Weightlifting vs. Cardio

Posted by Brittney Smith on Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hey, it's Brittney.  I'm a Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach at Milestone.  Let's take a moment to talk about the unique benefits of two of the most popular forms of exercise: Weightlifting and Cardio.  What's the difference?  Which one should you do?  Will weightlifting make you BULKY???  If you've ever wondered these things, keep reading.

Pros (weightlifting):

  • Increased strength
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased mobility
  • Increased joint stability
  • Beneficial for fat loss
  • Prolonged calorie burn at rest

Cons (weightlifting):

  • Does not get heart rate up unless done in intervals or circuits
  • Typically Requires equipment
  • Difficult to do with limited mobility


Pros (cardio):

  • Can be done anywhere
  • Beneficial for weight loss
  • Beneficial for heart and pulmonary health

Cons (cardio):

  • Can be damaging to the joints due to amount of pressure
  • Difficult with limited mobility
  • Can lead to less physical strength without using weightlifting along with it
  • Does not provide prolonged calorie burn while at rest


As a personal trainer I am asked daily if it is better to do cardio or lifting weights. The answer I always give is that it is important to do both. The problem is that many people do not have time to do the thirty minutes of cardio that is recommended by the American Heart Association, along with another thirty minutes to an hour of weightlifting. So many people just do the thing they enjoy more.

Weightlifting is essential to any fitness program because it increases your resting metabolism. What that means is lifting weights will increase your muscle mass which makes your body burn more calories at rest. Cardio is also extremely important because it strengthens your heart. Also, doing cardio you burn more calories while doing the exercise than you will with lifting weights. However, as soon as you are finished with your cardiovascular exercise, there is no prolonged calorie burn at rest. 

The best way to get in a full cardio and weightlifting workout in a busy schedule is to do a circuit, superset, or interval type training.  To get a personalized fitness program that will work for YOU, please contact me (Brittney Smith: bsmith@baptistmilestone.com) or one of the other great Personal Trainers at Milestone!

Topics: Fitness