces the chances of heart attack and other heart related problems. For this reason, and it’s high calorie burning benefit, any good fitness program would contain a good combination of cardio and weight training exercises as both work together. So it shouldn’t be a case of cardio vs weight training, we should rather be discussing how to perfectly combine cardio and weight training for effective weightloss and all round fitness.

You can check out my other article here where I listed and explained the 10 mistakes beginners make on their weightloss journey, and leave a comment on which of the mistakes you’ve found yourself making.

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