Strength vs. Cardio: How to Balance Your Fitness Routine

by Kim  – Friday, 12. June 2020

Endurance and strength training – most of us tend to have a preference for one or the other whether we know exactly what these are or not. Those of us who love spinning or going for long runs fall into the category of endurance training or cardio lovers. Then there are those of us who prefer lifting heavy weights or doing slow and controlled bodyweight movements like those practiced in our Power classes.

Regardless of what your preference is, it’s essential to understand the key differences and benefits of these types of training.

In this article, we will help you understand what these differences and benefits are. We also want to explain why the ultimate strategy for ideal health, strength, and wellness is to balance the two.

What is Cardio? 

So, let’s start with cardio. Cardio is short for “cardiovascular”. This type of exercise is aimed at strengthening your heart and lungs by getting your heart rate up. When you engage in cardio, you are usually moving the large muscle groups in your body for an extended period of time. This causes your heart rate to rise. You will also find yourself breathing heavier as your body works to supply more oxygen and energy to those hard-working muscles at a very fast rate. In this process the small blood vessels widen, to keep the muscles oxygenated and help to eliminate waste products like lactic acid and carbon dioxide. 

Here are some benefits of cardiovascular exercise:
  • Cardio is an excellent way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • Regular cardio can help lower your risk for serious health conditions like high blood pressure
  • Cardio is a mood booster and is known to reduce anxiety, promoting relaxation and reducing depression
  • Cardio may reduce the risk of dementia and preserving cognitive abilities

With Veloburn and Velobeat, Velocity offers the best indoor cardio training. Our ride classes are a sure way to improve your mood, flood your system with endorphins, and build up that cardiovascular endurance. Your lungs and heart will have to work hard to keep up with the rhythm of the music – but they’ll thank you for it after 😉 

What is Strength Training? 

Strength training includes any type of exercise that helps our muscles become leaner, stronger, or more powerful. An activity counts as strength training if it involves applying significant resistance to your body’s major muscle groups – your legs, core, shoulders, and arms. When you engage in strength training, you use your muscles to exert force. Doing this repeatedly or against high tension causes the fibers of the muscle to tear slightly. Despite how it sounds, this is actually a good thing – it’s how you get stronger. The body repairs damaged fibers by fusing them, which increases the mass and size of the muscles –it’s known as muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy is also why your muscles tend to feel sorer for longer after a hard strength training workout than a cardio workout.

Here are some benefits of strength training workouts:
  • Strength training can help to slow bone loss and even build bone, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. During strength training, the stress that comes with pushing and pulling helps build stronger, denser bones, particularly targeting those that are most likely to fracture as you age.
  • Strength training reduces symptoms and signs of chronic health conditions, such as depression, diabetes, back and neck pain
  • Strength training helps grow and shape your muscles which creates that lean, toned look in your body
  • Increasing your muscle mass increases your metabolism and leads your body to burn more calories even at resting states. Building muscle can be very helpful for weight loss in this way – because you’ll be burning more calories even when you’re sleeping.
  • Strength training, especially of the important stabilizer muscles, can greatly reduce your risk of injury in day to day life or while doing other activities such as skiing, cycling (indoor and outdoor), or hiking.

With our Power class at Velocity you will experience a full-body, muscle-shaking strength training class. The moves are slow and controlled against the resistance of the springs on your Xformer machine. The muscles in your body stay under tension throughout the entire 45-minute workout – sculpting, toning and building those strong, lean muscles. These workouts are guaranteed to make you feel stronger and more powerful both inside and out.

So which one is better for you?

Now that you know the difference between cardio and strength training – ask yourself which of these benefits don’t you want? The answer is probably that you want all of them!

To maximize overall fitness and health, you need to add both of these types of training to your life. Fitness is about balance. Just like you need a balanced diet, you also need a balanced workout.

So, if you aren’t already mixing it up – try to incorporate either a Power or Ride class into your regular weekly schedule!