Cardio or Weights? Which workout should you do?

We’ve all been there.

When starting a fitness regimen the question of “which is better? Cardio or Weights?” is something you have probably asked yourself. I’m going to try to keep it sweet and short and hopefully informative on my take on the subject.

Cardio: an aerobic exercise such as running, walking, swimming  – it’s going to speed up  your heart rate and you may or may not feel like dying. If you like cardio then you are most likely a freak of nature or a potential serial killer.

Weights: You usually think of huge bodybuilders when someone mentions weight training don’t you? Trust me do not be afraid of the weights. Weight training also has a multitude of benefits which I won’t list off right now but just like cardio it’s a tool.

Unless you absolutely like doing it like I mentioned above, cardio isn’t all that exciting but in the eyes of a large number of individuals it is something they credit their appearance to. They will give you advice such as – run three miles a day and you will lose weight. They aren’t wrong at all – it will most likely make you lose weight but it is less efficient than resistance training.

Think of it this way – If you want you grow your muscles you are going to want to train with weights – countless studies have proven that the best way to grow muscle mass is to target the muscle with resistance (you can actually grow muscle with cardio but it is not as efficient). If your goal is to drop fat and gain the body you are envisioning you are going to want to have the muscle underneath that will give you the desired shape.  If you do cardio and drop the fat then you will be left without the muscle that would have shaped you. Does that make sense?

I probably just made you think of a ton of other questions regarding the topic didn’t I? Hint Hint – Comment down below.

At the end of the day the fact is that if you want to lose weight you should be in a caloric deficit. This means that you are burning more calories than you are taking in. This means that if you wanted to, you wouldn’t even have to walk a mile if you wanted to lose weight. You would just simply stay at a deficit and watch the pounds fall off – for the average person that statement is almost impossible since we are trying to make our training into a LIFESTYLE.

So what do I recommend?

Why chose between cardio and weights? They are both tools you should be utilizing to maximize results. Workout and build the muscle and add in a couple of days of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio -think opposite of HIIT). Before you know it you’ll be seeing results.

Your workouts should follow your goals – if you want to build a bigger and wider back then focus on those movements and make sure your programming is emphasizing that. I see a lot of people go online and download workouts to follow. In the early stages it’s okay to follow someone else’s workout plan but don’t you want the body you always envisioned? Why are you going to follow a runner’s routine if that’s not how you want to look?

What you are going to notice as you continue along your fitness journey is that you may have a body part that is prevalent. For example – I have always had bigger arms than most men and since I am aware of that fact I know that I don’t necessarily need to work them out. This may be different for the next person who may have naturally bigger thighs. This means that if they were to follow the same workout routine than one would be left with the short end of the stick. You have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and workout the weaknesses to become better. Stay tuned for future posts on which movements you should be adding to your routine if you want to target certain body parts.

It is important that you enjoy what you are doing in the gym and with the weights.

LISS is an incredible tool that is not as popular as HIIT. It seems that everyone wants more intensity and that’s great but for the average person that can be very taxing on the body and mind. LISS can be relaxing – and added on after a resistance workout session. The only downside to LISS is time since you aren’t necessarily working as intensely to HIIT.

Example of LISS – 30 minutes of cardio on an incline treadmill – it doesn’t have to be something crazy – trust me, you will see the sweat.

I know I have missed a lot of key points. I tried to keep it short- if you have any questions just leave a comment below.