Cardio and Weight Training - A Tale of Two Workouts | Stephen Coleclough
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Cardio and Weight Training – A Tale of Two Workouts

Cardio and Weight Training – A Tale of Two Workouts

When it comes to working out you will have two main options cardio and weight training.

Both types of work out will be beneficial but they are both very different.

Some people prefer the rush and calorie burning of cardio while others will prefer the feel of pumping iron and building muscle.

Some people out there like both although if you ask most people they will have a preference for one or the other.

But cardio and weight training have a complex relationship and many people struggle to see how to work both into their routines.

But I can help you get to the bottom of this problem, let’s first take a closer look at cardio and weight training in more detail and examine their benefits more closely.

Cardio Exercises

Cardio exercises or cardiovascular exercises to give them their official name are exercises that focus on building the strength of the heart and lungs as well as helping people lose weight.

Cardio exercises have a somewhat negative reception in some circles because they believe it actually burns muscle.

But how true is this?

Well, unfortunately, the truth is somewhat complicated because cardio can burn muscle while also actually helping build it as well.

You’ll often see people say or write that cardio doesn’t build muscle but it actually can.

Light to moderate cardio exercises can actually build some muscle especially on the legs although you do have to be careful you don’t overdo cardio exercises if you want to build muscle.

As too much cardio can go past burning fat and start burning muscle as well.

The most common cardio exercise is running or jogging, almost anyone can do these exercises without issue and they are very effective if you’re looking to lose weight.

But there are many different cardio exercises you can do including skipping, biking, swimming and even walking.

Weight Training

Weight training exercises might sound simple enough but there is actually a lot of variety when it comes to weight training all focusing on different areas of the body.

Weight training is focused around building muscle but you will still burn calories as well.

The main difference between cardio and weight training is that the latter is more focused on building muscle while the former is focused on burning calories/ weight loss.

Weight training might look simple from the outside but it is more complicated than you likely thing.

Certain exercises like bicep curls are relatively simple but others are much more complicated especially when you get into more complex exercise appliances.

With weight training, it is advised you start out simple and work your way towards more complicated exercises after a few months.

Weight training can be done at home or in the gym, many people opt to use a gym because it offers a wide range of weight training appliances/ equipment.

A good set of dumbbells will usually be enough to get your started for home workouts but if you want to really push yourself joining a gym is advised.

Can I Do Cardio and Weight Training Together?

This is where things get a little complicated again because opinion varies on how exactly it is best to mix cardio and weight training.

Some people advise focusing on weight training one day and doing cardio the next, while others say you should do one straight after the other.

So, what is the right answer?

Well, this another case of both answers being right it is more common to have the exercises done on separate days but you don’t need to.

If you are looking to lose weight then combining them together in one session can actually be more beneficial.

But if you are focusing on building muscle then doing the exercises on different days is probably the better option.

Although some people do add a little light cardio to the beginning or end of their muscle training as well or prefer to do one type in the morning and the other in the evening.

So, the true answer is a little murky and I would, therefore, advise that beginners stick to training on alternate days at first before trying both on the same day.

Monitor your progress and then go from there if you are seeing results or feel comfortable stick with it but if not feel free to switch back to different days.

Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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