When you're looking to lose weight and build muscle, it's hard to determine what exercise routine is the best for you. It seems every article out there tells you to do something different – lift more, run less, lift less, run more. To find out what is best for your body type can be confusing and overwhelming at the best of times. So here are some of the pros and cons for both weightlifting and cardio from Champion Performance to help you decide for yourself.

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Cardio Pros

  • Helps you lose weight throughout your whole body
  • Decreases body fat
  • Increases your overall energy and blood circulation
  • Increases endorphins – the hormones known to bring on happiness
  • Increases rate of oxygen intake, which allows your body to burn more calories per hour after exercise

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Cardio Cons

  • Possible decrease in muscle and bone tissue if you do too much
  • Increase in risk of injury depending on the form you choose, how much you do and how much stress you place on your joints. You should always choose cardio that does not add stress to joints such as your knees
  • Increase in risk of heart health if you are breathing through your upper chest rather than your diaphragm
  • Increase in stress hormone (cortisol) levels
  • Possible decrease in overall muscle size

cardio cons

 

Weight Training Pros

  • Increase in muscle tone and definition, as well as overall energy
  • Decrease in body fat
  • Increase in Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the ability to burn more calories per hour. Weight training encourages a boost in your metabolism and can last as long as 36 hours after your workout.
  • Increase in heart health when combined with proper diet as well as increase in blood circulation
  • Increase in endorphins
  • Increase rate of oxygen intake, which allows your body to burn more calories per hour
  • Increase in testosterone and decrease in estrogen
  • Increase in bone density and strength, which can prevent injury and possibly osteoporosis and osteopenia

WL pros

 

Weight Training Cons

Increase for risk of injury depending on your form, volume of training and stress placed on your joints

  • Hormone imbalance – particularly for women. This could result in missed periods from lower estrogen levels and may lead to an inability to reproduce.

A study conducted by researchers from Duke found that while wight lifting built muscle, it didn't encourage weight loss. It found that cardio workouts took about half the time the other kinds of workouts took but were just as beneficial.

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