The Bar vs. The Bike

Cardio vs. Strength Training: What’s the difference?

When exercising, it is beneficial to have some goal or idea in mind so that you can appropriately adjust your workout regimen. If you’re looking for an increase in muscle mass, weight training is the way to go. Perhaps you want to boost your cardiovascular health, anaerobic exercise is best. Visualize fitness as a blender. What you put in the blender will either mix into a delicious end product, or a not-so-good one. You can metaphorically think of the ingredients as the energy or effort you put into your everyday fitness or as the physical movements you partake in. Ideally, you want to strive for an equal balance of cardio and strength training for maximum fitness, health, and calorie-burning. Health is your blender, be sure to add a pinch of cardio and a dash of strength training for the perfect mixture!

Benefits vs. Detriments of Cardio


  • Burns fat
  • Reduces risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure, while also lowering cholesterol levels


  • While burning fat, running specifically can also burn muscle.
  • Increases your appetite. Any aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling, decreases the amount of hormones produced that are responsible for suppressing appetites. In other words, the more intense your cardiorespiratory activity, the more hungry you may be later.
  • May lead to atrophy of your joints (Ex. Runner’s knee)

Benefits vs. Detriments of Strength Training oly-lifter-toddler


  • Boosts your heart rate, which helps to burn more calories
  • Strengthens your immune system, heart, bones and joints
  • Bigger muscles = more calories burned. When your muscles increase in mass, it allows your muscles to burn more calories! In fact, per every 3 lbs. of muscles you gain, you can burn up to 100 more calories throughout the day!


  • Neglecting technique can lead to severe injury
  • Increasing weight too rapidly will enhance your vulnerability to injury
  • Does little for your cardiovascular health

By: Rebecca Nathan


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