The Eternal Debate: Cardio vs. Weight Lifting

By on January 27, 2016
The Eternal Debate: Cardio vs. Weight Lifting

One of the greatest debates regarding fitness is whether cardio or weight lifting are more efficient and overall better for your body. Now, there is no definite answer to this question since these two are completely different, yet they both have their pros and cons. So, the right question to ask here would not be which one of the two is better overall, but which one is better for you and your long term goals. Here is a brief comparison of these two exercise types, we might even say these two philosophies of training.


The first thing you should be concerned with when it comes to your training is its general safety for your body. Here, you need to look at both long term health hazards as well as risks of immediate injury. Now, while most people would say that injury is certainly far more likely to happen while weightlifting, surprisingly enough this is not the case.

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Training with weights, especially free weights, can be quite harmless if one is careful enough, while some more stressful forms of cardio (like running) can put a lot of pressure on your joints. Combine this with the lack of adequate footwear and bad terrain and what you get is quite problematic. Next, seeing how people usually pay more attention to their weightlifting gear than their cardio gear (running shoes), this may cause a further problem. In other words, by being more afraid of a weightlifting injury, people are more careful. This ironically enough leads to fewer injuries.


Just to set things straight, even though running, if performed too often, may increase the risk of injury, there are some cardio exercises that are more or less harmless. Swimming is a perfect example of this. Unfortunately, in order to go swimming you will have to go to the pool and deal with various issues such as crowds, working hours and some other difficulties. On the other hand, you can safely run or ride a bike outdoors whenever you like, but you cannot do it during the entire year. With all of this in mind, when it comes to cardio and availability, your safest bet is either a jump-rope or some similar exercises you can do at home.

On the other hand, for weights you have two options. You can either go to the gym or buy some equipment you can use at home. The latter, although a significant one-time investment, can save you a lot of money in the long run. Also, seeing how going to the gym creates problems similar to those you would encounter by going to the pool, making your own home gym might not seem as such a bad idea after all.


Last but not least, when it comes to the effectiveness of cardio training versus weightlifting, things get a bit more complicated. Even though most people claim that cardio excels at weight loss when compared to weightlifting, some tend to disagree. When it comes to weightlifting versus cardio, for losing the weight you put on in the winter period, most facts speak in favor of weightlifting. By instigating your metabolism, weightlifting burns through your fat supplies quicker than any cardio would.

Now there is a stereotype that women who lose weight will come to look like bodybuilders, but this claim is as absurd as it gets. Furthermore, what most actresses and top models claim to be the result of yoga or Pilates was usually achieved with either weightlifting or cross-fit.

With this in mind, when we speak about losing weight, weightlifting is obviously superior to any cardio exercise. However, for boosting your overall durability, stamina and strengthening your body as a whole, cardio is second to none. To put it simply, there is no better solution here, there is only a better solution for you, so choose wisely. Decide according to your own preferences as well as towards achieving your long-term goals.


Norah is a newbie traveler with an ever-growing wishlist. She can be found on most days with pen and paper in hand (she is hopelessly outdated at times), jotting down her thoughts. She drinks excessive amounts of tea and raspberry juice, collects running shoes and would feel naked without nail polish.

By Norah Martin

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The Eternal Debate: Cardio vs. Weight Lifting