Over the years, health enthusiasts and fitness buffs have been clamoring over what is best for the body – cardio or weight training, without actually being able to come to a conclusion. While most would suggest that a bit of both is necessary for the body to remain in top form, cardio a.k.a. cardiovascular training definitely has an edge over weight training due to various reasons.
Imagine yourself walking into the gym on your very first day and you are handed pounds of weights by your instructor, who then asks you to stack them up on the barbell and start doing chest presses or barbell curls. Unimaginable, isn’t it? That is exactly where the role of cardio comes in. Cardio acts more like a preparatory phase through which the body is slowly made aware of what is about to come. It trains the muscles, pumping in more and more blood through the veins and charging up your whole system. It makes your cardiovascular and respiratory system work faster and more efficiently and also boosts the energy levels to a great extent.
Another very important use of cardio training is the ability to burn fat faster. Despite this being a very debatable topic, it has been widely accepted that cardio does help you lose those layers of fat faster compared to something like weight training. In addition, cardio being easier to learn than weight training, is a definite form of training for newcomers willing to lose fat before they jump into the whole muscle building bandwagon. Some people would contradict the fact saying that although weight training burns the fat over a longer period of time, cardio does it ‘faster’ although for a lesser period of time. At the end of all, you get what you pay for, right?
Weight training is extremely helpful for those whose target is muscle building but what most people remain oblivious about is that it is impossible, no matter what, for the abs to show prominently unless you get rid of all that fat accumulated at your waist. And for that, you need to come back to cardio after all because as we know, spot reduction is a myth and no amount of weight training could actually tone your body if you are covered in fat. So you have to resort to cardio and get rid of the fat before you could think of building those pecs or abs.
Another very important aspect of cardio is that it does not lead to muscle fatigue like in weight training. Lifting heavy weights can actually lead to tremendous fatigue and you might not be able to hit the gym for the next couple of days. That is when cardio can be helpful as it could help reduce the fatigue, as experts suggest. So throwing in some exercises like running, swimming or simply skipping ropes could actually help you recover from that strenuous muscle pain after a hard day at the gym.