Weight training Vs Cardio – Getting started in exercise

We at Fitness For Everybody are asked constantly…..

How can I lose weight?

It is the old age question. Do I need to do more cardio? Some men who love weight training argue that only lifting weights will help you lose weight, and then our marathon runners will come back with the answer that they do not lift weights and can lose the belly fat.

I hate to break it to you this early on, but you need to have a calories defect, more calories expended vs calories put into your body. …Sorry! However if it was that simple, then I would be out of a job!

So let’s look at the benefits of both........

Cardio Pros:

Very high calorie burn during session (falls off shortly after)

Low barrier to entry, many different activities can be incorporated

Excellent low intensity options for fat loss i.e walking

Little need for rest in comparison to weight training

Decreases your risk of a cardiovascular event such as stroke, heart disease and high cholesterol

Releases endorphins, therefore helping with stress

Cardio Cons

Most people will use running as default cardio, but over running is a common problem, resulting in injuries and strains

A lot of people put off doing cardio as they think they should be vigorous activities such as running, biking or swimming, when in fact to get started, its simple, just walk.

Moderate to intense sustained cardio is not ideal for hormone balance, especially for those with high cortisol levels (a sign of tiredness and/or stress)

Extremely difficult to create a balanced physique through cardio alone

Weight Training Pros

Increases muscle mass quickly Causes a sustained spike in metabolism, which means you burn calories long after the exercise is over Low barrier to entry for the very unfit Offers the ability to grow muscle and loss fat simultaneously Helps bone density – especially in women who are at high risk of Osteoporosis especially post menopause Feeling of strength being “strong” will help with confidence

Weight Training Cons

Higher barrier to recovery (e.g a four hour walk is great whereas a four hour weight session would be counterproductive) Lower caloric burn in comparison to cardio (minute by minute, not over time) Lots of bad information on the market, leading to poor results Women worry that they will “bulk up” – which isn’t the case, unless specifically training that way Injuries can occur if the joint and surrounding structure are not conditioned before lifting heavier weights.

Can increase hunger significantly, so discipline with diet becomes a factor in success


So as you can see there are good and bad to both, however where exercise is concerned, if performed correctly then there isn’t any bad side effect. So a combination of both is great. We train a lot of women in our studio and we really promote lifting weights as it is so important for bone health. Also a stronger healthier muscle burns fat at rest………on yes!

When someone is on a combination of both it has such amazing effects on both the physical and mental state of a person.

Feeling stronger helps with a person’s confidence, helps with relationships, mental illness, work productivity, better sleep, less risk of heart disease, stroke and other related illnesses. There are so many types of exercise that can help with interaction therefore helping with isolation, as research shows that living in a big city people suffer with loneliness more than living in smaller communities. So it is great to get out into the community and mix with other like-minded people, many facitilies offer different activities. Such as;

Badminton – many leisure centres promoted clubs where you can buddy up

5 a side football – more for fun

Touch rugby

Dance classes


Walking clubs

Running clubs

So if you really are not sure how or where to start, why don’t you just go out for a walk and pop into your local leisure centre and ask what activities they have, or to your local library and look at the notice board, where independent instructors offer classes..?

What is the worst that can happen? ScheduleSchedule

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