All You Need to Know about Cardio versus Weight Training

Person doing cardio following weight training

Whether you are trying to get fit, lose a few pounds in weight, or just tone up to feel better in your own skin, going to a gym can be the quickest and most effective way to achieve your goals.

Think about it. A fully equipped gym is not only a safe environment to exercise in, you will also have the services of a fully qualified instructor to benefit from.

Which is Better, Cardio or Weights?

The question everyone asks themselves before they start attending a gym is, what should I be doing to make the most of my time there? Is it better to do regular cardio workouts, or should I be focussing on weight training to get the results I want?

Cardio will improve your cardiovascular fitness, which is great for your heart, lungs and circulatory system, but it can put a lot of strain on your joints.

Weight training is great for muscle tone and conditioning. It is also ideal for strengthening and supporting your joints, so you can see why combining it with cardio work can help to improve your overall results in both.

Despite what you might think, the best way to start any new exercise routine is to ease yourself into it gently. If you over train or push yourself too much too soon, then you may come to dislike the thought of exercise.

You have to make exercise fun! If you can make it enjoyable, you will be keen to keep it up and to push yourself a little more to get better results. A good gym instructor can tailor a workout programme with a good balance of cardio and weight training for all over body conditioning. This will help to keep your workouts interesting, and to keep your mind active as well as your body challenged.

Perception Can Be a Powerful Thing

Many women will attend a gym three or four times per week, but will spend all their time pounding away on cardio machines. Quite often this is because they think that lifting weights will give them bulky muscles, but quite the opposite is actually true!

Weight training can be a really useful way to sculpt and shape muscles that can be problem areas for women, such as upper arms and shoulders. You can also target muscles that support your posture, and can tailor a workout to help strengthen and stabilise your joints.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using treadmills, spin bikes, and step-machines, but you have to look at what you want to achieve from using them. For example, cardio machines can be a great resource if you are training for a sponsored marathon, especially when training outdoors may not be ideal because of bad weather, or there are safety issues about jogging in the dark at night.

Having a Regular Routine Really Pays Off

Once you know what you want to achieve from your workouts, it can be easier to set yourself up with a regular routine to get you there. Mixing up your workouts between weight training and cardio will also help to keep yourself from becoming stuck in a rutt.

Don’t be afraid to change your focus every now and then. You may start your workouts specifically to lose weight or to train for an event, but going to the gym is not all about your one single goal. Think about your workouts as an investment in your physical and mental health.

A regular exercise routine can go a long way to improve your overall health, your balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance. Achieving a healthy balanced body will also go a long way to improving your digestion, your immune system and your endocrine system, so you are better able to fend off illness and injury.

Working out at a gym is also about building your self-esteem. Yes, you may see some impressive weight loss from your regular workouts if that is your target, but the muscle tone and strength you gain from combining weight training with cardio will give you a really good boost that will make you feel confident and happy with your body.

So the next time you ask yourself, which is best, cardio or weight training, then the answer is obviously both!

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