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Weight Training vs Cardio

If you have recently joined a gym or you're considering it, you might be wondering if you should focus on lifting weights or cardio exercises. Some fitness experts push people towards one area exclusively while ignoring the other. However, you gain the greatest health benefit by working both into your routine. Cardio exercises help increase energy and can help you burn fat while weight training helps you gain muscle strength and gives you a toned appearance.

Find the Balance That Works for You

Weight lifting and cardio exercises are both an important part of your fitness program. You should also aim to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep each night, and reduce the stress in your life to improve your overall health. When you first start working out, try to devote equal time to cardio exercises and weight training to see how you feel. The impact of these exercises depends on several individual factors, including workout intensity, body type, and general health.

What is Cardiovascular Exercise?

The goal of cardiovascular exercise is to improve how oxygen flows through your blood and to increase your heart rate. Running, bike riding, treadmills, elliptical, exercise bikes and aerobics are all good examples of cardio exercises. Regular cardio work can improve your circulation, sleep quality, and bone density as well as reduce anxiety. This is in addition to the energy increase it provides. Cardio exercises can help you burn fat, but it's important to complete toning exercises at the same time to prevent a flabby appearance after you drop the pounds.

What is Weight Training?

Two types of weight training are free weights and weight machines.

Free Weights

Free weights would require using Dumbbells and or Barbells and maybe a weight bench. Routines would be working out 2 or three times a week which would entail doing Curls (Biceps) maybe 3 sets of 10 reps for each arm starting with 15 pound weights. Do one arm at a time when doing curls. Squats (Legs) you can use a barbell or dumbbell (use one or two) than 2 or 3 sets of 10 reps to begin and may 10 to 15 pounds of weight. When using the Barbell you can hold it at your waist or on your shoulders when doing squats and same with Dumbbells. Bench Press (Chest) would require a bench with the backrest at an angle and not horizontal (Puts pressure on neck) and you could do again 3 sets of 10 reps with 15 pound dumbbells or 50 pound Barbell.

Weight Machines

If you’re planning on using a weight machine you can do the same routines on these weight machines and a whole bunch more. You can buy these machines and have them sent to your home if you have the space and money but most of you will have to go to a health club to use them.

Weight Training Safety

When using weights always try using a back/support belt at all times, there not very expensive and they can prevent back problems which can occur very easily no matter how strong you are.

Lifting heavy weights above your head could lead to headaches, stiff neck and or dizziness. When doing bench press and having the back support horizontal to the ground could also put a lot of pressure on the back of your neck also contributing to headaches and stiff neck. Doesn't mean don't do it, just remember it will effect everyone in a different way.

The easiest and safest way to do weight training is to use Dumbbells, they come in sizes like 2 to 50 lbs each and they should never be able to overpower you. You don't need a spotter.

If you are planning to lift heavy weights (Go Big) and you haven’t been in shape or eaten a healthy meal since Ronald Regan has been President please get checked out by your Doctor before you start: Very easy to break off a piece of plaque from your arteries and cause you a stroke! 

Consider Alternating Days for an Ideal Workout Plan

If you're not having much luck finding your groove by devoting equal time to weight training and cardio exercises, consider the advice of Donovan Green. The fitness trainer to celebrities recommends up to 30 minutes of cardio exercises three days a week and an hour of weightlifting on the other four days. Make it a goal to alternate your days even if you can't commit to working out seven days a week.

Weight Training and Cardio Benefits

Duke University Medical Center conducted a study in 2016 of men and women who participated in both types of exercise. Those who included weightlifting and cardio exercises in their routine saw their body mass become leaner while also losing the most weight. The 234 people in this study were obese or lead a sedentary lifestyle before taking up cardiovascular exercise and weight training. That should give you a good idea of just what incorporating most of these types of exercise can do in your life.

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